The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bahrain of equipment and services to refurbish Excess Defense Article (EDA) AH-1W multi-role attack helicopters. The estimated total cost is $350 million. The Government of Bahrain has requested to buy equipment and services to refurbish twenty-four (24) Excess Defense Article (EDA) AH-1W multi-role helicopters. Included are services to refurbish a full-motion Aircraft Procedures Trainer (APT), M272A1 missile launchers and spare T-700-GE-401 aircraft engines, spare parts, support, training, publications, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. The proposed sale will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future threats by improving its ability to fulfill maritime patrol, close air support, and search and rescue missions. Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) will have no difficulty absorbing these defense articles and services into its armed forces. The principal contractor will be Bell Corporation, Fort Worth, TX.
The Bell AH-1 SuperCobra is a twin-engined attack helicopter that was developed on behalf of, and primarily operated by, the United States Marine Corps (USMC). During the mid 1980s, the AH-1W variant entered service with the USMC. During the mid 1980s, the AH-1W variant entered service with the USMC. Between, 1986 to 1999, the service took delivery of 179 Super Cobras. In October 2020, the U.S. Marine Corps retired the last of its AH-1Ws after 34 years of service, having replacing the type with the Bell AH-1Z Viper. By the time of their retirement, the model had collectively accumulated 933,614 flight hours.
The Royal Bahraini Air Force currently operates 30 examples of the Cobra, in the E/F attack standards and P-model training configuration. The in-service assets are an average of 27 years old. Bell has already delivered a flight training device to legacy AH-1 Cobra operator Bahrain to support its introduction of the new model. In November 2018, Bahrain confirmed the order for 12 AH-1Zs The first Bahrain AH-1Zs made their in-country debut during the Bahrain Air Show and six have been delivered in country. The final six helicopters will be prepared for shipment to Bahrain with the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) before being transported to Bahrain in 2023.