Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department this week approved the sale of Bell 407GX helicopters to Iraq for an estimated cost of $82.5 million.
The sale, announced Thursday by the State Department, is meant to "help compensate" for the combat loss of seven IA407 helicopters, as well as increase the combat effectiveness of the Iraqi Security Forces, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Friday.
The five helicopters will be configured with M240 7.62mm machine guns, RF-7850A secure communications radios, AN/AAR-60 MILDS automatic plume detectors, M3P .50 caliber machine guns, M260 rocket launchers, GAU-19 .50 caliber machine guns and other system management systems. The sale also includes spare parts and support.
"Providing Iraq with this capability supports U.S. security goals by furthering the Iraqi Army Aviation Command's ability to counter terrorism and protect critical infrastructure," DSCA said in a statement. "Iraq will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces."
The agency notified Congress of the potential sale, as required by law, on Wednesday.
The 407GX helicopters are an upgrade from the IA407 version, specifically the inclusion of the M260 launchers, which are in the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System configuration.
The principle contractors for the Foreign Military Sale are Bell, L3 WESCAM, Dillon, Tekfusion Global, Harris and Fulcrum Concepts.