US agrees to sell AH-1Z attack helicopters to Pakistan

Published: August 27, 2015
AH-1Z attack helicopter PHOTO: JANES.COM

AH-1Z attack helicopter PHOTO: JANES.COM

US Department of Defence (DoD) announced on Wednesday that it has awarded Bell Helicopter a $581 million contract that includes the delivery of AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Pakistan.

The contract covers the manufacture and delivery of 15 Lot 12 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, 19 Lot 12 AH-1Zs, one Lot 13 UH-1Y, and 21 auxiliary fuel kits for the government of Pakistan. According to the DoD, these initial helicopters will be delivered by the end of August 2018.

Read: Chinese ‘Thunderbolt’ helicopters may replace American Cobras in Pakistan

Although Pakistan had requested the sale of 15 AH-1Z helicopters in April, it is not clear how many of the 15 helicopters have been signed for at this stage.

The notification by the US DoD stated that 10% ($57.9 million) of the overall contract value covered the sale to the government of Pakistan which suggests that this is an initial deal for the first two helicopters only, with contracts for the remaining 13 (plus spares and support) to follow.

The original US Defense Security Co-operation Agency notification of Pakistan’s request included 1,000 AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-surface missiles for “a precision-strike, enhanced-survivability aircraft that can operate at high altitudes. By acquiring the AH-1Z and Hellfire II capability, Pakistan will enhance its ability to conduct operations in North Waziristan Agency, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), and other remote and mountainous areas in all-weather, day and night environments”.

Read: Russia agrees to sell Pakistan four MI-35 attack helicopters

On August 19, Pakistan signed an agreement with Russia to purchase MI-35 ‘Hind’ attack helicopters. “An agreement was signed between Pakistan and Russian authorities in Rawalpindi for the purchase of four MI-35 helicopters,” said a senior military official.

The official, however, did not provide any further details about the deal, or shed any light on the configuration of the helicopters which Pakistan will receive. No timeline for delivery of the helicopters was revealed.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Syed Javaad Ali
    Aug 27, 2015 - 3:14PM

    In the 1965 India-Pakistan “war” the PAF was successfully able to inflict significant losses on the IAF although their Hawker Hunter and Gnat fighter jets were technically superior to our Korean War era F-86 Sabre jets. This was because the Pakistani pilots had flown their Sabres a lot more because at that time we could get spares and ammo for these aircraft a lot more easily from the US.

    Since then, America has become increasingly UNRELIABLE vis-a-vis back-up support and our pilots/children (In the Army, Navy, Air Force) are not able to fly their respective aircraft as much as they should to get really good at it.

    We love our pilots/children. Lets NOT increase the risks these brave young people take.

    I say lets forget about the Apaches and stick with the Chinese/Russian counterparts provided we get the back-up support for them to do the requisite intensive flying/training.

    With all my prayers and love for our heroes and their dear ones. AameenRecommend

  • Azi
    Aug 27, 2015 - 4:39PM

    Best way is to be self sufficient. Relying on others is always risky.Recommend

  • Usman
    Aug 27, 2015 - 5:18PM

    @Syed Javaad Ali: Although I agree with you completely on the unreliability of the US as a defense partner, Pak Army and Airforce have been using US technology very smartly. Where the bulk of our armour, planes and helicopters are of chinese and russian origin, we have the ‘tip of the spear’ US technologies which give our pilots, tank operators and field soldiers experience with cutting edge technology.
    This is experience is put back into R&D in AWC, POF Wah, HIT Taxilla and PAC Kamra. One of the reasons Pakistan managed to make a plane as good as the JF-17 (which would not have been possible without extensive experience on the F-16).
    In addition, most American technology will remain fully functional for anti-insurgency operations, so it makes sense to go for American items (cost justified) in this case.Recommend

  • Aug 27, 2015 - 7:01PM

    Look like the public will get more poor. I am not sure the American do not drop our arm request any more for what ever reason may be? We are in for a long haul. Its bit scary. I wont be surprise if we get the equal gratitude like Israel. Are we that important then their closest allies to the US? Recommend

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