Bahrain to receive 24 surplus attack helicopters from US for $350 million
Agencies | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain is set to acquire 24 surplus Bell AH1W SuperCobra attack helicopters for an estimated $350 million, reports said citing the US Department of State.
The former US Marine Corps platforms, along with spares, training, and other services, will be purchased by Bahrain to improve its ability to fulfil maritime patrol, close air support, and search-and-rescue missions.
The sale is subject to approval by the US Congress, and if approved, The package also includes the delivery of spare T-700-GE-401 aircraft engines, M272A1 missile launchers, other spare parts, support, training, publications, and related logistics and programme support.
“The proposed sale will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future threats by improving its ability to fulfil maritime patrol, close air support, and search-and-rescue missions,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its notification.
The helicopters, which were retired by the USMC in 2020, were first to be equipped with a new ‘glass’ cockpit ahead of transfer to their new customer(s).
Having entered service with the USMC in 1986, the AH-1W is a highly capable variant of the Vietnam War-era AH-1 Cobra that is still in global service with Bahrain (it also operates the AH-1E/F and the latest AH1Z models), as well as Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.