U.S. Plans to Sell Mexico 18 Black Hawks to Tackle Drug Trade

800px-US_Marine_Corps_UH-1N_Huey_helicopterThe Wall Street Journal, 4/21/14

The U.S. approved plans to sell Mexico as many as 18 Black Hawk helicopters in a $680 million deal aimed at bolstering efforts to combat drug trafficking.

The State Department approved the potential sale of 18 UH-60M Black Hawks made by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in an announcement that comes ahead of a planned visit to Mexico this week by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

In its efforts to tackle the drug trade, Mexico has acquired maritime patrol planes, smaller helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and surveillance equipment. Its military budget has tripled over the past decade to 100 billion Mexican pesos ($7.68 billion) last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a think tank.

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