Saudi Arabia could purchase up to nine Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk combat helicopters under a $495 million foreign military sale package approved by the US State Department this week.

The laundry list of items includes 21 General Electric T700 engines (18 installed and three spares) as well as 20 embedded GPS/INS navigation systems, 12 common missile warning systems and 20 7.62mm M240H machine guns.

The Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command will incorporate the additional armed utility helicopters into its current UH-60M fleet for “search-and-rescue, disaster relief, humanitarian support, counter-terrorism and combat operations," according to a 14 October US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notification.

The total package including support services is worth about $495 million, says DSCA, although the final deal has not been closed.

The H-60 programme is managed through the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, which this year awarded Sikorsky UH-60M contracts for Jordan (one helicopter, $11 million); Tunisia (eight, $93 million), Mexico (two, $23 million) and Slovakia (four, $46 million). The US Army’s last order was a $241 million contract option for 22 aircraft.