Boeing could soon secure a fresh order for the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter after the US Department of Defense approved a possible 10-unit sale to Egypt.

To be acquired via the Foreign Military Sales process, the deal is worth an estimated $1 billion.

In addition to the Apaches, the deal also comprises target designation systems, weapons – including 135 Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles – countermeasures and training and logistics support.

Egypt is already an operator of the AH-64, with Flight Fleets Analyzer recording 46 examples of the D-model variant in service.

Approving the acquisition, the DoD says it will help to "improve the security of a strategic partner in the Middle East"; the sale will not "alter the basic military balance in the region", it adds.

Other Apache customers in the region include Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"Egypt intends to expand its existing fleet of multi-mission heavy attack helicopters to address U.S.-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula that undermine regional stability," the DoD notes.

Cairo is also a customer for the Kamov Ka-52 having ordered 46 of the Russian-built aircraft in December 2015.

Flight Fleets Analyzer records 34 examples as being in service with the Egyptian air force.