Romania cleared for US$2.5 billion Abrams main battle tank order
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has inspired another eastern European country to reach for the cheque book as the US State Department approved a request from Romania for 54 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks and associated equipment.
In 2019, Romania began looking at options to replace its T-55, TR-85 and TR-85M1 MBTs. The country’s 2020 defence white paper did not mention any procurement plans despite putting plans being in place to begin phasing out the older vehicles from the mid-2020s.
Shephard Defence Insight noted that in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Romanian MoD approved US$1.1 billion worth of funding for an estimated 54 second-hand US M1A2 Abrams SEPv3s along with accompanying gear and services in May 2023.
The deal has been estimated to be worth US$2.5 billion and will include vehicle support equipment such as 54 M1A1 structures, four M88A2 Hercules combat recovery vehicles, four M1110 joint assault bridges, four M1150 assault breacher vehicles and four heavy assault scissor bridges.
Additionally, the order has included 54 M240C 7.62mm machine guns, M2A1 .50 calibre machine guns, 10 AGT1500 gas turbine engines, 5,940 120mm M1147 high explosive, multipurpose, tracer cartridges, and 4,230 120mm M1002 target practice multipurpose, tracer cartridges.
Other support equipment in the deal included mine rollers, enhanced heavy equipment transporter M1300 tractors with M1302 trailer with B-Kit/Frag Kit and M978A4 heavy expanded mobility tactical truck.
The approval reflected a similar but larger deal in April 2022 when Poland placed a $4.7 billion for 250 Abrams MBTs.
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