The U.S. State Department has recommended approving the sale of 24 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Aircraft and associated equipment, training, and support to Tunisia. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) published information on the sale notifying the U.S. Congress of the possible sale on May 3rd.
In a statement given to Tunisian news website Africanmanager on Wednesday, May 4, Ministry of Defense spokesman, Belhassen Oueslati, said eight of the helicopters are expected to be delivered to the Tunisian Air Force by early 2017.
The total estimated value of the equipment is USD 44.3 million, and does not include the Kiowas themselves which were approved separately, while the total overall estimated value is USD 100.8 million. Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of approximately ten U.S. Government and approximately fifteen contractor representatives to Tunisia for approximately five years to support the fielding, maintenance, and personal training.
According to the DSCA notice: Tunisia-OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Aircraft Equipment and Support
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of Tunisia which has been, and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the North African region. The United States is committed to the security of Tunisia, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Tunisia to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.
The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters along with the parts, systems, and support enumerated in this notification will improve Tunisia’s capability to conduct border security and combat operations against terrorists, including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya, and Ansar al-Sharia, Tunisia (AAS-T).
Tunisia has been approved to receive twenty-four (24) OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopters via the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program under a separate notification. That separate notification included only the OH-58D airframes, thus this transmittal includes all the major components and customer-unique requirements requested to supplement the EDA grant transfer.
These helicopters will further modernize the Tunisian armed forces and increase its interoperability with U.S. forces and other coalition partners. Tunisia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The Government of Tunisia has requested a possible sale of:
Major Defense Equipment (MDE):
- Twenty-five (25) Embedded GPS/Inertial (EGI) Navigation Systems (INS)
- Twenty-four (24) AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS)
- Ten (10) AGM-114R Hellfire Missiles
- Eighty-two (82) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Rounds
This request includes the following Non-MDE:
- To be installed on each of the twenty-four (24) EDA OH-58D aircraft: one (1) SHP Rolls-Royce 250-C30R/3 Engine, one (1) AN/ARC-164 UHF Radio, one (1) AN/ARC-186 VHF Radio, one (1) PC-DTS-V Data Recorder, two (2) AN/ARC-201D Radios, one (1) AN/APX-118 IFF Transponder, one (1) AN/APR-39A(V)1/4 Radar Signal Detecting Set, one (1) AN/AVR-2B Laser Warning Receiver, one (1) M134 DH Mini-Gun, one (1) M3P Aircraft Gun System, and two (2) M260 Rocket Launchers.
- This request also includes: fifty (50) AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), five-hundred thousand (500,000) 12.7mm rounds for the M3P Gun System, 2.3 million 7.62mm rounds for the M134DH Mini-Gun, the A965M1 Decoy Chaff Cartridges, M211 and M212 Advance Infrared Countermeasures Munition flares, eighty-two (82) MK66 MOD 4 2.75 rocket motors and eighty-two (82) M152 High Explosive (HE) warheads to support the APKWS, one (1) EGI for the Combined Armament Avionics Electrical Trainers, six (6) M279A1 Hellfire Launchers, associated test and support equipment, technical support, the Army’s Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aviation Program Manager’s Office (NSRWA PMO) technical support, Security Assistance Management Directorate’s (SAMD) program technical support, additional contractor support, Peculiar Ground Support Equipment (PGSE), Post Production Support Services (PPSS), Government Furnished Equipment (GFE), Retrofit Service Notice (RSN), Repair and Return (R&R), communication and navigation equipment, aircraft survivability equipment, displays, flyable storage, transportation of aircraft, publications, and training.