US approves sale of 36 AH-64E Apaches for $4.25bn to Morocco

21 November 2019 (Last Updated November 21st, 2019 13:28)

The Trump administration has approved Morocco’s request to purchase AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a deal valued at up to $4.25bn.

US approves sale of 36 AH-64E Apaches for $4.25bn to Morocco
An AH-64E Apache from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, takes off from its landing pad at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California. Credit: US Army.

The Trump administration has approved Morocco’s request to purchase AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a deal valued at up to $4.25bn.

Under the potential foreign military sale, the US will sell 36 AH-64E Apaches and associated equipment to the Government of Morocco.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which operates under the US Department of Defense (DoD), has notified Congress of the possible deal.

The deal will allow Morocco to procure 24 new Apaches with an option for 12 additional units.

The country will also buy T700-GE-701D engines, AN/APG-78 fire control radars (FCR) with radar electronic units (REU), and AN/ASQ-170 modernised target acquisition and designation sight/AN/AAR-11 modernised pilot night vision sensors (M-TADS/PNVS).

In addition, the sale will include 60 AGM-114L Hellfire missiles, 551 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 72 M36E9 Hellfire captive air training missiles (CATM), 588 advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) kits; 200 AIM-92H Stinger missiles, and 39 AAR-57 common missile warning systems (CMWS).

Other equipment in the sale package includes kits to enable manned-unmanned teaming, communication equipment, 2.75-inch rockets, 30mm rounds, M230E1 + M139 AWS automatic guns, M299 missile launchers, M261 rocket launchers and Stinger air-to-air launchers.

In a press release, the DSCA said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US 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 agency added that the purchase of helicopters and other defence equipment will provide the North African nation with the capability to tackle regional threats.

The deal will also help the Moroccan Armed Forces improve its interoperability with the US and other allies.

Apache helicopters will be used for close air support to the Moroccan Forces.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the primary contractors for the implementation of this foreign military sale to Morocco.

The US Government approval comes after a deal to sell 24 AH-64E Apaches to Qatar was cleared in May.