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Morocco approved for 36 AH-64Es with manned-unmanned teaming

The US State Department approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to Morocco worth an estimated $4.25 billion for 36 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment, including manned-unmanned teaming kits.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency says it notified the US Congress of the possible sale on 19 November.

The sale would include 24 AH-64Es, with the option to buy 12 more examples. The full complement of aircraft would come with 72 installed GE Aviation T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines and six spares.

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Indian Boeing AH-64E Apache

Boeing

The notice also says that Rabat is approved to buy 21 manned-unmanned teaming video receivers and 39 manned-unmanned teaming air-to-air-to-ground kits. A manned-unmanned teaming kit would allow an Apache pilot to take over the flight controls and video feed of a nearby unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

The US Army flies its AH-64 Apache in coordination with the General Atomics Aeronautical System MQ-1C Grey Eagle UAV, allowing the two aircraft to scout out targets together. Teaming of the manned and unmanned aircraft came about after the service retired its scouting helicopter, the Bell OH-58 Kiowa, without having a replacement in 2017.

Morocco’s AH-64Es have also been approved for a suite of electronics, including 18 Northrop Grumman AN/APG-78 Longbow fire control radars, 78 embedded GPS devices with inertial navigation, and 18 Lockheed Martin AN/APR-48B modernised radar frequency interferometers.

The Kingdom of Morocco was officially designated a “Major Non-NATO ally” by President George W. Bush in 2004. The country works closely with the US military on counter terrorism.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency wrote in its public notice of the approval. “The proposed sale will improve Morocco's capability to meet current and future threats, and will enhance interoperability with US forces and other allied forces. “

Morocco’s attack helicopters would come with an arsenal of weapons, including 611 Hellfire missiles, 72 Hellfire training missiles, 588 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rocket kits, 200 AIM-92H Stinger missiles, 5,216 2.75in rockets, and 93,000 30mm rounds.

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