Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The State Department has approved the possible sale of 10 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and a large quantity of tank ammunition to the Egyptian government.
The Apache sale, announced Tuesday, totals $1 billion and includes targeting systems, Hellfire missiles, night vision goggles, radars and other equipment needed for combat operations. Spare parts, maintenance services and training materials are also included in the sale.
The tank ammunition sale, also announced on Tuesday, will provide about 60,000 rounds of 120mm training and discarding-sabot armor piercing rounds for $201 million. The order includes spares, support services and personnel training for the Egyptian military.
The State Department says that Egypt has the ability to absorb and integrate the equipment and ammunition and that the sale will not significantly alter the balance of power in the region.
The AH-64E Apache is the latest variant of the helicopter, featuring greater stand-off attack capability and more capable sensors. It is armored and carries a 30mm chaingun and a variety of rockets and guided missiles.
Over 2,200 Apaches have been manufactured since the aircraft was introduced in 1984. It is the primary attack helicopter of the U.S. Army and has been exported to countries across the world.
The 120mm round is used by the L/44 M256A1 smoothbore gun on the M1A1 and M1A2 series of Abrams main battle tanks. Egypt is one of the largest operators of the Abrams in the world with well over 1,000 active or stockpiled and financed by U.S. military aid.