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Egypt launches Apache upgrade

Two Egyptian Air Force AH-64D Apache attack helicopters are seen in a photograph released by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense in February 2018. The country is to upgrade its fleet of 43 such helicopters to the latest AH-64E standard. (Egyptian Ministry of Defense)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Lockheed Martin to upgrade the sensors of Egypt's Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters as the first step in a planned modernisation of the fleet to the latest AH-64E Apache Guardian standard.

Awarded on 28 December the USD102.4 million deal covers the production and delivery of hardware components and spares of the AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight (MTADS)/ AN/AAR-11 Pilot Night Vision Sensor (PNVS) system .

The MTADS/PNVS extends the Apache's optical targeting ranges, at the same time as providing the crew with high-resolution images to help avoid obstacles, such as wires and trees, during nap-of-the-earth flight.

News of the award, which is set to run till 31 July 2024, came about 19 months after the US State Department approved the remanufacture of 43 Egyptian AH-64D helicopters for an estimated USD2.3 billion.

“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,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in May 2020.

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