US approves Egyptian AH-64E refurbishment package

The US State Department has approved the possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of a refurbishment package to Egypt that will upgrade its current fleet of 43 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters to AH-64E standard.

Approval of the potential deal – worth an estimated US$2.3bn – was announced in a media release from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on May 7, after it had notified the US Congress.

According to the DSCA, the deal includes equipment required for the refurbishment of 43 aircraft, upgrading them to the AH-64E Apache Guardian standard variant of the famed attack helicopter. The deal includes 86 remanufactured GE Aviation T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, along with two spares. It also features 47 Lockheed Martin-produced AN/ASQ-170 Modernised Target Acquisition and Designation Sights and AN/AAR-11 Modernised Pilot Night Vision Sensors (MTADS/PNVS) – 43 of which will be remanufactured, along with two new systems and two spares.

AH-64E Apache Guardian [Boeing] #1
An AH-64E Apache Guardian in flight. Boeing

Other systems include 43 new BAE Systems AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS), along with two spares, and 92 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) – 86 of which are new, with six spares. It will also come with AN/ARC-201E tactical radios, AGM-114 Hellfire missile launchers, 2.75in 19-tube rocket launchers and M230 automatic guns.

In the media release, the DSCA stated: “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. Egypt will have no difficulty sustaining these refurbished aircraft”, it added.

If the sale goes through, Egypt will join other nations in the region, including Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in operating the AH-64E. The platform has already been delivered to or is on order with India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US. Bangladesh and the Philippines have also expressed their interest in the type.