WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared a sale of 96 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters worth about $12 billion to Poland, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Aug. 21.

The decision comes after the Polish Defence Ministry sent a letter of request to the U.S. government nearly a year ago to buy the Boeing-made helicopters for its armed forces.

The helicopters “will first be deployed to the 18th Mechanized Division. Not all of them, but the first units. This is because the 18th Division will be equipped with the Abrams tanks. These helicopters work great with Abrams tank[s],” Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in a statement released by the ministry at the time. “Together, they constitute an enormous force, a force of resistance ... we want to use them to deter our opponent.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has led to Polish leaders doubling down on plans to strengthen the country’s defenses against a potential attack.

Poland in April signed a deal worth about $4.75 billion to buy 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks from the U.S. and a subsequent deal for an unspecified amount of additional tanks in January worth $1.4 billion.

Pending congressional approval, the sale of Apache helicopters would also include 210 T700-701D engines; 97 AN/ASQ-170 modernized target acquisition and designation sights and AN/AAR-11 modernized pilot night vision sensors (otherwise known as M-TADS/PNVS); as well as fire control radars and common missile warning systems.

The sale would also cover 1,844 Hellfire missiles and 96 training missiles; 460 Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles; 508 Stinger 92K Block I missiles; and 7,650 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II guidance sections.

The Apaches would come with manned-unmanned teaming unmanned aerial system receivers and ground kits.

Boeing will supply the Apache helicopters, which it will produce in Mesa, Arizona. Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida, will provide major systems such as the M-TADS/PNVS as well as Hellfire weapons and Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles.

Poland has requested offsets, the DSCA announcement states, which will be defined in negotiations between the country and the contractors.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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