$126M in Avenger Air Defense Systems for Egypt
On 27 June 2005, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of 25 Avenger Fire Units as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $126 million. This will provide Egypt with two additional short-range air defense brigades of 12 Avenger fire units per brigade (6 fire units per battalion). One of the 25 fire units will be used as an operational float and/or for training at the Air Defense Institute.
Boeing’s Avenger system mounts eight Raytheon Stinger short range air defense missiles on a Humvee jeep, along with an FN M3P .50 cal machine gun and automated systems that use optical sights, infrared, a laser rangefinder, and an IFF (Identification Friend-Or-Foe) system. The DSCA release did not mention if the Avengers were of the upgraded “slew-to-cue” variety, which automatically slews the turret to place the sights on targets received from FAAD (Forward Area Air Defense) Command and Control systems.
The Government of Egypt has requested a possible sale of 25 complete Avenger Fire Units, 30 AN/VRC-92E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) radios, 29 captive flight trainers, 25 aerial handling trainers, 25 1097A2 Humvees; support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, U. S. Government Quality Assurance Teams, and other related elements of logistics. This proposed sale is touted as reducing Egypt’s dependence on its Soviet air defense systems and enhancing potential interoperability with U.S. forces.
Total Avenger production has been 1,004 units, of which around 800 are in service with U.S. forces. Taiwan has 70 Avenger systems and Egypt has 50 systems, rising to 75 with this order. DID has also covered recent U.S. modifications to a few Avenger systems, optimizing them for use as an upgraded “gun truck” and convoy escort vehicle in Iraq.
The principal contractors will be Boeing Aerospace Company of Huntsville, AL; and International Telephone and Telegraph of Fort Wayne, IN. Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of two field service representatives for one year to support the fire units and SINCGAR radios. There will also be a U.S. Government Quality Assurance Team for three week intervals quarterly to participate in program management and technical reviews.
There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
June 27/06: Boeing announces a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the U.S. Army to deliver an undisclosed number of Avenger units to Egypt under a $50 million contract that includes associated spares and logistics support. The new contract calls for Boeing to deliver the Avengers by September 2008. Under a previous FMS contract, Boeing delivered Avengers to Egypt from 2000-2004. The Egyptian order will allow Boeing to restart the Avenger production line, which has been dormant since 2004.
Given the vast difference between the DSCA amount and this announcement, it is reasonable to assume that this order is for less than 25 Avenger systems.