(Reuters) - The Obama administration formally notified the Congress on Friday of an unusual proposal to take three AH-1W "SuperCobra" attack helicopters from the U.S. Marine Corps inventory and sell them to Turkey.

The deal, valued at up to $111 million, would boost Turkey's self-defense as well as regional security and its ability to operate with U.S. forces and other NATO members, a Pentagon notice to lawmakers said.

Ankara has been seeking the helicopters to replace those lost in its long struggle against separatist rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

Turkey last week launched air and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, vowing to exact "great revenge" after 24 Turkish troops were killed on October 19 in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in years.

Under the administration's plan, the Marines would get two new, late-model Textron Inc Bell AH-1Z SuperCobras in exchange for the three, twin-engine AH-1W aircraft that would be transferred to Ankara, a congressional official told Reuters.


This is crazy on a few levels. First we're selling military choppers from our active fleet, and to help the Turks attack targets in Iraq. What is going on?