Home- Stories -U.S. Firms Hope to Reverse Egypt’s Recent Arms Purchase Trends

U.S. Firms Hope to Reverse Egypt’s Recent Arms Purchase Trends

Our Bureau - : Nov 30, 2021 - : 3:23 pm

With Egypt diversifying its base of arms suppliers, U.S. defence contractors will be hoping to make a major splash at EDEX 2021 as part of their attempts to recover some of the ground they have ceded to companies from other countries in recent years.

U.S. arms sales to Egypt, which constituted 47 percent of the country’s total weapon imports in the 2009-2014 period, plummeted to just 14 percent from 2015-2020. Making the most of the substantial dip in the market share of U.S. contractors is Russia and France, countries that have the most success selling arms to Egypt in the last five years.

New Deal
Two recent deals signed by Egypt provide hope to U.S. defence firms that are taking part in EDEX 2021, including Boeing, Raytheon Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Kratos Defence and Security Solutions, Bell and AeroVironment. In May last year, the US State Department approved the foreign military sale related to the upgrade and refurbishment of 43 of Egypt’s AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to AH-64E standard. The deal, which involves Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is worth $2.3 billion. In February this year, the Biden administration approved Egypt’s request to purchase up to 168 Raytheon-built RIM-116C RAM Block 2 Tactical Missiles and associated equipment. Egypt is also eager to acquire Advanced Medium Range Airto-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), also built by Raytheon Missile Systems, to equip its fleet of F-16s.

Boeing, which is the silver sponsor for EDEX 2021, will showcase advanced platforms and capabilities that include the AH-64 Apache, CH-47F Chinook, F-15EX and the Wave Glider, the long-duration autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) built by designed and manufactured by Liquid Robotics. Egypt is reportedly in discussions with the U.S. to acquire Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, which is said to be two generations ahead of previous models, thus allowing it to work with sea, air and land-based combat systems.

Kratos will present the latest in unmanned systems, satellite communications, C5ISR, warfighter training and combat systems while AeroVironment, maker of multi-domain robotic systems, will highlight the recent successful demonstration of integrating Switchblade 300 loitering missiles and JUMP 20 medium unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In October this year, the company had announced the successful maritime demonstration of a Puma 3 AE small, unmanned aircraft system and Switchblade 300 tactical missile system sensor-to-shooter (S2S) capability as part of NATO REP(MUS) 21, Europe’s maritime unmanned systems operational experimentation exercise.

Egypt’s calculated risk in going ahead with the purchase of Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, after the U.S. refused to sell it Lockheed-Martin-made F-35 fighter jets, is proof of the fact that the country will not be cowed down by threats of sanctions by the U.S. While the US$2 billion purchase of Su-35 fighters – 24 Su-35s are expected to be delivered by 2023 – is Egypt’s biggest weapons purchase involving Russia, the country has in recent years signed other deals with Russian companies, including for the upgrade of its fleet of legacy Soviet MiG-21 aircraft to a fourth generation MiG-29M variant, standard Ka-52 Russian attack helicopters for its air force, the naval version of the Ka52 for use on Egypt’s two French procured Mistral-class helicopter dock vessels, and the S300VM surface-to-air missile defense system. The Egyptian Army is also eyeing the purchase of 500 Russian T-90 main battle tanks.

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