A proposed $4.8 billion sale to Iraq of the latest Apache AH-64E helicopter may have fallen through because Baghdad failed to sign an offer made by the US government for 24 of the aircraft.

After the Pentagon sent a letter of notification to Congress in January, the US government made Baghdad a formal offer for the helicopters — along with spare parts and a comprehensive training program — but the Iraqis “never accepted it (and did not ask for an extension on the offer) and it expired in August,” US Army Security Assistance Command spokeswoman Kim Gillespie told Defense News in an email.

A State Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that while Foreign Military Sales cases like this normally have a timeline after which they expire, nothing has yet been formally canceled. The United States continues to work the deal with Baghdad along with more potential FMS cases that could be worth billions of dollars. If the pricing on the potential contract changes, however, the entire congressional notification process would have to start over. […]