Why Are We Still Shipping M1A1 Tanks to Egypt?

by Crocker on September 12, 2012, 2:27 pm

in Foreign Policy,Military,Politics

According to Defense Industry Daily, Egypt continues to order M1A1 tanks from us and we continue to kit these tanks for assembly in Egypt, giving the Egyptian military the ability to build and maintain their current fleet, which is scheduled to grow to 1,200 units. According to DID, we’ve continuously upgraded the models the Egyptians already have (like substituting the 120mm smoothbore main gun for the original 105mm rifled gun). It’s not clear whether the Egyptian tanks have the same advanced Chobham armor as our own M1s.

As part of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty back in the late 1970s, the US agreed to provide military assistance to the Egyptians. Egypt had long been a Russian client and used Russian equipment in its wars with Israel. Some of the Russian stuff was crap compared to US models but some was good. The Russian SA-6 surface-to-air missile gave the Israeli air force a very bad time during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

But according to DID, Egypt put in an order for another 200 tanks just this year. And according to Foreign Policy, nobody’s going to shut down the supply line because it would cost US jobs here at home. And with the upcoming sequestration defense cuts, I tend to believe it.

Here’s some of our tanks in Cairo during last year’s “Arab Spring”. That’s worked out real well, hasn’t it, Barack?

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