Egypt on 12 May received its first batch of mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles donated free of charge by the United States, which arrived in the port of Alexandria.
The United States embassy in Cairo announced on Thursday that the batch is the first of 762 MRAPs destined for Egypt and that the vehicles will be used to combat terrorism and promote stability in the region.
Photos of the first batch showed dozens of RG-33 and Caiman vehicles loaded aboard railcars. According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Excess Defense Articles (EDA) database, the 762 vehicles will be made up of 400 Caimans, 260 RG-33s, 90 RG-33L Heavily Armoured Ground Ambulances and 12 Maxxpro recovery vehicles.
The US Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo, Major General Charles Hooper, stated that “The delivery of these MRAPs to Egypt provides a crucial capability needed during these times of regional instability and is part of the continuing strong relationship between the US and Egypt.”
This delivery of MRAPs is part of the US Department of Defence’s Excess Defense Articles grant programme, in which the vehicles are transferred at no-cost to the Government of Egypt. “This delivery is the most recent step taken by the US government in support of Egypt’s fight against terrorism and is part of a broad range of military cooperation initiatives between the two countries,” the US Embassy said.
Since winding down the war in Afghanistan, the United States has been disposing of hundreds of MRAPs, and earlier this year donated 24 Caiman and MxxPro MRAPs to Nigeria, which were handed over on 7 January. Other vehicles have been donated to Uganda and Burundi.
Egypt receives over a billion dollars in military aid from the United States every year and has taken delivery of various weapons systems over the last year, including 12 F-16 fighter jets, 20 Harpoon missiles, ten AH-64 Apache helicopters and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits. In October 2015 the United States Federal Business Opportunities website announced that Northrop Grumman would supply a single E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft to Egypt.