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The announcement on Friday marked the start of the process for a final contract. If Congress approves the deal, there will be negotiations on the details of the contract, including the final number of helicopters, the price and other details.
According to the U.S. government website DSCA.mil, “The Government of Israel has requested to buy up to eighteen (18) CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopters; up to sixty (60) T408-GE-400 Engines (54 installed, six spares); up to thirty-six (36) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM). Also included is communication equipment; GAU-21 .50 calibre Machine Guns; Mission Planning System; facilities study, design and construction; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; publications and technical documentation; aircrew and maintenance training; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $3.4 billion.”
The page also said that the United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defence capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.
Israeli Air Force (IAF) will use the helicopters to transport armoured vehicles, personnel, and equipment to support distributed operations.