US to supply M1A1 Abrams tank ammunition to Iraq

22 October 2014 (Last Updated October 22nd, 2014 18:30)

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of M1A1 Abrams main battle tank ammunition and associated equipment to Iraq.

Abrams tanks

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of M1A1 Abrams main battle tank ammunition and associated equipment to Iraq.

Under the estimated $600m sale, Iraq has requested 10,000 M831 120mm high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) munitions, along with 10,000 M865 120mm kinetic energy warheads (KEW) and 10,000 M865 120mm KEW-A1 munitions.

The package also includes 16,000 M830 120mm HEAT-MP-T tank ammunition and US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, as well as other related elements of logistical and programme support.

Approved by the US State Department, the ammunition and support package is expected to streamline Iraq's efforts to develop an integrated ground defence capability to support a strong national defence.

In particular, the equipment will enable the Iraqi Government to sustain its efforts to establish and maintain stability in the country.

The sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to enhance the security of a strategic partner country.

General Dynamics-Ordnance Tactical Systems has been named as the prime contractor for the FMS programme.

"The equipment will enable the Iraqi Government to sustain its efforts to establish and maintain stability in the country."

The US has delivered 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the Iraqi Army as part of an $860m order placed by the Iraqi Government in March 2009.

An upgraded variant of the US Army's combat-proven M1Abrams third-generation MBT, the M1A1 Abrams features improved armament, protection and electronics systems.

Multiple M1Abrams variants are currently in service with several armies worldwide, including Australia, Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, as well as the US.

In addition, some of the tanks are also being operated by the Islamic State militant group after they were seized from Iraqi Army forces during the June Northern Iraq offensive.


Image: The M1A1M Abrams tanks of the Iraqi Army. Photo: courtesy of Daneille Hendrix, US Army.

Defence Technology