The United States has given its approval for Poland to potentially purchase $12 billion worth of Apache attack helicopters in an effort to strengthen its defense capabilities and deter aggression from Russia. The State Department announced on Tuesday that it had approved Poland’s potential purchase of 96 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment.
The proposed arms sale includes not only the helicopters themselves, but also equipment such as radars, spare engines, night vision sensors, and various types of ammunition. This includes 1,844 Hellfire missiles, 508 Stinger missiles, 460 Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles, and 7,650 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems.
While Congress technically has the ability to block the arms package, it is unlikely to do so considering Poland’s status as a key NATO ally. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) stated that the proposed arms sale “will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally.”
The DSCA also emphasized that the sale “will not alter the basic military balance in the region” and that there “will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.”
Poland is expected to become the fifth NATO member to operate the Apache helicopters, joining the United States, United Kingdom, Greece, and the Netherlands. Other countries that operate the Apache include Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, as well as Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
The main contractor for this arms sale is Boeing’s defense division, which manufactures Apache helicopters at a facility in Mesa, Arizona. Lockheed Martin will also serve as a principal contractor as it produces equipment for the Apache, such as sensors, targeting systems, and weaponry like Hellfire missiles and Joint Air to Ground Missiles.
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