- The Washington Times
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Obama administration has approved the sale of 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Mexico in efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Monday.

If approved by Congress, the sale will be worth an estimated $680 million, and will include “associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.”

Lawmakers have until May 17 to express objections or else the sale will be final.

The principal contractors will be Sikorsky Aircraft Company in Stratford, Conn., and General Electric Aircraft Company in Lynn, Mass., according to the statement.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner,” the security agency said. “Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations. The sale of these UH-60M helicopters to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces engaged in counter-drug operations.

“Mexico intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing army architecture in its efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations,” the agency said. “The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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