Morocco is looking to upgrade 162 M1 Abrams main battle tanks under a $1.259 billion deal with General Dynamics Land Systems.
On 29 November the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said it had approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of “enhancements” to 162 Abrams tanks for an estimated cost of $1.259 billion. Congress was notified of the possible sale on 28 November.
“The Government of Morocco has requested to purchase enhancements to one hundred sixty-two (162) Abrams tanks procured through the Excess Defense Article (EDA) programme to one of the following variants: M1A1 Situational Awareness (baseline version), M1A2M (includes Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer) or M1A1 US Marine Corps version (includes Slew to Cue),” the DSCA said.
Included in the possible sale are 162 M2 Chrysler Mount Machine Guns; 324 M240 machineguns; 1 035 M865 Training SABOT Rounds; and 1 610 M831Al HEAT Rounds. Also included are 162 Export Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS); 162 RT-1702 Receiver Transmitters; 162 M250 Smoke Grenade Launchers; M962 .50 calibre rounds; special armour; Hunter/Killer technology, which may include the Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV) or Slew to Cue solution; Commander’s Weapon Station Variant which may include the Commander’s Weapon Station (CWS), Stabilized Commander’s Weapon Station (SCWS), or Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station- Low Profile (CROW-LP); spares, upgrades and logistics support.
“This proposed sale of M1A1 tank enhancements will contribute to the modernization of Morocco’s tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats. These tanks will contribute to Morocco’s goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies,” the DSCA said.
Morocco has received a large number of upgraded Abrams over the years, with General Dynamics Land Systems in September 2015 awarded a $358 million contract to convert 150 M1A1 vehicles to M1A1 situational awareness configuration. Deliveries began the following year.
According to the US Excess Defense Articles database, in 2017 Morocco had requested 222 Abrams tanks and 162 had been allocated.