The State Department approved a potential $3.5 billion Foreign Military Sale of 29 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and associated equipment to Australia.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the sale on June 3.

This approval comes after Australia said in January it

selected the Apache as its next armed reconnaissance helicopter to replace the country’s Airbus Tiger helicopters in a $3.5 billion deal (Defense Daily, Jan. 15).

The sale to Australia includes the 29 helicopters along with 64 T700-GE 701D engines (58 installed, six spares); 70 AN/ARC-231A Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency radios (58 installed, 12 spares); 85 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; 29 M36E8 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles; and 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System Guidance Sections.

The sale also includes M230E1 + M139 AWS Automatic Guns; M261 Rocket Launchers; M299 missile launchers; 2.75 inch rockets; 30mm rounds; Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-X) video receivers; MUMT-X Air-Air-Ground kits; and various other weapons as well as logistics and training support.

The prime contractors in this sale would be Boeing [BA] and Lockheed Martin [LMT]. DSCA noted Australia typically requests offsets, but any agreement to that effect will be defined in future negotiations between the purchaser and contractors.

The agency said Australia will use the helicopters to “strengthen its homeland defense and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure” and they will enhance interoperability with U.S. and allied forces.