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Cablegate: Egypt: Country Team Assessment for the Procurement of Two

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #1128/01 1560940
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040940Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9438
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS CAIRO 001128

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ELA AND PM/RSAT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MASS MARR EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT: COUNTRY TEAM ASSESSMENT FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF TWO
(2) UH-60M BLACK HAWK HELICOPTERS

REF: A. EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE LETTER OF REQUEST (08-224) FOR
LETTER OF OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE (LOA), DATED 02 SEPT 07.
B. MEMORANDUM FOR EGYPTIAN ARMAMENT AUTHORITY (EAA), SUBJECT:
REQUEST FOR COORDINATION MEETING, DATED 10 MAR 08.
C. MEMORANDUM FOR EGYPTIAN AIR FORCE (EAF) ARMAMENT DEPARTMENT,
SUBJECT: REQUIRED INFORMATION FOR CTA AND LOR SUBMISSION, DATED 27
MAY 08.

Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU). Please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) Description. In REF A, the GOE submitted a request to
procure two UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters to support their Border
Security Mission. These designated aircraft will perform tasks
associated with border security and surveillance. These helicopters
will support an existing military force in conjunction with an
upgraded Border Surveillance Operations Center. This operations
center will include a ground station that provides an enhanced
digital downlink and communications capability. All missions will
be in compliance with the standards and regulations outlined within
current international and regional agreements. Additional
information is available at www.mmc.gov.eg. The GOE desired
end-state of these Border Security assets is a more effective
day/night surveillance and observation capability that enhances the
current operational awareness along designated border areas.


2. (SBU) Reason and justification for customer's request. Recent
events along Egyptian border areas support the GOE initiative to
procure an increased rotary-wing capability to perform surveillance
and observation missions. These modern aircraft will replace
existing, aging airframes (MI-17, etc.) that have reached or rapidly
approaching the end of their recommended service life. There will
be no change to the existing mission and primary roles will include
surveillance, troop transport, reconnaissance, etc. Existing
aircraft provide a limited night capability to support this high
priority mission. This procurement has been discussed in detail at
the recent Financial Management Review (FMR) and Military
Cooperation Conference (MCC), and has GOE Presidential visibility.
The UH-60M (Black Hawk) helicopter with surveillance package was
identified by the U.S. Army and Blackhawk Program Manager as a
suitable rotary-wing platform to support the GOE specific Mission
Requirements. This action will assist in the modernization of the
EAF to ensure safe flight operations, individual aviator proficiency
and the overall readiness of EAF border security assets. The UH-60M
(Black Hawk) helicopter will improve the EAF ability to perform
mission essential tasks inherent in the GOE Border Security Mission.
In addition, it provides a common platform for the EAF to
participate in future training exercises with U.S. and Coalition
Forces. These aircraft are currently in the U.S. Army inventory and
long-term sustainability through the U.S. supply system is another
distinct advantage.

3. (SBU) System description and Impact to Force Structure.
The primary mission of the basic UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is as a
troop carrier and logistical support aircraft. However, the
helicopter can be configured to carry out Medical Evacuation,
Command-and-Control, Search-and-Rescue, Armed Escort, Electronic
Warfare and Surveillance Missions. The UH-60M features new wide
chord composite spar main rotor blades (500lb more lift),
strengthened fuselage and advanced infrared suppression. The
fly-by-wire glass cockpit has a digitized 1553 bus-based avionics
suite with four multi-function displays, four-axis fully coupled
autopilot, two electronic flight management systems, digital moving
map and Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IHVMS). The
new T700-GE-701D engine is more powerful and provides additional
lift during sling load operations. Recent enhancements to this
helicopter will significantly increase the aircraft's day/night
surveillance capability and will only add two additional airframes
to their current force structure.

4. (SBU) Will the procurement of UH-60M SAR aircraft contribute to
both U.S. and Egyptian defense/security goals? Aircraft sales are
consistent with DOD's Security Cooperation Guidance as it enhances
the territorial security and crisis response capabilities of
regional states. It assists the U.S. in enabling allies and
partners, while also protecting U.S. and partner interests. It
supports the modernization and transformation of allies or partners
to reduce their vulnerability to external military sales. Finally,
it improves their ability to operate independently at night without
significant reliance on U.S. or coalition Forces.

5. (SBU) Justification for type/quantity of aircraft requested.
A detailed analysis and review of several suitable airframes was
completed by EAF with input from the Utility Cargo Helicopter Office
(UPHO) and Cargo Helicopter Program Manager. Their findings
revealed that the UH-60M Black Hawk with surveillance package would
be an excellent airframe to support the border security mission.

The procurement of these aircraft is a natural progression to
modernize assets and significantly improve an existing capability.
This modernization effort of aerial platforms to support border
security will inevitably demand additional procurements of
rotary-wing aircraft.

6. (SBU) Combatant Commander's concurrence to the introduction of a
new Humanitarian and Disaster Relief capability to the nation or
region. Combatant Commander's concurrence will be provided
separately.

7. (SBU) Anticipated reactions of the neighboring nations.
The procurement of these additional surveillance aircraft should not
influence the regional balance of power or cause negative reactions
from any of Egypt's neighbors. This procurement introduces a
limited increase of technology to Egypt, but does not introduce new
technology to the region. Several regional allies have recently
purchased similar airframes through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS)
or Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) programs, with U.S. concurrence.
These assets will greatly enhance Egypt's ability to participate in
combined Regional training exercises. This procurement will not
impact Israel's qualitative military edge.

8. (SBU) Assessment of the nation's ability to ensure proper
funding, accountability, sustainability and security of assets. The
GOE has demonstrated the intent and ability to protect sensitive,
classified military technology over an extended period. Egypt
signed a General Security of Information Agreement with the U.S. and
as a customer, has purchased and protected the sensitive technology
of other U.S. weapons systems. Egypt has procured similar
rotary-wing aircraft in the past to include eight (8) UH-60L
Blackhawk helicopters that currently provide VIP support to the GOE
President. The EAF has met all previous security and End Use
monitoring (EUM) requirements.

9. (SBU) Training required either in country or in the U.S. and
anticipated reactions resulting from the presence of U.S. trainer's
in country. The EAF already maintains a squadron of eight (8)
UH-60L Helicopters and maintains sufficient numbers of trained
aircrews. The EAF pilots currently complete all UH-60 Black Hawk
Aviator Qualification Courses (AQC) in the U.S. The only exception
would be specialized Surveillance and communications training for
the aircrews, taught by a Mobile Training Team (MTT). The presence
of this additional MTT would have little anticipated reaction
because of the permanent Security Assistance Teams (SATs) already
assigned in country.

10. (SBU) Source of financing and the economic impact of the
proposed acquisition. Egypt plans to procure these two aircraft
utilizing Foreign Military Financing and has already allocated
sufficient funds within their FY08/09 budget. This acquisition is
essential for the GOE Border Security capability and is on the
Egyptian Armament Authority (EAA) Priority List.

11. (SBU) Human rights considerations relevant to the proposed
acquisition. None.

12. (SBU) Plan for end-use monitoring and plan for compliance
verification. The Office of Military Cooperation (OMC) Egypt has a
robust Golden Sentry Program. The Golden Sentry Program
representative and Security Assistance Officer (SAO) responsible for
the program, will coordinate for the review and maintenance of
required documentation. All parties will maintain serial number
lists of all components within the inventory or transferred, and
will conduct the mandated inspections as required. This
coordination will ensure that historical copies of all EUM
Inspection results and customer's physical security and
accountability control plans remain on file. The Egyptian military
currently has over 100 helicopters (FMS) of various configurations
in country. Egypt has maintained accountability and security of
these aircraft without unauthorized loss, theft, or access to date.
The GOE has indicated a willingness to meet U.S. guidelines for
accountability and security of these advanced aircraft, and the
Office of Military Cooperation will conduct End Use Monitoring (EUM)
of all required components if this request is approved.

13. (SBU) Operational Plan and specific end-users. The operational
plan for these aircraft is to support the existing Border Security
Mission. These aircraft will replace older airframes that are
approaching obsolescence and perform tasks associated with border
security and surveillance. These helicopters will support a
dedicated security force in conjunction with an upgraded Border
Surveillance Operations Center. This action will assist in the
modernization of the EAF to ensure safe flight operations,
individual aviator proficiency and the overall readiness of the EAF.
Finally, it improves their ability to perform mission tasks at
night without significant reliance on U.S. or coalition Forces.


14. (SBU) Recommendation whether the USG should approve the request
to procure additional rotary-wing aircraft. The country team
recommends USG approval for the GOE procurement of two (2) UH-60M
Black Hawk helicopters to support security and surveillance
operations along the Egyptian border. This is a coordinated mission
position.

SCOBEY

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