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US deliberates on $350m Super Cobra deal to Bahrain

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to refurbish 24 AH-1W Super Cobra multi-role helicopters for the Bahrain government.

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to refurbish 24 AH-1W Super Cobra multi-role helicopters for the Bahrain government.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress of the possible $350 million sale on 29 March.

Under the deal, Bahrain would refurbish the helicopters, receive a full-motion Aircraft Procedures Trainer, M272A1 missile launchers, and spare T-700-GE-401 aircraft engines, spare parts, support and training from principal contractor, Bell Corporation.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” a public statement said on 29 March.

“The proposed sale will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future threats by improving its ability to fulfill maritime patrol, close air support, and search and rescue missions. Bahrain will have no difficulty absorbing these defence articles and services into its armed forces.

“The proposed sale of these services and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

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