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GD-OTS receives $3.1 m contract for Pakistan AH-1Z program

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a $9.06 m U.S. contract to General Dynamics-OTS Inc. (GD-OTS) to supply 41 A/A49E-7(v4) gun turrets for U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and Pakistan Army AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. The Pakistani portion constitutes 34% of the contract at $3.1 million.

The Pakistan Army chose to fit the GD-OTS A/A49E-7(v4) turrets of its AH-1Z with the M197 20mm cannon.

In 2015, the U.S. State Department had approved a $952 million sale of 15 AH-1Z and 1,000 AGM-114R Hellfire-II air-to-ground missiles to Pakistan. The DoD issued a contract to Bell Helicopter in August 2015 for the first three aircraft, this was followed by a follow-up order for an additional nine in April 2016.

In June, Bell Helicopter’s vice president of international military sales, Rich Harris, announced that the first three of Pakistan’s AH-1Zs were undergoing final assembly in Amarillo, Texas. In August, photos emerged of the first Pakistan Army AH-1Z. Harris stated that the first batch was due for delivery to Pakistan in 2017.

The U.S. Department of Navy also recently awarded Textron Systems a $2.5 million contract to supply five Advanced Boresight Equipment (ABE) Model-310A systems for Pakistan’s AH-1Z program. Textron describes the ABE Model-310A as a “universal computerized measurement system capable of aligning armament, navigation, electro-optic sight sensors and missile warning systems on a variety of platforms.”

The AH-1Z is a twin-engine attack helicopter with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 8.4 tons. It uses two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines, each with a shaft-horsepower of 1,800. The Viper has a payload capacity of up to 16 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).

Pakistan’s AH-1Zs will come similarly equipped as their USMC counterparts.

Pakistan ordered Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display (HMD) systems, Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-30 electro-optical and infrared turrets, BAE AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers, Northrop AN/APR-39C(v2) radar-warning receivers (RWR) and Orbital ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning receivers.

The AH-1Z program is also Pakistan’s largest deal with Textron, which owns Bell Helicopter. Since 2001, Pakistan has procured from Textron’s various subsidiaries, including Cessna (Cess 208 and T206H), Bell Helicopter (AH-1Z and Bell 412EP) and Beechcraft (King Air 350ER).

It is unclear if Pakistan will order the remaining three AH-1Z from the approved contract. It would make sense to do so considering it is already spending in raising the requisite support infrastructure. The AH-1Z will join the Mi-35M and, prospectively, the T129 in modernizing the Army’s attack helicopter fleet.

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  • by j James
    Posted December 11, 2017 12:23 am 0Likes

    Wow. Great way to offload American tech to China. As if the UBL raid didn’t reap them a windfall. Oh yeah, MQ reaper in Iran…sheesh, I could keep going. Easy to see why transfer of advanced technology is so easy and yet we, the US populace, act surprised every time.

  • by Jack More
    Posted December 11, 2017 2:26 am 0Likes

    So true.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted December 11, 2017 2:56 am 0Likes

    Apparently the ruskies and chinks have become self sufficient in hacking into sub standard american firewalls to hijack US elections or get away with F-35 designs, so this statement of yours seems like the next big thing to nonsensical whining. Also, if an average joe like yourself “understands” this will result in technology violation, what’s stopping the Einsteins sitting in pentagon from stopping this transfer? If Pakistan’s economy and participation in US WoT is any sign, it’s US that is juicing out Pakistan, not the other way around. Not like you’ve a gun to your heads to approve this deal. I’ll tell you what, If US could afford to say no, it would. It just can’t.

    In other words, stop whining.

  • by SP
    Posted December 11, 2017 4:16 am 0Likes

    Its actually the other way around.The US through industrial espionage steals technology from Russian and Chinese besides other countries. The US technical capabilities are built on printing dollars out of thin air and selling it to the world and getting free commodities from the world like oil.

  • by sami shahid
    Posted December 11, 2017 6:21 am 0Likes

    China has already developed a substitute of AH-1z. It’s name is WZ-10

  • by sami shahid
    Posted December 11, 2017 6:23 am 0Likes

    AH-1z viper should be deployed for quick reaction whenever Afghans or terrorists in Afghanistan launch assaults on our frontline check posts.

  • by TZK
    Posted December 11, 2017 10:38 am 0Likes

    You are correct to be concerned about loss of technology to other nations. USA does not export high end technology to Pak anyway and the examples that you gave were ‘accidents’ if I can call them that. Most US technology that Israel acquires either through USA or develops finds its way to India. Many US companies employee Chinese and Indians and IT businesses heavily rely on foreign especially Indian expertise. So in reply to your post I think in this interconnected global village it will get harder to retain and maintain a technological edge for long. As posts below have eluded to Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities do suggest that they have capability to ‘tap’ into anywhere they desired.

  • by j James
    Posted December 11, 2017 2:28 pm 0Likes

    ‘accidents.’ Well said with that one word alone, but overall, yes, my sentiments exactly.

  • by TZK
    Posted December 11, 2017 3:06 pm 0Likes

    I am surprised the MOD’s allowed you to post this with reference to Chinese and Russians.

  • by Abdul Rashid
    Posted December 11, 2017 3:19 pm 0Likes


  • by TZK
    Posted December 11, 2017 3:33 pm 0Likes

    If US had not mounted a raid on Pak and chose to send a drone into Iranian airspace then they would not have lost either the helicopter or the drone. Part of the calculated risks taken during planning. I do not for a minute believe that these were deliberate actions on the part of the US military to transfer technology to China? I suppose in a round about way you could also argue that the downing of the F117 was for this purpose too!

  • by j James
    Posted December 11, 2017 6:39 pm 0Likes

    The f117 in Yugoslavia was downed by a surface to air shoulder launched missile. The Chinese went and were seen around the wreckage, gathering what they could. When the Chinese brought the information and scrap back to their embassy, the IS bombed the embassy.

  • by TZK
    Posted December 12, 2017 7:19 am 0Likes

    Just to set the record straight (according to Wiki). F117 brought down 27/3/99, Embassy bombed on 7/5/99 in a CIA operation by B2’s. Missile was reported to be Isayev S-125 “Neva” missile system (NATO reporting name, SA-3 “Goa”) which is a SAM battery. Several missiles were fired at the F117. The same SAM system also shot down an F16 on 2/5/99.

  • by TanhayeekiZubani
    Posted December 13, 2017 1:58 am 0Likes

    everybody steals from everybody else given a chance esp. technology. sometimes, for ensuring technological sovereignty and avoiding future blackmail on hardware transfers, it is better to go indigenous even if it means acquiring stuff via espionage.

  • by ahmria
    Posted December 13, 2017 1:15 pm 0Likes

    I don’t think these AH-1Z will be used for COIN missions as they will be better used as frontline gunships for the army and there are other cheaper options and assets for such missions.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted December 14, 2017 6:51 am 0Likes

    Could be. But some part is financed by the US if i’m not wrong. In any case, the sale serves to support US policy goals and national interests in the region (in other words, when such interests cease completely, no such sales will be made to Pakistan) and for most part these assets will be used on western border. Pakistan has committed to T129 apparently for its conventional threats.

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