Egypt upgrading sensors on Apache helicopters


Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $102 million contract to upgrade the sensors on 25 Egyptian Air Force AH-64D Apache attack helicopters as part of a fleet upgrade from AH-64D to AH-64E standard.

Lockheed Martin Corporation Missiles and Fire Control was awarded the contract on 28 December and is due to complete work at the end of July 2024, according to the contract facilitated by the US Army.

The modernisation effort includes Lockheed Martin’s AN/ASQ-170 Gen III Target Acquisition Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Pilot Night Vision Sensor (Gen III TADS/PNVS) and the Gen III Day Sensor Assembly (Gen III DSA).

The Gen III TADS/PNVS provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night and adverse weather missions. The Gen III DSA increases Gen III TADS/PNVS designation and ranging capabilities to fully accommodate current weapons and those planned for the future.

The upgraded sensor enables Apache pilots to see high-resolution, high-definition, near-infrared and colour imagery on cockpit displays. The Gen III DSA also provides a new laser pointer marker that improves coordination with ground troops, and an updated multi-mode laser with eye-safe range designation that supports flight in urban environments and critical training exercises.

Upgrade work will be performed at the Boeing Apache Helicopter Plant in Mesa, Arizona. The Lockheed Martin contract is part of a remanufacturing effort to upgrade Egyptian D model Apaches to E model standard.

In May 2020, the US State Department approved the remanufacture of 43 Egyptian AH-64D helicopters for an estimated $2.3 billion.

“Egypt intends to use these refurbished AH-64 helicopters to modernise 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,” the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in May 2020.

Egypt had 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.

The principal contractors for the upgrade are Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Egypt is a big user of the Apache, with 46 AH-64Ds in service. Some of these were delivered as A models and later upgraded to D standard.