U.S. considering major arms sales to Egypt, Pakistan

A Rafale jet fighter is seen on the assembly line in the factory of French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation in Merignac near Bordeaux, southwestern. (File photo: Reuters)

The United States said on Wednesday it was considering a $57 million sale of air-to-surface missiles to Egypt, the second big arms deal this week after Congress was notified of a potential $1 billion sale of helicopters and missiles to Pakistan.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the State Department had notified Congress on Tuesday of the possible sale to Egypt of 356 R-variant Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts and training. The agency said the deal was worth up to $57 million.

The Hellfire is a family of 100-pound, laser-guided missiles generally fired by helicopters or airplanes, including unmanned drones.

The agency said it would be the first transfer of R-variant Hellfires to Egypt, which previously bought other types. The R-variant also can be fired from sea and ground platforms.

DSCA said Congress was notified of the potential sale on Tuesday. Notification is required by law and does not mean that the sale has actually been concluded.

On Monday, the DSCA said the State Department had approved a potential $952 million sale to Pakistan of 15 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, 32 General Electric helicopter engines and 1,000 Hellfire missiles.

The potential deal with Pakistan also could include target sight systems, mission computers, global positioning navigation systems, radar warning receivers and other gear.

DSCA said the sale would further provide Pakistan “with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47