The United States Navy has awarded a $170 million contract to Bell Helicopter to manufacture nine AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters for Pakistan.
Under the Foreign Military Sales Program, the combat helicopters will be manufactured and delivered to Pakistan. “Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $170,173,188 will be obligated at time of award. The contract awarded for the manufacture and delivery of nine AH-1Z aircraft and nine auxiliary fuel kits for the government of Pakistan is expected to be completed in September 2018″, a local newspaper quoted the US Department of Defence statement as saying, adding that the Naval Air Systems Command is contracting the activity for the Pakistani government.
According to reports, the Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine combat chopper based on the previous SuperCobra model developed for the US Marine Corps. It has a top speed of 420 kilometres per hour and a range of 610 kilometers. The US State Department in April 2015 had approved the Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for the AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters and AGM-114R Hellfire II Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $952 million.
The United States had earlier in 2016 approved the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets of $700 million to Pakistan saying that sale was made in order to improve Pakistan’s precision strike capability. The US administration in documents to its lawmakers told that its Foreign Military Funding (FMF) to Islamabad would focus on seven priority areas identified and agreed to with the government of Pakistan.
Neo Monitoring Report