Egypt to buy M1A1 Abrams ammo and AH-64E attack helicopters
The U.S. State Department announced the approval of a pair of arms sales to Egypt on November 27, 2018. The potential sales include a deal for tank rounds and another for attack helicopters.
Egyptian M1A1 Abrams (Picture source: Twitter MbKS15)
Egypt's government requested the purchase of 46,000 120mm target practice rounds -- M831A1 and M865 -- as well as 10,000 120mm Kinetic Energy-Tungsten A4 Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer rounds. Along with these are 4,500 120mm Insensitive Munitions High Explosive with Tracer tank rounds. The potential sale, which includes support and other services, is worth about $201 million.
Regarding the possible sale of tank rounds, the State Department noted, "The proposed sale will improve Egypt's capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure. Egypt will use the 120MM IM HE-T cartridges to maintain a strategic munitions inventory for its M1A1 tank fleet and in support of operations against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Sinai." The November tank round approval replaces a similar announcement from September on the approval of tank rounds for Egypt.
Furthermore, the State Department approved the potential sale of 10 AH-64E attack helicopters to Egypt, which will similarly assist "in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula that undermine regional stability." The helicopter approval comes with 24 1700-GE-701D engines, 12 Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sights/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, 24 Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning Systems with Inertial Navigation System, twenty four M299 Hellfire Launchers, one hundred thirty-five HELLFIRE Missiles, and 12 Common Missile Warning Systems. The press release on the sale's approval noted the helicopters will also come equipped with "M230 30mm Automatic Guns, AVR-2 B Laser Detecting Sets, AN/ARC 201E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems, AN/APR- 39D Radar Warning Receivers, AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Goggles, [and] AN/ASN Doppler Radar Systems." The estimated total value of the helicopter sale is $1.0 billion.
With the formal announcement of the sales' approval, the U.S. Congress will now have a review period to decide whether to block either of the potential deals.