Tunisia may have received its first Kiowa Warrior and Black Hawk helicopters from the United States.
A photo posted on the forcesdz.com forum on 20 August shows a Kiowa Warrior in Tunisian markings, apparently at an airfield in Tunisia. A Black Hawk can be seen behind it.
Tunisia is due to receive 24 Kiowa Warriors from the United States, and 12 Black Hawk transport helicopters.
In May this year the United States government approved a possible sale of 24 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, weapons and equipment to Tunisia in a deal worth $100 million.
A wide variety of equipment and weapons would be installed on the OH-58D helicopters that are classified as excess defence articles. Major defence equipment listed by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) included 25 Embedded GPS/Inertial (EGI) Navigation Systems (INS); 24 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); 10 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, and 82 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rounds. This equipment is worth $44.3 million.
Other items that would be installed on the helicopters include one AN/APR-39A(V)1/4 Radar Signal Detecting Set, one AN/AVR-2B Laser Warning Receiver, one M134 DH mini-gun, one M3P Aircraft Gun System, and two 260 rocket launchers.
The Tunisian request also includes 50 AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), 500 000 12.7 mm rounds for the M3P gun system, 2.3 million 7.62 mm rounds for the M134DH mini-gun, one EGI for the Combined Armament Avionics Electrical Trainers and six M279A1 Hellfire Launchers.
The total overall estimated value of all equipment, training and support is $100.8 million.
The DSCA said Tunisia has been approved to receive 24 OH-58D Kiowa Warriors via the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programme 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.”
The 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters Tunisia is set to receive from Sikorsky will have been delivered by 2019. They are the most advanced model of the UH-60/S-70 series, and can be armed with rockets and missiles. The eight helicopters Tunisia will get will be in a green (unmodified) configuration but Tunisia has requested Battlehawk kits to effectively turn the aircraft into attack helicopters. As part of the deal Tunisia will get 24 7.62 mm M134 Miniguns, 24 12.7 mm (.50 inch) GAU-19 Gatling guns, 20 M299 Hellfire missile pods and 24 70 mm Hydra rocket pods with 9 100 Hydra rockets and 100 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles.
Other equipment will include 15 Wescam MX-15Di or Brite Star II electro-optical/infrared designators and 30 AN/AVS-9 night-vision goggles. The countermeasures suite is to comprise AN/APR-39A(V)4 radar warning receivers, AN/AAR-57 missile warning systems, and AN/AVR-2B(V)1 laser warning systems.