The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment to Pakistan.
Under the estimated $952m sale, the Pakistani Government has requested the supply of 15 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, along with 32 T-700 GE 401C engines including 30 installed and two spares, 1,000 AGM-114 R Hellfire II missiles in containers, 36 H-1 technical refresh mission computers, 17 AN/AAQ-30 target sight systems and 629F-23 ultra high frequency/very high frequency communication systems.
The US will also supply 19 H-764 embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems, 32 helmet mounted display/optimised top owl, 17 APX-117A identification friend or foe, 17 AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems, 17 AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser sets, 18 AN/APR-39C(V)2 radar warning receivers, 15 joint mission planning systems, and 17 M197 20mm gun systems.
Approved by the US State Department, the package also includes system integration and testing, software development and integration, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, as well as other related elements of logistics and programme support.
The sale of precision strike, enhanced survivability aircraft and weapon systems is expected to provide Pakistan with military capabilities in support of its counterterrorism and counter-insurgency operations in South Asia.
The helicopters will enhance Pakistan's ability to conduct operations in North Waziristan Agency, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and other remote and mountainous areas in all-weather, day-and-night environments.
The potential sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to boost the security of a nation critical to its foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.
Bell Helicopter Textron, General Electric, Boeing and Lockheed Martin will serve as prime contractors for the programme.
Image: A US Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper during training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, US. Photo: courtesy of Lance Corporal Christopher O'Quin, USMC.