The government of Saudi Arabia is moving forward with plans to buy AH-6i helicopter gunships made by Boeing Co.
The Chicago-based aerospace company last week received a two-year, $245 million contract from the U.S. Army to buy parts and other so-called long lead items for 24 of the helicopters for the Saudis, according to the Aug. 29 announcement.
The chopper is the export version of the AH-6S that Boeing originally developed for the service's Armed Aerial Scout program, which was designed to replace the OH-58 Kiowa and canceled last year due to automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. The AH-6S is based in part on the MH-6 Little Bird.
The kingdom in 2010 requested as many as three dozen of the AH-6is as part of a larger $26 billion foreign military sale that also included 36 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, 72 UH-60M Black Hawk utility choppers and other military weapons and equipment, according to a 2010 notice to Congress from the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
In such a sale, the U.S. buys weapons or equipment on behalf of a foreign government. Countries approved to participate in the program may obtain military hardware or services by using their own funding or money provided through U.S.-sponsored assistance programs, according to the agency.
The helicopter agreement was among 102 contracts potentially worth $11 billion the Pentagon disclosed in the week ending Aug. 29, according to a Military.com analysis of the daily announcements.
The three biggest defense deals were so-called multiple-award contracts, mostly for services. Under these kinds of arrangements, companies win seats on the contract, then compete against each other for individual orders.
A multi-billion-dollar contract to install new fire alarms, security systems and other utility monitoring devices at Army posts topped the weekly list of defense contracts.
The Army awarded a potentially five-year, $2.5 billion deal to three closely held firms -- Johnson Controls BAS LLC, Evergreen Fire Alarms LLC and exp U.S. Services Inc. -- for "utility monitoring and control" systems, according to the Aug. 25 announcement.
The winning companies edged out almost a dozen other unnamed competitors for the work, which is expected to be completed in 2019, the description states. Other contracts may be awarded under the solicitation, with funding and work locations determined by each order, it states.
A group of five companies, including FedEx Corp. and UPS, won a potentially three-year $1.8 billion award from U.S. Transportation Command to deliver packages in the U.S. and abroad, according to the Aug. 28 announcement.
"The scope of work requires the contractor to provide time-definite, door-to-door pick-up and delivery, transportation, timely and accurate in-transit visibility, third-party payment system participation and customs clearance processing," the description states.
Perhaps those kinds of requirements could be added to another Transcom contract to better track troops' cars as they transit from overseas to stateside posts.
A group of nine companies, including the Danish shipping giant AP Moeller - Maersk A/S, landed a potentially one-year, $1.5 billion agreement from Transcom to ship equipment and other gear to and from the war zone and other locations, according to the Aug. 28 announcement.