The United States has approved a possible sale of 23 Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Egypt in a deal that could be worth up to $2.6 billion.
The US State Department on 26 May said it had approved the possible Foreign Military Sale and notified Congress of the potential deal.
Egypt has requested to buy 23 CH-47F Chinook helicopters along with 56 T-55-GA-714A engines (46 installed, 10 spares); 52 Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) (EGI); 29 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems; and 75 M-240 machine guns.
Also included in the request are AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receivers; AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets; Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) (including 25.4mm decoy cartridges, impulse cartridges for cable cutters and aircraft cartridges); AN/ARN-153 Tactical Airborne Navigation System (TACAN) radios; AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Devices; and 7.62mm ammunition.
“The proposed sale will improve Egypt’s heavy lift capability. Egypt will use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defence and deter regional threats,” the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.
Egypt received an initial 15 CH-47C Chinooks in the early 1980s followed by four CH-47Ds in 1998/1999. Most of the C models are believed to have been upgraded to C standard in 2002. In 2009 Egypt requested the purchase of six CH-47D Chinooks, but it seems this never went any further.
Egyptian Chinooks are operated by 18 Squadron, part of 546 Air Wing and 33 Squadron/Chinook OCU and are based at Kom Awshim air base. The new CH-47Fs will most probably also be based at Kom Awshim with a new unit.
Compared to the CH-47D, the CH-47F Chinook is easier to maintain and has an improved cockpit with a digital automatic flight control system.