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US Navy Orders 9 Bell Combat Helicopters for Pakistan

© AP Photo / Kevin FrayerA Cobra attack helicopter fires diversionary flares.
A Cobra attack helicopter fires diversionary flares. - Sputnik International
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Bell Helicopter has won a US Navy contract to manufacture nine AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters for Pakistan.

Philippine National Defense Chief Voltaire Gazmin pours champagne on a Bell-412EP helicopter. - Sputnik International
US Approves $80Mln Sale of Bell Helicopters to Argentina
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Bell Helicopter has won a US Navy contract to manufacture nine AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters for Pakistan under the foreign military sales program, the US Department of Defense announced.

"Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $170.1 million… contract for the manufacture and delivery of nine AH-1Z aircraft… for the government of Pakistan," the announcement stated on Monday.

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the previous AH-1W SuperCobra model that was developed for the United States Marine Corps. The Viper has a top speed of 255 miles per hour (420 km/h) and a range of 426 miles (610 km).

In April 2015, the US Department of State approved the possible sale to Pakistan for 15 AH-1Z Vipers with Hellfire missiles and support worth up to $952 million.

Bell is also interested in selling the AH-1Z to Poland and the Czech Republic to replace their old Soviet-built Mi-24 helicopters.

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