Egypt getting Chaparral air defence system modifications

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Egypt will be upgrading its Chaparral air defence systems under a $17 million contract with the United States’ ProjectXYZ.

On 26 July the US Department of State announced that Alabama-based ProjectXYZ was awarded a $17 227 000 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract to develop and deliver M48A3 Chaparral Fire Unit system modifications.

Work will be performed in Cairo, Egypt, with an estimated completion date of 30 December 2020. It is not clear what modifications will be made to the systems. ProjectXYZ said it will provide the Chaparral equipment, tools, materials and test equipment along with personnel to perform system integration and checkout; technical support, training, program management, and documentation support.

“ProjectXYZ is excited to be selected for this important work,” stated CEO Kim Lewis. “We are looking forward to supporting SAMD’s [Security Assistance Management Directorate’s] critical mission which focuses on assisting our partner nations in the life cycle management of aviation and missile systems; strengthening US global partnerships and building partner capacity.”

Egypt is believed to have acquired 50 Chaparrals in the 1980s and, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Excess Defense Articles database, received 550 surplus missiles between 2008 and 2014.

The MIM-72A/M48 Chaparral is a self-propelled surface-to-air missile system using AIM-9 Sidewinder-based MIM-72 missiles fitted to M113 tracked armoured vehicles. The missiles have a range of 55 to 9 000 metres and height of 25 to 4 000 metres. It entered service with the US Army and Marine Corps in 1969 before being phased out in the 1990s. The Chaparral was exported to half a dozen countries.

Egypt has been upgrading its air defences of late, and in mid-2017 began receiving S-300VM/Antey-2500 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. News of the Egyptian contract emerged in 2015, when it was reported that Egypt had ordered the S-300VM/Antey-2500 under a roughly $1 billion contract.



The S-300VM uses two different missiles (9M82 and smaller 9M83) to shoot down targets ranging from cruise missiles and aircraft to ballistic missiles. It can engage four targets out to 200 km and altitudes of up to 25 000 metres. The S-300VM is the export version of the S-300 system. Egypt also ordered Tor-2ME surface-to-air missiles from Russia.