The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of MH-60R multi-mission helicopters and associated equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Under the estimated $1.9bn sale, the Saudi Arabian Government has requested for the supply of ten MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, along with 14 APS-153(V) multi-mode radars, including ten installed, and two each for spares and testing, 24 T-700 GE 401 C engines, and 12 APX-123 identification friend or foe transponders, including ten installed, and two spares.

The package also includes 14 AN/AAS-44C(V) multi-spectral targeting systems forward looking infrared radars, 26 embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems with selective availability/anti-spoofing module, and Link-16 capability, 1,000 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 Sonobuoys, 38 AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles, five AGM-114 M36-E9 captive air training missiles, four AGM-114Q Hellfire training missiles, and 380 advanced precision kill weapons system rockets.

In addition, the US will supply 12 M-240D crew served weapons, 12 GAU-21 crew served weapons, spare engine containers, facilities study and design, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, communication equipment, personnel training and training equipment, as well as other related elements of logistical and programme support.

"The sale will enhance Saudi Arabia’s capability to address both current and future threats from enemy weapon systems."

Approved by the US State Department, the sale will enhance Saudi Arabia’s capability to address both current and future threats from enemy weapon systems.

The helicopters will provide the capability to identify, engage, and defeat maritime security threats, as well as the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

The sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner, which continues to serve as an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin have been named as prime contractors for the FMS programme.

Image: A US Navy MH-60R helicopter performs a controlled carrier approach towards USS John C. Stennis during flight operations. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist third-class Josue L Escobosa / Released