U.S. Announces Proposed Arms Sales to Pakistan, Egypt

 - April 9, 2015, 11:46 AM
A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper lands on the deck of the USS New Orleans. (Photo: U.S. Navy, Seaman Dominique Pineiro)

The U.S. Department of Defense has notified Congress of the possible sale to Pakistan of 15 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 1,000 latest generation AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles. It values the package—with associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support—at $952 million.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the proposed foreign military sale on April 6, stating that the State Department has already approved the transaction. The twin-engine, four-blade Zulu model will improve Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the Taliban strongholds bordering Afghanistan, specifically in North Waziristan and other federally administered tribal areas, according to the DSCA notice.

If approved, the sale would include five and a half years of training and maintenance support in Pakistan, the notice states.

On April 8, the DCSA announced a proposed sale to Egypt of 356 AGM-114K/R3 Hellfire II missiles, including the first transfer to that country of the Romeo variant with semi-active laser seeker. The State Department has also approved this transaction, which the DCSA valued at $57 million with associated equipment and support.

The proposed sale to Egypt follows a U.S. decision to resume weapons sales to that country, stalled since the overthrow of its democratically elected government in 2013. In a telephone call with Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi on March 31, President Obama indicated “he will lift executive holds that have been in place since October 2013 on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles and M1A1 tank kits,” the White House said. “The President also advised President al-Sisi that he will continue to request an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt.”