The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of equipment and support for M1A1 Abrams tanks to Kuwait.

The $29m sale covers the delivery of 218 M1A1 Abrams tank hulls with 120mm cannons and 218 AGT-1500 (M1 Tank Series) engines.

Kuwait also requested transportation and other logistics support under the sale.

The proposed sale is expected to support Kuwait’s M1A2 tank recapitalisation to modernise and extend the service of the tanks.

Last year, Kuwait requested 240 .50 Cal M2A1 machine guns, 480 7.62mm M240 machine guns, 240 AN/VRC-92E SINCGARS radios, and 1,085 AN/PVS-7B night-vision goggles from the US in support of M1A2 recapitalisation programme.

“The proposed sale is expected to support Kuwait’s M1A2 tank recapitalisation to modernise and extend the service of the tanks.”

The $1.7bn sale also included the incorporation of cooling system/thermal management systems; common remotely operated weapons station (CROWS) II – low-profile stabilised weapon stations, special armour, 120mm gun tubes, 2nd generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sights; embedded diagnostics, gunner’s primary sights, counter sniper and anti-materiel mount (CSAMM) hardware.

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Kuwait supports the US’ efforts to advance stability in the Middle East, by providing basing, access and transit for the US forces in the region.

The M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tanks are manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS).

The M1A1 tank incorporates steel-encased depleted uranium armour. The top panels of the tank are designed to blow outwards in the event of penetration by a HEAT projectile.

The tank is protected against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare.