The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Israel of CH-53K heavy lift helicopters with support and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$3.4bn.
Delivering the required certification to notify the US Congress on July 30, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) revealed the request from Israel included the purchase of up to 18 CH-53K heavy lift helicopters, 60 T408-GE-400 engines and up to 36 embedded GPS/inertial navigation systems with selective availability/anti-spoofing module.
In addition, the request also included communications equipment, GAU-21 .50 calibre machine guns, missions planning systems as well as spares parts and support.
The DSCA stated the proposed sale would improve the Israeli Air Force’s capability to transport armoured vehicles, personnel and equipment to support distributed operations. The expectation was for Israel to use the aircraft as a “deterrent to regional threats” and that the proposed sale would “not alter the basic military balance in the region.”
Prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin and General Electric and there are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with the potential sale.