Kuwait Armed Forces Unveils Upgraded M1A2K Abrams Main Battle Tank
Kuwait Armed Forces Unveils Upgraded M1A2K Abrams Main Battle Tank

US State Department Approves Sale of M1A2K Main Battle Tank Ammunition to Kuwait

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of M1A2K tank operational and training ammunition and related equipment for an estimated cost of $250 million. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally that has been an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. This sale will provide an effective ability to deter and defend against land-based threats, enhancing Kuwait’s ability to protect border regions and key land-based infrastructure. The principal contractor will be General Dynamics, York, PA.

The Government of Kuwait has requested to buy Cartridge M80 Ball/M62 Tracer 7.62mm 4/1 linked; Cartridge MK211 4 Armor Piercing Incendiary (APIT) .50 Cal 4/1 linked; Cartridge M903/M962 Saboted Light Armor Penetrator-Tracer (SLAP-T) .50 Cal 4/1 linked; Cartridge KE-W A1 Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T) 120mm; Cartridge, Insensitive Munition High Explosive Tracer (IM-HET) 120mm; Grenade, Screening-Smoke; containers; munitions; support and test equipment; integration and test support; spare and repair parts; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

Kuwait Armed Forces Unveils Upgraded M1A2K Abrams Main Battle Tank

The M1 Abrams is a third-generation American main battle tank designed by Chrysler Defense (now General Dynamics Land Systems) and named for General Creighton Abrams. One of the heaviest tanks in service at nearly 68 short tons, it introduced several innovative features, including a multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated Chobham composite armor, a computer fire control system, separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment, and NBC protection for crew safety. Initial models of the M1 were armed with a licensed-produced 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, while later variants feature a licensed Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44. There are three main operational Abrams versions, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, with each new iteration seeing improvements in armament, protection, and electronics.

The Kuwaiti Army’s receipt of the first M1A2K tank in the U.S. The M1A2K will gradually replace the current fleet of 218 M1A2 Abrams delivered between 1994–97, as planned in 2017. In December 2016, the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency has announced a possible foreign military sale to the Government of Kuwait for recapitalization of 218 M1A2 tanks and related equipment, support, and training. The estimated cost is $1.7 billion. The M1A2K keeps the same main armament that includes one 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, developed by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Germany able to fire M865 TPCSDS-T and M831 TP-T training rounds, the M8300 HEAT-MP-T and the M829 APFSDS-T which includes a depleted uranium penetrator.