Egypt is seeking the Bush administration support to use US military aid for the purchase of two European-designed submarines, according to the Middle East Newsline.
Officials was cited as saying that the issue will soon be presented to the administration for final approval of a proposal to allow Egypt to use US military aid for the submarine purchase.
The proposal has already been approved by a key Pentagon agency, said the news service.
If approved by the administration, it would be the “first time that the United States will finance the construction of a non-American submarine for a foreign ally,” an official said, adding that the Pentagon aims to complete the deal by July.
The United States has not made diesel-powered attack submarines for decades and the navy has not operated one since 1990. Instead, the US Navy operates only nuclear-powered subs.
In September, Egypt signed a letter of intent with a US-European consortium for the construction of two Dutch Moray-class submarines, MENL said.
In a formula designed to win US aid, the submarines will be constructed at the Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi.
Ingalls is the prime contractor. The two other partners in the consortium are RDM Submarines, the Dutch company that produces the Moray, and Lockheed Martin, which will produce the combat systems, according to the report.
Earlier this week, Egypt and Russia signed a nuclear agreement during a visit by President Hosni Mubarak to Moscow -- Albawaba.com