On 4 January 4, Lockheed Martin stated on its Twitter account that it had signed a contract to modernize the sensor systems of the Egyptian Air Force’s Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters.
The signed contract is considered the first step in the planned modernization of 43 Egyptian AH-64D/E Apache attack helicopters. The modernization deal was agreed in May 2020 as the US State Department approved a major refurbishment package estimated at $2.3 billion.
The integration and production of spare parts for the III Generation Target Acquisition Identification Vision/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (Gen III TADS/PNVS) and the III Generation Day Sensor Assembly (Gen III DSA) are included in the $102 million contract to upgrade 25 Egyptian Air Force AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters to the AH-64E Apache Guardian standard, according to Lockheed Martin. The company stated that the contract’s tasks will be done by July 2024 and will be carried out at the Boeing Apache Helicopter Factory in Mesa, Arizona.
“Lockheed Martin is committed to a strong and sustained partnership with our customers in the United States and around the world,” said Tom Eldredge, Director of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control Rotary Wing Sensors program. “This contract enables us to respond rapidly to Egypt’s emerging defense needs, including requirements for new sensor systems and upgrades.”
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement in May 2020, “Egypt intends to use these refurbished AH-64 helicopters to modernize 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.”
The Apache AH64-E helicopter is the Apache AH-64 series’ most recent modernization and variant. The Apache AH64-E helicopter entered service in 2011 and was cleared for worldwide sales. It has a length of 14.68 meters, a Main Rotor diameter of 14.63 meters, and a height of 4.72 meters, and is operated by a two-person crew. It weighs about 6.5 tons when empty and may weigh up to 10.5 tons when fully loaded. It is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701D turbo shaft engines. It has a top speed of around 302 kilometers per hour and it can fly 492 kilometers without needing to refuel.
The AH-64E can carry up to 16 Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles, 76 Hydra 70 Rockets or 76 APKWS’, 1,200 30mm chain gun rounds, and two Air-to-Air Missiles (Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral, Sidearm).
The AH-64 Apache helicopter is used by 14 countries. Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom are among the international customers.