Egyptian officials want to buy high-tech American border surveillance equipment, the Pentagon said Wednesday, citing Cairo’s desire to better monitor its borders with Libya specifically and other countries, as well.
The State Department has entered an agreement with Cairo to sell the equipment for an estimated $100 million, the Defense Department said in a statement. The deal, which must be approved Congress, calls for the United States to supply mobile surveillance sensor towers, communications equipment and defense contractors who will travel to train Egyptians on how to use the equipment.
“This mobile surveillance sensor security system will provide Egypt with advanced capabilities intended to bolster its border surveillance capabilities along its border with Libya and elsewhere,” the Pentagon statement said. “This procurement is intended for Egyptian Border Guard Forces, which currently lack any remote detection capability along unpatrolled areas of Egypt’s borders. This system would provide an early warning capability to allow for faster response times to mitigate threats to the border guards and the civilian population.”
Egypt has long been surrounded by countries in turmoil, but the spiraling situation in Libya is especially of concern. It is now home to militants with both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Egypt has carried out airstrikes this year without American involvement in the Libyan city of Derna.