WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.9 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a sale of ten (10) MH-60R multi-mission helicopters fourteen (14) APS-153(V) Multi-Mode radars (10 installed, 2 spares and 2 for testing); twenty-four T-700 GE 401 C engines (20 installed and 4 spares); twelve (12) APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe transponders (10 installed and 2 spares); fourteen (14) AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems Forward Looking Infrared Radars (10 installed, 2 spares, and 2 for testing); twenty-six (26) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (20 installed and 6 spares); and Link-16 capability; one-thousand (1,000) AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys; thirty-eight (38) AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles; five (5) AGM-114 M36-E9 Captive Air Training missiles; four (4) AGM-114Q Hellfire Training Missiles; three-hundred eighty (380) Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System rockets; twelve (12) M-240D crew served weapons; and twelve (12) GAU-21 crew served weapons.
Also included are spare engine containers; facilities study and design; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; communication equipment; aerial refueling services; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The estimated cost is $1.9 billion.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner, which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.
The proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems. The MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopter will provide the capability to identify, engage, and defeat maritime security threats along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. Saudi Arabia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors will be Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut; and Lockheed Martin Corporation in Owego, New York. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of additional U.S. Government and/or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Observers of US foreign military sales will note that this is possibly the highest price ever agreed for a helicopter, as Saudi Arabia will pay an average of $190 million for each of the ten MH-60Rs it is buying.
Admittedly, the total price tag includes some Hellfire missiles and laser-guided rockets, as well as support and other services, but the bottom line is that with this deal $1.9 billion only buys 10 helicopters.
For comparison purposes, the US Navy is buying 280 MH-60R helicopters for $13.295 billion (an average of $47.48 million per helicopter) according to the latest Pentagon Selected Acquisition Report, dated December 2014.)