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Iraq Getting World’s Best Tank

by Ward Carroll on August 5, 2008

m1a2-tank.jpg

Saw this little tidbit from Defense Industry Daily today. Looks like Iraq is in line to get the best tank in the world…

On July 31/08, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Iraqs formal request to buy M1 Abrams tanks, well as the associated vehicles, equipment and services required to keep these tanks in the field. It is likely that the tanks themselves will be transferred from US stocks, but this has not been verified. With this purchase, Iraq will become the 4th M1 Abrams operator in the region, joining Egypt (M1A1s), Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia (M1A2-SEP variant).

I’m having a great time watching as the Iraqi army builds up its capability. We reported several months ago that it had received electronic counter-IED systems for some of their VIP vehicles, I’m seeing a lot more up-armored Humvees over there and quite a few MRAP vehicles on Iraqi patrols as well.

But the request for M1 tanks takes the build-up to a new level. It’s like ordering F-15s for their air force. The DSCA says Iraq wants to buy 140 M1A2M tanks and eight M88A2 recovery vehicles.

But the $2.16 billion wish list doesn’t end there, the Iraqi government also wants:

  • 64 M1151A1B1 Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)
  • 92 M1152 Shelter Carriers
  • 12 M577A2 Command Post Carriers
  • 16 M548A1 Tracked Logistics Vehicles
  • 8 M113A2 Armored Ambulances
  • 420 AN/VRC-92 Vehicular Receiver Transmitters

And the list doesn’t stop there…

35 M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) Truck Tractors, 40 M978A2 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) Tankers, 36 M985A2 HEMTT Cargo Trucks, 4 M984A2 HEMTT Wrecker Trucks, 140 M1085A1 5-ton Cargo Trucks, 8 HMMWV Ambulances w/ Shelter, 8 Contact Maintenance Trucks, 32 500 gal Water Tank Trailers, 16 2500 gal Water Tank Trucks, 16 Motorcycles, 80 8 ton Heavy/Medium Trailers, 16 Sedans, 92 M1102 Light Tactical trailers, 92 635NL Semi-Trailers, 4 5,500 lb Rough Terrain Forklifts, 20 M1A1 engines, 20 M1A1 Full Up Power Packs, 3 spare M88A2 engines, 10 M1070 engines, 20 HEMTT engines, 4 M577A2 spare engines, 2 5-ton truck engines, 20 spare HMMWV engines, ammunition, spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, publications and documentation, personnel training and equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

I want to know who gets the motorcycles.

– Christian

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