The United States originally announced in April that it had decided to lift its hold on the delivery of the attack helicopters to Egypt, imposed last year after the military's ouster of President Mohamed Mursi and an ensuing crackdown against protesters.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said at the time that the helicopters would support Egypt's counterterrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula.
On Saturday, Kirby said Hagel had confirmed to General Sobhy that Washington planned to deliver the helicopters, built by Boeing Co., but gave no date.
Kirby said Hagel also thanked Egypt for its role in brokering a ceasefire to end the latest round of Gaza fighting between Hamas and Israel.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
The Apache is armed with a30 mm (1.18 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft's forward fuselage. It has four hard points mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods.
The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
In 1995, the Egyptian Air Force placed an order for 36 AH-64A helicopters. These Apaches were delivered with most of the advanced avionics used on the U.S. fleet at that time, with the exception of localized radio equipment In 2000, Boeing announced that an order to remanufacture Egypt's existing Apache fleet to the AH-64D configuration. Notably, the AH-64D upgrade did not include the procurement of the Longbow radar, the supply of which had been refused by the U.S. government. Egypt requested a further 12 AH-64D Block II Apaches through a Foreign Military Sale in 2009.
In August 2012, the Egyptian Armed Forces undertook a large-scale military operation to regain control of the Sinai Peninsula from armed militants. Air cover throughout the operation was provided by the Egyptian Air Force's Apache helicopters; reportedly the Apaches destroyed three vehicles and killed at least 20 militants. Up to 5 Egyptian Apaches were temporarily stationed in the Sinai following an agreement between Egypt and Israel.
Source: Reuters; Wikipedia