Lockheed Martin continues with Egypt Apache upgrade

Egypt Apache AH-64D helicopter

Egypt is a major user of the Apache attack helicopter, with 46 AH-64Ds in service

Lockheed Martin was awarded a subsequent contract to upgrade Egyptian Air Force AH-64D Apache attack helicopter sensors from AH-64D to AH-64E standards.

On 24 June, the US Department of Defence announced that Lockheed Martin was awarded a $22.1 million contract modification order “to procure modernized day sensor assembly kits and spares for Apache helicopters” for Egypt.

This new contract is part of a remanufacturing effort to upgrade the Egyptian D model Apaches to E model standards. It follows a $102 million contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in December 2021 to upgrade the sensors on 25 Egyptian Air Force Apaches.

Lockheed Martin will complete the work by 30 November 2024, says the announcement.

The AH-64D modernisation package includes Lockheed Martin’s AN/ASQ-170 Gen III Target Acquisition Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Pilot Night Vision Sensor (Gen III TADS/PNVS) and the Gen III Day Sensor Assembly (Gen III DSA).

The Gen III TADS/PNVS provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night and adverse weather missions. The Gen III DSA increases Gen III TADS/PNVS designation and ranging capabilities to fully accommodate current weapons and those planned for the future.

The upgraded sensor enables Apache pilots to see high-resolution, high-definition, near-infrared and colour imagery on cockpit displays. The Gen III DSA also provides a new laser pointer marker that improves coordination with ground troops, and an updated multi-mode laser with eye-safe range designation that supports flight in urban environments and critical training exercises.

In May 2020, the US State Department cleared a $2.3 Billion refurbishment package for Egypt’s 43 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.

“Egypt intends to use these upgraded 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 US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in May 2020.

Awarded on 28 December, the $102.4 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.

The contract will 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 is a major user of the Apache attack helicopter, with 46 AH-64Ds in service. The North African country also possesses 46 Kamov Ka-52s received from Russia, and a small number of Mi-24 attack helicopters, previously unknown. There are also about 60 Gazelle helicopters armed with HOT anti-tank missiles.

Egypt in 2018 requested for the sale of 10 AH-64Es Longbow Apache attack gunships which was approved by the US State Department, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 27 November on that same year.

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