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Bell Scheduled to Deliver AH-1Zs to Pakistan

The United States navy has just awarded a contract to Bell Helicopter worth north of $170 million dollars for the manufacture and delivery of nine AH-1Z aircraft along with nine auxiliary fuel kits to Pakistan. The US Department of Defense released a statement that the combat helicopters are expected to be manufactured and delivered to Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales Program. September of 2018 is the expected date for the competing of this contract.

In another statement issued by the Defense Department, the Naval Air System Command, Patuxent River, Maryland is recognized as the contracting activity for Pakistan with more than $170 million dollars of foreign military sales funds obligated at the time of award while none of it is assured to expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The US Department of State has already approved the possible sale of 15 AH-1Z Vipers to Pakistan back in April of 2015. The AH-1Zs came with Hellfire missiles and support with an expected worth up to $925 million dollars.

The contract included the costs for the manufacture and delivery of 19 Lot 12 AH-1Zs, 15 Lot 12 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, 21 auxiliary fuel kits and one Lot 13 UH-1Y for the Pakistan government. Following that approval, the US government has approved the sale of up to eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan by Lockheed Martin Corp. The approval which came in February of this year includes radar and other equipment with a valuation of nearly $700 million dollars. The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine combat chopper based on a previous SuperCobra model that was developed for the US Marine Corps and boasts a top speed of 420 kilometres per hour and an impressive range of 610 kilometres.

The Pentagon Defense Security Cooperation Agency which oversees foreign arm sales has stated that the F-16s would bolster Pakistan’s Air Forces’ ability to conduct counter-insurgency/terrorism operations while allowing it to operate at night and in all-weather environments. Lawmakers have been notified about the US Government’s approval for the sale of these AH-1Zs.


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