WASHINGTON – The State Department on Tuesday cleared the potential sale of Apache helicopter upgrades to the Netherlands, fast patrol boats to Kuwait, and ship-based missile launchers for Finland, which if completed could be worth a combined $1.37 billion in foreign military sales.
They were announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. All DSCA notifications must be cleared by Congress before final negotiations can occur, and so the dollar total and detail of the packages can change in the future.
The Dutch sale represents the largest portion of that potential figure, at an estimated cost of almost $1.2 billion to upgrade and remanufacture 28 AH-64D Block II Apache Attack Helicopters to the AH-64E configuration.
Included in that package are upgrades for 51 T700-GE-701C engines to T700-GE-701D, 17 new AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radar and subcomponents, 28 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sights, twenty-eight AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency 70 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, plus associated training support and equipment.
Work for the upgrade package will be led by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. No offsets are laid out, but the DSCA notes the Netherlands usually requests some form of commercial offset in such deals.
Kuwait requested 15 fast patrol boats at an estimated cost of $100 million. The boats would come equipped with two .50 caliber machine guns per boat, along with six spares, to be used for “patrol, interdiction, and maritime protection,” according to the DSCA. Work will be done by Kvichak at its Kent, Washington, location.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign and national security of the United States by improving the security of a friendly country,” the DSCA notification reads. “Kuwait plays a key role in U.S. efforts to advance stability in the Middle East, providing basing, access, and transit of U.S. forces in the region.”
Finally, Finland has been cleared to spend $70 million on four Mk 41 Baseline VII Strike-Length Vertical Launching Systems, used to launch missiles off its upcoming fleet of new-build corvettes. Finland is in the midst of an ambitious modernization program for its fleet, and was recently cleared to purchase $730 million worth of naval weapons, although the country is technically still in a selection process for that equipment.
Lockheed will be the primary contractor, and some form of commercial offsets are expected with the final deal.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.