The State Department approved two arms deals with Egypt worth a combined $1.2 billion, a Pentagon agency announced Tuesday.
The first sale, worth an estimated $1 billion, is for 10 AH-64E Apache helicopters along with related equipment, according to a statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which manages foreign military sales.
Egypt intends to use the attack helicopters to expand its existing fleet “to address U.S.-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula that undermine regional stability.”
The statement added that the sale “will contribute to Egypt’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between Egypt, the U.S., and other allies.”
The second sale, worth $201 million, is for 60,500 rounds of tank ammunition and related equipment for its M1A1 tank fleet, to be used for both training and in combat, DSCA said in a separate statement.
The proposed sale “will improve Egypt’s capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure,” as well as “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important strategic partner in the Middle East.”
Of note, Egypt will use a portion of the munitions “in support of operations against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Sinai,” the desert peninsula between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea that borders Israel.
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Electric and Raytheon are all contractors on the Apache sale, while Raytheon is the primary contractor for the tank munitions sale.
DSCA notified lawmakers of both possible sales on Tuesday, setting off a 30-day clock for Congress to block the sale if it so chooses.