Egypt seeking to upgrade Apache helicopters in $2.3 billion deal


Egypt is looking to upgrade and refurbish 43 of its AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to AH-64E standard under a deal that could be worth $2.3 billion.

The US State Department approved the possible foreign military sale on 7 May and notified Congress the same day.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Egypt has requested a wide array of hardware for the refurbishment, including 88 T700-GE-701D engines; 47 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (MTADS/PNVS); 45 AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) and 92 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems.

Also included are AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets, AN/APX-119 IFF transponders, AN/APN-209 radar altimeters, AN/ARN-149 Automatic Direction Finders, radios, APR-39 Radar Warning Sets, Enhanced Image Intensifiers, Hellfire launchers, 2.75 inch 19 tube rocket launchers, M230 automatic guns, M230 spare gun barrels, spares and other equipment.

“Egypt intends to use these refurbished AH-64 helicopters to modernize its armed forces to address the shared US-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula, which threaten Egyptian and Israeli security and undermine regional stability. This sale will contribute to Egypt’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between Egypt, the US, and other allies. Egypt will have no difficulty sustaining these refurbished aircraft,” the State Department said.

The principal contractors would be Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Egypt is a big user of the Apache, with 46 AH-64Ds in service. Its attack helicopter force also includes 46 Kamov Ka-52s received from Russia and it recently emerged that Egypt is operating a small number of Mi-24 attack helicopters. These add to its fleet of roughly 60 surviving Gazelle helicopters armed with HOT anti-tank missiles. Egypt has been keen to diversify its procurement sources since the 2013-2014 temporary freeze in weapons deliveries from the United States following a military coup.

In November 2018 Egypt requested the sale of ten AH-64E Apaches for an estimated $1 billion, but it appears this sale never went ahead. The following year, a US Senator called for the sale to be halted until Egypt paid the medical bills of an American wounded in a 2015 attack in which Egyptian Apaches mistakenly killed 12 tourists in the desert after they were mistaken for militants.