Iraq orders Abrams tanks through US FMS programme
By Christopher F Foss
Iraq has requested a significant quantity of new equipment from the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, in a major effort to enhance its armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) capability.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has now notified Congress of Iraqi requirements to essentially re-capitalise the entire armoured and mechanised sections of the army with main battle tanks (MBTs), armoured personnel carriers (APCs), engineering vehicles and general transports.
Given that according to several independent assessments Iraq has in the range of USD80 billion of surplus funds in its treasury, recently bolstered by the surge in oil prices, funding should not be a problem to pay for the equipment.
Under a potential USD2.16 billion deal, Iraq would get a total of 140 General Dynamics Land Systems M1A1 AIM (Abrams Integrated Management) MBTs.
Production of the M1A1 was completed some time ago and according to General Dynamics Land Systems, prime contractor for the M1A1, no decision has yet been taken on whether they would be refurbished and upgraded vehicles drawn from the US Army inventory.
Another possible alternative is that they would be supplied brand new from the Egyptian Tank Plant (ETP) in Cairo, which has been assembling the M1A1 for the Egyptian Army under a co-production plan since 1988. 209 of 735 words
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