WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared a potential foreign military sale of 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, in a deal that could be worth up to $3 billion.

The proposed sale would double Qatar’s previous procurement of AH-64Es, which are used for “close air support, armed reconnaissance, and anti-tank warfare missions,” according to a notice posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s website on Thursday. “The helicopters will provide a long-term defensive and offensive capability to the Qatar peninsula as well as enhance the protection of key oil and gas infrastructure and platforms.”

The notification does not guarantee a final sale. Congress can still weigh in, and once cleared by Capitol Hill, negotiations between customer and supplier often lead to different prices or quantities.

Included in the sale are the 24 helicopter bodies; 52 T700-GE-701D engines; 26 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight; 26 AN/AAQ-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors; 2,500 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; 28 M230 30mm automatic chain guns; and other equipment and training.

Primary work will be done at Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona, facility; Lockheed Martin’s Orlando, Florida, location; and General Electric’s Cincinnati, Ohio, facility, as well as other locations. There are no known industrial offsets in the 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.

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