WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has given the nod to Pakistan's possible acquisition of attack helicopters and missiles from the United States.
The possible sale through the Foreign Military Sales program would be for 15 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 1,000 AGM-114 R Hellfire II missiles in containers for an estimated $952 million.
"This proposed sale ... will provide Pakistan with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in South Asia," the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees the FMS program, told Congress in a required notification.
"This proposed sale will provide Pakistan with a precision strike, enhanced survivability aircraft that it can operate at high-altitudes. By acquiring this capability, Pakistan will enhance its 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 AH-1Z Viper is an upgraded variant of the Bell Helicopter's AH-1 Cobra. It features a four-blade composite main rotor system, an improved transmission and a new target sighting system. Its cruise speed is 184 miles per hour, while its combat radius is about 144 miles.
The overall sales package to Pakistan would include associated equipment, parts and logistics support. Among those items are: 32 T-700 GE 401C engines; 36 H-1 Technical Refresh Mission computers; 17 AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight systems; 30 629F-23 ultra-high frequency/very high frequency communication systems; and 19 H-764 embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems.
Other items include APX-117A identification-friend-or-foe systems, AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems, AN/ALE-47 counter-measure dispenser sets, AN/APR-39C(V)2 radar warning receivers, joint mission planning systems, and 17 M197 20mm gun systems.
Bell Helicopter, General Electric, Boeing and Lockheed Martin would be principal contractors.
"Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips by U.S. Government and contractor representatives to participate in program and technical reviews, as well as training and maintenance support in-country for a period of 66 months," the agency said.