Egypt plans to upgrade its fleet of M1A1 Abrams tanks to standard M1A2
According to a Tweet published by Mahmoud Gamal on December 3, 2021, Egypt has a plan to upgrade its fleet of M1A1 Main Battle Tanks to the M1A2 standard in collaboration with the United States.
According to the Military Balance 2020, Egypt has a total of 2,480 Main Battle Tanks including 1,130 M1A1 Abrams, 300 M60A1, 850 M60A3, 200 T-62. The first batch consisted of 555 vehicles and final deliveries under this program were completed in 1998. The American M1A1 is now produced under license in Egypt.
On October 25, 2011, Egypt and the United States celebrated the resumption of co-production of M1A1 Abrams Tanks at a ceremony held at the Egyptian Tank Plant outside of Cairo. The manufacturing of M1A1s in Egypt is a key part of ongoing U.S. support for Egypt’s crucial role as a factor of security and stability in the region. Through this program, the Tank Plant provides jobs for over 2500 Egyptians and supports the capacity of the Egyptian Armed Forces to defend the country.
In December 2018, Army Recognition has reported, that since the beginning of the M1A1 Co-production Program, a joint venture between the governments of the United States and Egypt to produce parts and assemble tank kits for the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (MBT), the Egyptian Defense Company Tank Plant has produced around 1,200 M1A1 Abrams main battle tank in Egypt.
The first production of the American M1A1 Abrams MBT was completed in August 1985 and a total of 8,064 tanks were delivered to the U.S. Army. The M1A1 is upgraded with a new armor package compared to the original M1 Abrams. The tank is armed with one 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun. Other improvements on the M1A1 include re-indexed torsion bars, increased damping rate of shock-absorbers, strengthened compensating idler arms, modified transmission, road wheels and final drive, redesigned loader’s seat, redesigned stowage under loader’s seat, new loader’s shoulder guard, new tank commander’s panel, electrical harness re-routed and fold-up turret bustle rack and NBC protection system.
The M1A2 is an improved version of the M1A1 and the first M1A2 tanks were delivered to the U.S. Army in March 1992. It has a commander’s independent thermal viewer, weapon station, position navigation equipment, and a full set of controls and displays linked by a digital data bus. Other improvements of the M1A2 include Improved Commander’s Weapon Station (ICWS), Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV), an Inter-Vehicular Information System (IVIS), Position/Navigation System (POS/NAV) and several survivability initiatives.
The main armament of M1A2 Abrams consists of one 120 mm smoothbore M256 cannon which can fire a wide range of ammunition as the M829 APFSDS-T (Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot), M830 HEAT-MP-T (High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose – Tracer), M831 TP-T training round and M865 TPCSDS-T training round. Mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament is a 7.62 mm M240 machine gun, and a similar weapon skate-mounted on the left side of the turret for the loader can be elevated from -30 to +65º, total traverse being 265º. The commander’s station is armed with a standard 12.7 mm Browning M2 HB heavy machine gun which can be elevated from -10 to +65º and traversed through 360º.