The U.S. State Department has given the go ahead for Egypt to buy 10 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters through a foreign military sales deal worth up to $1 billion.

Egypt is bolstering its attack helicopter fleet to fight terrorists on the Sinai Peninsula, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

AH-64E Apache Guardian Photo: U.S. Army
AH-64E Apache Guardian
Photo: U.S. Army

“Egypt intends to expand its existing fleet of multi-mission heavy attack helicopters to address U.S.-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula that undermine regional stability,” DSCA said in a statement. “This sale will contribute to Egypt’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between Egypt, the U.S., and other allies.”

Included in the FMS request are the 10 Boeing [BA]-made AH-64E gunships, 24 T700-GE-701D engines, a dozen modernized target acquisition designation sights/pilot night vision sensors (M-TADS/PNVS), 24 Honeywell [HON] embedded GPS with inertial navigation system.

A concluded deal could also come with 24 M299 Hellfire missile launchers, 135 Hellfire Missiles, five M36E9 captive air training missiles (CATM) AGM-114R, and 12 AAR-57 common missile warning systems. Also included are M230 30mm automatic guns, AVR-2 B laser detecting sets, AN/ARC 201E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS), AN/APR- 39D radar warning receivers, AN/AVS-6 night vision goggles and AN/ASN Doppler Radar Systems.

Egypt is also approved to purchase avionics-related software support for the aviation mission planning systems (AMPS), survivability equipment, communication and electronic equipment, communication/electronics technical assistance, tools and test equipment, integration and checkout, spares and repair parts, training and training equipment, ferry and fuel support, publications and technical documents, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, quality assurance, construction services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

At least 25 U.S. government or contractor representatives will have to travel to Egypt for a period of 12 weeks for equipment checkout and training, DSCA said.

The State Department also greenlit a separate deal for Egypt to buy $200 million worth of large-caliber live and practice tank rounds for its M1A1 Abrams fleet. That possible FMS deal is for 46,000 M831A1 120mm target practice rounds, and 10,000 armor piercing rounds rounds for an estimated cost of $201 million. Also included are 4,500 120MM Insensitive Munitions High Explosive with Tracer (IM HE-T) tank rounds, field implementation, testing inspections, spares and repair parts, support and test equipment.

Egypt will use the 120MM IM HE-T cartridges to maintain a strategic munitions inventory for its M1A1 tank fleet and in support of operations against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Sinai, according to DSCA.  They will use the target practice rounds to train M1A1 crews in proper crew procedures in a training environment using munitions that cost a fraction of tactical rounds and have nearly zero explosive or penetrating capability.

Announced at the same time, but unrelated to the Egypt deal, Qatar was cleared to purchase $215 million in advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) through a direct commercial sale of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System. 

“This proposed sale improves Qatar’s defense capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense,” DSCA said in a statement. “The NASAMS capability would provide a full range of protection from imminent hostile cruise missile, unmanned aerial vehicle, rotary wing, and fixed wing threats.”