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Bahrain to buy 50 Abrams tanks under $2.2 billion deal

20th March 2024 - 16:13 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Outside the US, currently only Kuwait and Saudi Arabia operate the M1A2 Abrams. (Photo: US DoD)

Should the deal proceed, Bahrain would join the ranks of the US, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in operating the M1A2 Abram tank.

The US State Department has approved a possible US$2.2 billion FMS for Bahrain to purchase M1A2 Abram Main Battle Tanks (MBT).

Bahrain has requested to buy 50 tanks, four M88A2 Hercules Combat Recovery Vehicles, eight M1110 Joint Assault Bridges, other selected vehicles and associated equipment.

If approved by US Congress, Bahrain will join Kuwait and its neighbour Saudi Arabia in buying the M1A2 MBT, with orders of 436 and 526 vehicles, respectively. The US currently has around 1,300 of the vehicles in its inventory.

Since 1992, the US Army has been upgrading its 120mm-armed M1A1 tracked MBTs to the M1A2 model. The latest production standard is the M1A2 System Enhancement Package v3, now known as the M1A2C, which incorporates a new armour layout, an ammunition data link to enable the firing of smart 120mm rounds, an auxiliary power unit and several upgrades to the electronic architecture.

The US State Department said that the proposed sale would “support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”

Additionally, the tank order will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future threats.

The principal contractors will be General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems, Leonardo DRS, Honeywell Aerospace, RTX Corporation and Lockheed Martin.

The Shephard News Team


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