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US Approves Potential Sale of TOW Missiles to Egypt

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale of TOW 2A radio frequency missiles, support, and related equipment to Egypt for $691 million. 

Egypt has requested more than 5,000 TOW 2As, including support equipment, spare parts, training, and technical and logistical support.

Considered a strong non-NATO ally in the strategically sensitive Middle East, Egypt seems likely to be approved for the sale.

Such a procurement would enhance Egypt’s security and counter-terrorism efforts, “strengthen its homeland defense,” ability to destroy fortified positions, and eliminate armored threats.

Moreover, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency states that the sale would “not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

TOW 2A Radio Frequency Missile

Manufactured by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) missile was first designed in the 1960s and began production in the 1970s.

According to the company, the TOW 2A is “the premier long-range, heavy assault-precision anti-armor, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing weapon system used throughout the world today.”

The system can be shoulder-fired or operated from platforms such as armored vehicles.

The firm claims that the missile is the “long-range precision, heavy anti-tank and assault weapon system of choice for the US Army Stryker, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, ITAS High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, and Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank platforms.”

Raytheon has sold more than 700,000 units of the system worldwide and plans to conduct upgrades to continue its service life beyond 2050.

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