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US clears $911M FMS from Bahrain for 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters


The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Bahrain of 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters for an estimated cost of $911.4 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on April 27, 2018.


US clears 911M FMS from Bahrain for 12 AH 1Z attack helicopters 001 A US Marine Corps AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter
(Credit: Bell Helicopter)


Bahrain has requested 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, 26 T-700 GE 401C engines, 14 AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles, and 56 Advance Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS-II) WGU-59Bs.  

This request also includes 15 Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) Inertial Navigation System (INS) (EGI) w/Standard Positioning Service (SPS), 12 M197 20mm gun systems, 14 AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems, 26 Helmet Mounted Display/Optimized Top Owl, communication equipment, electronic warfare systems, 15 APX-117 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), 15 AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems, 15 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Sets, 15 APR-39C(V)2 Radar Warning Receivers, and other related elements of logistics and program support. 

The total estimated cost is $911.4 million.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally which is an important security partner in the region.  Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Royal Bahraini Air Force plays a significant role in Bahrain's defense," the DSCA stated.

"Bahrain will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense," the Agency added. The principal contractors will be Bell Helicopter and General Electric Company.

The AH-1Z Viper, also called "Zulu Cobra", is a twin-engine attack helicopter. Based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, the Viper features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system. Its two redesigned wing stubs are longer, with each adding a wing-tip station for a missile such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder. Each wing has two other stations for 2.75-inch (70 mm) Hydra 70 rocket pods, or AGM-114 Hellfire quad missile launchers.