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Egypt seeks U.S. gear to help secure border with Libya

Egypt has asked the United States for equipment to help secure its border with war-torn Libya, while Lebanon is seeking to buy U.S. missiles through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

By Richard Tomkins
Egypt seeks U.S. gear to help secure border with Libya
Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 23, 2011. Egypt sent military planes to Tripoli to evacuate up to 1.5 million Egyptians trapped in Libya's violent uprising as thousands dashed to the border hoping to make their way home. File photo by Tarek Elframawy/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- Egypt is seeking U.S. help in securing its border with Libya, where Islamist groups are battling for control of the country.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which facilitates U.S. Foreign Military Sales deals, said the government in Cairo has asked Washington for a border security mobile surveillance sensor security system and associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

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The proposed deal, which has received necessary approval from the U.S. State Department, would be worth an estimated $100 million, DSCA said in its required notification to Congress.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," DSCA said.

"This mobile surveillance sensor security system will provide Egypt with advanced capabilities intended to bolster its border surveillance capabilities along its border with Libya and elsewhere. This procurement is intended for Egyptian Border Guard Forces, which currently lack any remote detection capability along unpatrolled areas of Egypt's borders.

"This system would provide an early warning capability to allow for faster response times to mitigate threats to the border guards and the civilian population," it said.

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The proposed sales package consists of procurement and construction of one commercial off-the-shelf border security mobile surveillance sensor security system and sub-systems; mobile surveillance sensor towers; mobile command-and-control systems; a regional C2 system; voice/data communications equipment; spare parts; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; and logistics and program support.

Principal contractors would be Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and DRS Technologies.

If the proposed sale goes through, periodic travel to Egypt by multiple U.S. government and contractor representatives would be required over a five-year period.

In other FMS developments, Lebanon has asked the United States for AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $146 million.

The sales deal, if approved, would cover provision of 1,000 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, containers, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, and U.S. government and contractor logistics and technical support services.

"The proposed sale will improve Lebanon's capability to meet current and future threats," the agency said. "Lebanon will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and to replenish existing stock levels.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region."

The prime contractor would be Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control. Implementation of this proposed sale, which has State Department approval, will not require any additional U.S. government or contractor representatives to Lebanon.

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