US approves possible sale to Egypt of 56 000 tank rounds


Egypt has requested the sale of 56 000 rounds of ammunition for its main battle tanks, worth an estimated $201 million from the United States.

The US State Department on 27 November said it had made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of 46 000 M831A1 and M865 rounds and 10 000 APFSDS-T rounds for an estimated cost of $201 million. Congress still has to approve the proposed sale.

The Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the notification supersedes and replaces Transmittal No. 18-05 delivered to Congress on 17 September 2018 for the same amount of ammunition, but the dollar values are updated (the earlier request had a value of $99 million versus the updated $201 million).

The DSCA said Egypt has requested to buy 46 000 120 mm Target Practice – Tracer (M831A1) and 120 mm Target Practice, Cone Stabilized, Discarding Sabot – (M865) rounds and 10 000 120 mm 4th-Generation Kinetic Energy-Tungsten (KE-W) A4 Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer (APFSDS-T) rounds.

Also included are 4 500 120 mm Insensitive Munitions High Explosive with Tracer (IM HE-T) tank rounds, training, testing inspections, spares, support and test equipment.
“The proposed sale will improve Egypt’s capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure. Egypt will use the 120 mm IM HE-T cartridges to maintain a strategic munitions inventory for its M1A1 tank fleet and in support of operations against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Sinai. They will use the target practice rounds to train M1A1 crews in proper crew procedures in a training environment using munitions that cost a fraction of tactical rounds and have nearly zero explosive or penetrating capability,” the DSCA said.
“Egypt has been producing this type of ammunition under an existing co-production agreement for approximately 15 years. Egypt intends to use the APFSDS-T rounds to replace older model 120 mm KE-W, KE-W Al, and KE-W A2 ammunition to maintain a strategic munitions inventory for its M1A1 tank fleet.”

The prime contractor involved in this programme is General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.

Egypt has over 1 100 M1 Abrams tanks in its inventory, and in 2011 ordered 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits from General Dynamics Land Systems for $395 million. Co-production of M1A1 Abrams tanks takes place at the Egyptian Tank Plant in collaboration with General Dynamics.