MANAMA --- The government of Bahrain signed an agreement with Bell Helicopter to procure a dozen attack helicopters from the firm.
At the Bahrain International Airshow, Bahrain and Bell Helicopter completed a contract for the country to acquire a dozen AH-1Z attack helicopters. Manama was first approved for the sale of the helicopters in April 2018, when the U.S. State Department announced it had approved the potential sale of a dozen AH-1Zs to Bahrain at an estimated cost of $911.4 million.
Included in the April approval notice were onboard systems for the AH-1Zs, including 24 installed T-700 GE 401C engines and two spares;14 AGM-114 HELLFIRE air-to-surface missiles; and 56 APKWS-II WGU-59Bs, which are guided rockets. The helicopters will feature countermeasures, electronic warfare systems, and missile warning hardware.
The U.S. said in April, "Bahrain will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. This sale will improve interoperability with U.S. forces."
Deliveries under the contract are expected to begin before the end of 2022, according to Air Recognition, which referenced local media.