Egypt receives ten Apaches


After delivery was suspended for many months, the Egyptian Air Force has finally received ten Boeing Apache attack helicopters from the United States.

On November 24 the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) released a photo showing the helicopters, covered in white protective plastic, after being delivered to an Egyptian port.

On April 22 this year Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby announced that the United States was lifting its suspension of military aid to Egypt, allowing deliveries to go ahead. However, US military aid was suspended a month later after an Egyptian court sentenced 682 people to death but in October then-US defence secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed Apache deliveries would proceed after all. The ten Apaches, built some time ago, were subsequently put on a ship and sent to Egypt.

Egyptian military aid was suspended in October 2013 after the military ousted elected president Moahmmed Mursi on July 3 that year.

Egypt was also due to receive four F-16C/D fighter jets, M1 Abrams main battle tank kits (for local assembly) and Harpoon Block II missiles but it appears that delivery of these items is still suspended. The United States normally sends $1.5 billion in mainly military aid to Egypt every year.

The Egyptian Air Force ordered 12 Apaches in 2009 to augment the 35 that have been in service since 2003 with the Egyptian Air Force’s 550 Attack Helicopter Regiment. The status of the remaining two Apaches is not clear.

As a result of the US suspension of military aid, Egypt has started looking elsewhere for military hardware, for example acquiring frigates from Europe. The North African country is planning to acquire missiles, artillery, small arms and aircraft from Russia.

In September Russia said it had reached a preliminary deal with Egypt for the sale of $3.5 billion of weapons. Egypt has apparently recently taken delivery of S-300 air defence missiles from Russia.