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US to provide nine AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters to Pakistan

WASHINGTON, April 05 (DNA): The United States (US) Navy has awarded a $170.1 million contract to Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. for the manufacture and delivery of nine AH-1Z aircraft, and nine auxiliary fuel kits for the government of Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales program, the US Department of Defence has announced.The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the previous AH-1W SuperCobra model that was developed for the United States Marine Corps. The Viper has a top speed of 255 miles per hour (420 km/h) and a range of 426 miles (610 km), Sputnik reported.

The contract is expected to be completed in September 2018.

“Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $170.1 million will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity,” the Department of Defence stated.

In April last year, the State Department had approved a potential $952 million sale to Pakistan of 15 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, 32 General Electric helicopter engines and 1,000 Hellfire missiles.

The Hellfire is a family of 100-pound, laser-guided missiles generally fired by helicopters or airplanes, including unmanned drones.

The potential deal with Pakistan also could include target sight systems, mission computers, global positioning navigation systems, radar warning receivers and other gear.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency had stated that the sale would further provide Pakistan “with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.” DNA

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