Qatar seeks U.S. helicopter deal

June 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

WASHINGTON, June 29 (UPI) -- Qatar is seeking to purchase 22 Sikorsky military helicopters from the United States, with an option for six more aircraft.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the deal under the Foreign Military Sale program would be worth $2.5 billion.

"Qatar is a strategic partner in maintaining stability in the region," the agency said in its notification to Congress. "The acquisition of these helicopters will allow for greater interoperability with U.S. forces, providing benefits for training and possible future coalition operations in support of shared regional security objectives."

Qatar's shopping list includes: 10 MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters; 12 MH-60S Seahawk multi-mission helicopters with the armed helicopter modification kit; 48 T-700 GE 401C engines, with an option to purchase an additional six MH-60S aircraft with the armed helicopter modification kit and 13 T-700 GE 401C engines at a later date.

Communication equipment, spare engine containers, support equipment, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment and other items would also be included in the deal.

Prime contractors would be Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Lockheed Martin and General Electric.

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