US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, waived the Congressional review of a $106m foreign military sale of 13,981 120 millimetre (mm) M830A1 high-explosive (HE), multi-purpose anti-tank rounds with tracers to the Government of Israel, a decision the Defense Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) delivered to Congress on 8 December 2023.

A day earlier, Congress narrowly voted against a $106bn supplementary budget to provide military aid to key strategic allies such as Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel. Blinken’s recent decision to override a congressional review of such a major arms deal reflects the political divide that has torn Washington in recent months.

Issued in an 9 December DSCA press release, the agency justified the political manoeuvring by stating that “an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the Government of Israel of the above defence articles and services in the national security interests of the United States.

“The US is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defence capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives,” it added.

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By GlobalData

This deal will furnish the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) as they attempt to stamp out the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, after the organisation inflicted a surprise attack against Israel on 7 October. Currently, the IDF are driving south toward Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza.

Since the beginning of the war, the Israeli Air Force carried out approximately 10,000 airstrikes, according to the IDF. The Armed Forces completed missions infiltrating and destroying Hamas’ infrastructure and weapon depots across the coastal strip.

Replacing its predecessor, the M830 munition, the M830A1 variant offers extended range for defeating dismounted infantry, breaching walls and reduced obstacles. Users can fire this anti-tank round, and its earlier variations, from the Abrams main battle tank, an infamously heavy and complex platform.

According to GlobalData intelligence, Israel’s anti-tank guided missiles and anti-air missiles sector is expected to grow with investments of $308.8m and $119.7m respectively over the period 2023–28.