Sale of copters to Pakistan approved

28 Sep 2008

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WASHINGTON, Sept 27: The US Defence Department has approved sales of an unspecified number of Cobra helicopters to Pakistan.

These are refurbished AH-1F Cobra helicopters with associated equipment.

The Pentagon said the refurbished helicopters would help Pakistan’s efforts to defeat Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in its tribal areas and to conduct other counterterrorism missions.

The offer is part of a package of $1.01 billion of weapons for four US allies — France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan.

The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees major arms sales, said it notified Congress about six separate deals in recent days.

The prime contractor will be US Helicopter in Ozark, Alabama.

Lawmakers have thirty days to block the sales, although such action is rare as arms deals with US partners are carefully vetted before the Pentagon announces them.