WASHINGTON–According to a report published on Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, the US State Department has approved Pakistan’s request to buy almost $1 billion in US-made arms.
The report says that the approved weaponry includes, attack helicopters, missiles and other equipment to be used for counter terrorism efforts in Pakistan.
It goes on to say that, US defense companies are engaged in a three-way tussle with Russia and China to sell weapons to Pakistan, complicated by the need to avoid upsetting neighbour India and its even larger arms’ import market.
Further details reveal that the Pentagon has stated Pakistan had requested 15 AH-1Z Viper helicopters made by the Bell arm of Textron Inc., as well as 1,000 Hellfire missiles produced by Lockheed Martin Corp. and a host of other communications and training equipment with a total value of $952 million.
The Pentagon has sent a notification to Congress – which needs to approve any sale.
Furthermore, any deal would be structured as a foreign military sale between the two governments.
The WSJ report also says: “This proposed sale of helicopters and weapon systems will provide Pakistan with military capabilities in support of its counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in South Asia,” said the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees US military exports.