The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a foreign military sale (FMS) of a CH-53K heavy-lift cargo helicopter to Israel.

Approved by the US State Department, the total estimated cost of the FMS and associated equipment is $3.4bn.

The sale package will include 18 CH-53K helicopters, up to 60 T408-GE-400 Engines and nearly 36 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM).

Calibre machine guns, mission planning system, spare and repair parts, as well as support and test equipment, are also included.

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Furthermore, US Government and contractor engineering, technical services, as well as other associated elements of logistical and programme support were also requested by Israel.

This FMS is expected to enhance the Israeli Air Force’s capability to transport armoured vehicles, workers and equipment to support distributed operations.

According to DSCA, there would not be any difficulty to Israel in absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

Lockheed Martin Global and General Electric are the prime contractors for the sale.

DSCA stated: “Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips by US Government and contractor representatives to participate in the programme and technical reviews.

“It will also require approximately four contractor support representatives to reside in the country for a period of three years to support this programme.”

The CH-53K King Stallion is a next-generation heavy-lift cargo helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin company.

Separately, DSCA also notified US Congress of a possible FMS of Javelin Missiles and related equipment to Thailand. The total estimated cost of the sale is $83.5m.