US State Department OKs $2.5B plane, radar sales for Egypt

The US State Department notified Congress on Tuesday of potential sales to Egypt of aircraft and air defense radar systems valued at over $2.5 billion.

The two sales include Egypt's potential $2.2 billion purchase of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft and related equipment as well as three SPS-48 Land Based Radar systems and related equipment and services valued at $355 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a separate statement announcing the approvals that the sales would "support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that continues to be an important strategic partner in the Middle East."

The agency said the sale of the Super Hercules transport aircraft would bolster Cairo's airlift capabilities and strengthen "its capacity in the security and humanitarian arena."

"This airlift capability would assist with border security, the interdiction of known terrorist elements, rapid reaction to internal security threats, and humanitarian aid. Egypt also intends to utilize these aircraft for maritime patrol missions and search and rescue missions in the region," it said.

The C-130J-30 is what manufacturer Lockheed-Martin describes as "a stretch version of the C-130J," with about 15 more feet (4.57 meters) in its fuselage compared to the earlier model. It has a maximum range of about 2,400 miles (3,862 kilometers), can carry eight pallets, or 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers, the company said on its website.

The sale of the SPS-48 radars is separately billed as an effort to further improve Egypt's ability "to meet current and future threats by improving the detection of various air threats."

Source: AA

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