WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared a pair of potential foreign military sales, with a combined price tag that could be worth $2.8 billion for American defense contractors.
The first sale, reported on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, would refurbish 43 AH-64E helicopters, with an estimated price tag of $2.3 billion. The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, was ok’d to buy up to 4,569 excess Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles from American stocks.
DSCA notifications are not final sales; once cleared by Congress, the sales enter negotiations, during which quantities and costs can shift.
The Egypt package would involve 88 T700-GE-701D engines, 47 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors, 45 AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems, and 92 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, among other equipment. Work would primarily be done by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The announcement of the package comes the day after a new report by the Center for International Policy called for a re-look into whether military aid to Egypt is in the best interests of America. Egypt receives significant foreign military financing — dollars from the U.S. that must then be sent on U.S. built defense equipment — every year, sitting at around $1.3 billion since fiscal year 2014.
“Egypt intends to use these refurbished AH-64 helicopters to modernize its armed forces to address the shared U.S.-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula, which threaten Egyptian and Israeli security and undermine regional stability,” according to the DSCA.
The UAE package dates back to a 2014 request to buy excess defense articles, and would give the UAE the chance to buy up to 4,569 MRAPs no longer being used by the U.S. Army. The package would be a mix of MaxxPro made Long Wheel Base (LWB), MaxxPro Recovery Vehicle (MRV), MaxxPro LWB chassis, MaxxPro Dash, MaxxPro Bases Capsule, MaxxPro MEAP Capsules, MaxxPro Plus, Caiman Multi-Terrain Vehicles without armor, Caiman Base, Caiman Plus, Caiman Capsule, and MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles.
“The UAE intends to utilize the MRAP vehicles to increase force protection, to conduct humanitarian assistance operations, and to protect critical infrastructure. Additionally, these MRAPs will enhance the UAE's burden sharing capacity and defensive capabilities,” according to the DSCA announcement. “The UAE has been, and continues to be, a vital U.S. partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. This sale is consistent with U.S. initiatives to provide key allies in the region with modern systems that will enhance interoperability with U.S. forces and increase security.”
Before today’s announcements, the UAE has been cleared for 11 FMS cases, with estimated price tags totaling $10.7 billion, since the start of fiscal year 2017. In that same time frame, Egypt has been cleared for five cases, with an estimated total of $1.9 billion.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.