U.S. OKs $5 bln sale of Boeing helicopters to UAE

Mon Nov 8, 2010 1:06pm EST

* Deal includes 60 helicopters, radars, sensors

* Boeing, Lockheed to be prime contractors

* Pentagon also approved sale of Lockheed missile systems

WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department said on Monday it notified Congress last week about the possible sale of 60 Boeing Co (BA.N) AH-64D Apache helicopters to the United Arab Emirates, a deal valued at $5 billion.

"The UAE needs these helicopters to fulfill its strategic commitments for self defense, with coalition support, in the region," said the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales.

The agency said the UAE government had asked to buy 30 AH-64D Block II lot 10 Apache helicopters, remanufactured to AH-64D Block III configuration, 30 AH-64D Block III versions and a host of related equipment, including engines, radars and sensors.

It said the helicopters would expand the ability of the UAE military to do more advanced targeting and engagement, helping it to defend vital installations and provide close air support for military ground forces.

Prime contractors on the deal would be Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), DSCA said.

The agency also announced it notified lawmakers about a smaller deal valued at $140 million for the sale of 100 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) and 60 Low Cost Reduced-Range Practice Rockets (LCRRPR) to the UAE military, both built by Lockheed Martin.

U.S. lawmakers now have 30 days to reject the possible arms sale, although such deals are generally well vetted before they are publicly announced. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; editing by Andre Grenon)

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