The U.S. Defense Department said it will finish spending $155 million by the end of September on equipment to help Yemen’s army commandos fight al-Qaeda, more than double last year’s military aid to that country.

The Pentagon notified Congress it plans to pay for four Huey helicopters made by Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopter unit, upgrades to 10 Russian-made MI-17 helicopters already owned by Yemen, 50 AM General LLC Hummer vehicles, night-vision goggles and transport aircraft, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

The $155 million in military aid for this fiscal year is up from $67 million provided to Yemen in fiscal 2009. The biggest cost is $82.8 million for the Hueys and MI-17 improvements to let the Yemeni Air Force “transport small counter-terror units for day or nighttime operations at high altitude,” said the Pentagon spokesman, Navy Commander Robert Mehal. […]