(Ecofin Agency) - The US state Department has approved the sale of equipment and advanced weaponry to equip 162 Abrams tanks for $1.25 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) revealed in a statement published on November 29, 2018.
The Congress has been notified of this sale whose main contractor will be the manufacturer of the military engine General Dynamics Land Systems, the same source informs.
It also informs that the contract involves "the possible sale of one hundred and sixty-two (162) M2 Chrysler Mount Machine Guns; three hundred and twenty-four (324) M240 Machine Guns; one thousand and thirty-five (1,035) M865 Training SABOT Rounds; and one thousand, six hundred and ten (1,610) M831Al HEAT Rounds. Also included are one hundred and sixty-two (162) Export Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS); one hundred and sixty-two (162) RT-1702 Receiver Transmitters; one hundred and sixty-two (162) M250 Smoke Grenade Launchers; M962 .50 caliber rounds; special armor; 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); spare parts; support equipment; upgrade/maintenance of engines and transmissions; depot level support; Government-Furnished Equipment (GFE); repair parts; communication support equipment; tool and test equipment; training; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.”
"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security and capacity of a major Non-NATO Ally", the DSCA explains indicating that the contract "will not alter the basic military balance in the region".
According to the last report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Morocco has been the second largest heavy weapons importer in Africa behind Algeria in 2012-2016.