The next military weapons shipments for Egypt are scheduled for next month — including 10 Apache helicopters at a cost of about $500 million. Also scheduled for delivery are a number of M1A1 tank kits, including machine guns and other equipment used with the tanks, as well as some used missiles. The missiles, which have been moved and handled but not yet fired, could be used for spare parts by the Egyptian military or they could be refurbished for launching.
According to senior U.S. officials, however, the administration is expected to delay the delivery of Apache helicopters. That move, which may not come until next week, would be the second major weapons sale put on hold by the U.S. in an effort to pressure the Egyptian military to halt the bloodshed and take steps toward a more peaceful transition to democracy. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.
To express displeasure about the Egyptian crackdown on pro-Morsi demonstrators, the U.S. suspended the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt and canceled biennial U.S.-Egyptian military exercises planned for next month. Obama has said that the United States' long-term cooperation with Egypt "cannot continue as usual."
However, the U.S. military has continued shipments of thousands of spare parts for American weapons systems used by the Egyptian forces. Plans continue for sending armored bulldozers for border security, radars and missiles in the coming months.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he believed the U.S. had reached a "tipping point" on Egypt.
"The Egyptian military needs to let the democratic process go forward," McConnell, R-Ky., told CNN. "I think we're going to be voting on this again in September because it looks to me like the crackdown is not an indication that they are moving in the direction of having a new election."