Officials said the Longbow would be the first of several U.S. military
sales to Egypt in 2009. They said Egypt has also requested 24 F-16 Block 52+
multi-role fighters from Lockheed Martin.
Government sources said the administration has held up Israel's request for additional AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters.
The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
On May 22, DSCA, part of the Defense Department, notified Congress that
Egypt sought 12 Block 2 Longbow helicopters. Block 2 has included upgrades
to the digital communications systems to enhance interoperability with air
and ground assets.
Officials said the twin-engine helicopters would not contain the Longbow
fire control radar, produced by Northrop Grumman. They said Egypt, which has
already upgraded 35 AH-64A to D configuration, has long sought the Longbow
millimeter-wave radar, meant to identify and track 256 targets
simultaneously. Israel, Egypt's neighbor and rival, has received the Longbow
fire control radar.
The Egyptian request would include 27 T700-GE-701D engines, 36
Modernized Targeting Acquisition and Designation Systems/pilot night vision
sensors, 28 M299 Hellfire Longbow missile launchers, 14 AN/ALQ-144[V]3
infrared jammers, and 14 AN/APR-39B[V]2 radar signal detecting sets. The
helicopters would also be equipped with composite horizontal stabilizers,
integrated helmet and display sight systems and spare parts.
"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national
security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a
friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for
political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," DSCA said.
"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic
military balance in the region."
The prime contractor of the proposed sale was identified as Boeing,
based in Mesa, Arizona. General Electric and Lockheed Martin Missiles and
Fire Control would also participate in the project, expected to be financed
from the annual $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt.
"There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this
potential sale," the agency said.