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US government clears MH-60R sale to Saudi Arabia

The US State Department has approved a requested sale of 10 Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine helicopters to the Saudi Arabian government.

The approval announced on 20 May by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency means that a foreign military sale (FMS) over the potentially $1.9 billion deal, including spares and logistical support, can move forward.

The Royal Saudi Navy currently operates a fleet of AS-332 Super Puma helicopters in the anti-submarine warfare role.

The MH-60R package approved for sale to Saudi Arabia includes 14 Telephonics APS-153(V) systems, a multi-mode radar with automatic radar periscope detection and discrimination capability.

GE Aviation also would supply 24 T700-401C turboshaft engines, which includes four spares.

Saudi officials also have requested hundreds of weapons in the package, including 38 Lockheed Martin AGM-114R Hellfire missiles and 380 BAE Systems advanced precision kill weapon system rockets.

If consummated, the deal would add a 13th global customer for the MH-60R multi-mission helicopter. Sikorsky builds and delivers the helicopters to Lockheed, which integrates the mission systems and weapons.

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