Saudi Arabia, Egypt seek new attack, utility helicopters

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Two Middle Eastern nations have requested purchases worth a combined $774 million to boost their inventories of US-sourced utility and attack helicopters.

Saudi Arabia wants to buy 12 Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters and related equipment worth up to $598 million, with the aircraft to join 12 A-model Apaches already in its inventory.

Announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 9 September, the request also covers the provision of General Electric T700-701D engines and Lockheed Martin Arrowhead modernised target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensors, plus four Lockheed Longbow fire control radars.

 
© Boeing

Riyadh's request for Block II Apaches is intended to support border protection and national security tasks, and to defend its domestic oil infrastructure, the DSCA says.

Egypt is meanwhile seeking four Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks under a potentially $176 million deal, with the aircraft required for search and rescue and border security missions, says the DSCA.

The helicopters will be powered by GE T700-701D engines and carry FLIR Systems Star Safire II forward looking infrared cameras, plus a comprehensive suite of countermeasures equipment.

Egypt already operates a fleet of eight Sikorsky S-70A Seahawk naval helicopters, according to Flight's HeliCAS database.