WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of Apache AH-64E attack helicopters to the government of the United Arab Emirates.
The foreign military sales request includes 28 remanufactured helicopters in addition to 39 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation sensors, 32 AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers, 46 AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems, 88 Embedded Global Positioning Systems, and other supporting equipment.
If approved by Congress, the UAE's order will also come with training devices, technical data and publications, and other supporting services. The total estimated cost of the program is $3.5 billion.
U.S. defense officials say the sale enhances foreign policy interests in the region, and will not alter the balance of power in the Middle East. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are listed as the primary contractors.
The Boeing-made AH-64 Apache is a four-blade rotary-wing aircraft typically equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64E variant comes with improved landing gear to support maritime operations.