Egyptian demonstrators are confronted and attacked by the security forces who sought to curb the mass protests that swept the country on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 in the aftermath of prayers. The revolutionary upsurge that started in Tunisia has spread., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Friday, July 8, 2011 4:18 PM EDT
U.S. Could Sell M1 Abrams Tanks to Egypt
By Laura Matthews
The United States could sell the government of Egypt 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits.
The Defense Security Coorperation Agency notified Congress on Friday of the possible foreign military sale, according to a press release on the agency's website.
The tank kits, which will be used for co-production and associated weapons, equipment, parts, training and logistical support, is estimated to cost $1.32 billion.
The Egyptian government requested sale list includes: 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits for co-production, 125 M256 Armament Systems, 125 M2 .50 caliber machine guns, 250 M240 7.62mm machine guns, 125 AGT-1500 M1A1 series tank engines and transmissions, 120mm test cartridges, spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, special tool and test equipment, personnel training and equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The Defense Security Coorperation Agency said the proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the U.S. by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.
The additional M1A1 tanks will provide Egypt with a modern tank fleet, enhancing its capability to meet current and future threats, according to the Defense Security Coorperation Agency press release. The release further stated that this particular sale will contribute to Egypt's goal to update its military capability while further enhancing interoperability between Egypt, the U.S., and other allies.
The proposed equipment sale and support won't alter the basic military balance in the region and there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of it, the agency said.
Egypt has been having continued anti-government demonstrations.
In February, about 500 Egyptians protested in the capital demanding that new military rulers install a new government and lift the country's emergency law, Reuters reported.
The Washington Post also reported that on Friday, protesters returned to Tahrir Square to protest the slow pace of change. The demonstration is being dubbed the "Friday of determination" and is considered the largest since the revolt in January and February, which changed Egypt, the Washington Post reported.