The State Department approved two attack helicopter Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the Philippines worth a combined $1.95 billion as the country considers which option it will choose to modernize its capabilities.

The FMSs are for six AH-64E Apache and alternatively six AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters along with associated weapons and equipment for both.

AH 64E ground to air shoot in the Arizona desert (Photo: Boeing)

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the sales on April 30.

One sale, at $1.5 billion, covers six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters as well as 18 T700-GE-701D engines (12 installed, six spares); 15 Honeywell [HON] Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation (EGIs) w/Precise Positioning Service (PPS) (12 installed, three spares); 200 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; 12 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); 300 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Kits; 1,700 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Guidance Sections; 200 FIM-92H Stinger missiles; six M230El + M139 AWS Automatic Gun; 18 M261 rocket launchers (12 new, six spares); 18 M299 missile launchers (12 new, six spares); 5,000 each 2.75 inch rockets; eighty thousand (80,000) 30mm rounds, and various other sensors, parts, support equipment, and logistics support.

The primary contractors will be helicopter prime contractor Boeing [BA] and Lockheed Martin [LMT].

The other sale is $450 million and would cover six AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters as well as 14 T-700 GE 401C engines (12 installed, two spares); seven Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation (EGIs) w/Precise Positioning Service (PPS); six AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles; 26 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) all up rounds, seven M197 20mm machine guns; 5,000 20mm Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary (SAPHEI) rounds; LAU-68  and LAU-61 rocket launchers as well as various communications equipment, electronic warfare systems, other sensors, and various logistics and support equipment and services.

The main contractors for this sale are Bell [TXT] and General Electric [GE].

AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopter.
(Photo: Bell Helicopter Textron)

DSCA said while both sales aim to improve the security of a friendly country in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is considering either the AH-64E or AH-1Z to modernize its attack helicopter capabilities.

“The proposed sale will assist the Philippines in developing and maintaining strong self-defense, counterterrorism, and critical infrastructure protection capabilities,” the agency said.

Implementation of the Apache sale would require 60 U.S. government or contractor representative to travel to the Philippines for 6 weeks, non-concurrently for de-processing/fielding, training, and technical/logistics support.

The Viper sale would require multiple trips by U.S. government and contractor representatives to participate in program and technical reviews as well as training and maintenance support in country on a temporary basis for 24 months. It would also require one contractor support representative to reside in the Philippines for two years to support the program.

Boeing has been approved to sell Apaches to several countries in recent years. Last year, Boeing delivered the first of six helicopters it was approved to sell to India (Defense Daily, May 13, 2019).

The State Department also previously approved a $3 billion sale of 24 Apaches and related equipment to Qatar in 2019 as well (Defense Daily, May 9, 2019).

Similarly for Bell, the Defense Department agreed to a $640 million deal with the Czech Republic late last year for four AH-1Z Vipers and eight UH-1Y Venom helicopters (Defense Daily, Dec. 12, 2019).