Saudi Arabia - M1A1 and Upgrade of M1A2 to M1A2S Abrams Tanks
(Source: US Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued June 28, 2006)
Saudi Arabia will spend $2.9 billion to buy additional M-1A1 tanks, like this US Army Abrams shown in Iraq, and rebuild its entire fleet to “like-new” M1A2S standard. (US Army photo by Jacob N Bailey).
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of M1A1 and upgrade of M1A2 to M1A2S Abrams tanks as well as associated equipment and services.

The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $2.9 billion.

The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale and reconfiguration for 58 M1A1 Abrams tanks, which, together with 315 M1A2 Abrams tanks already in Saudi Arabia’s inventory, will be modified and upgraded to the M1A2S (Saudi) Abrams configuration, kits, spare and repair parts, communications and support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, contractor engineering and technical support services and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $2.9 billion.

We previously notified transmittal number 90-07 to Congress on 2 December 1989 of the possible sale of 315 M1A2A Abrams tanks, with ancillary weapons and equipment, 30 M88A1 recovery vehicles, 175 M998 utility trucks, other trucks, ammunition, and full logistics support for an estimated value of $725 million.

Transmittal number 90-78 was notified to Congress on 27 October 1990 for the possible sale of 150 M1A2 tanks, 200 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Family Systems (including TOW versions and 1,750 TOW IIA Missiles), 207 M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Family Vehicles, 50 M548 Cargo Carriers, 17 M88A1 and 43 M578 Recovery Vehicles, ammunition, and full logistics support for an estimated value of $3.2 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

This proposed sale consists of three phases:

(1) engineering phase for 30 months,
(2) purchase of and upgrade of 58 M1A1s to M1A2S (Saudi) configuration, and
(3) tear down of the 315 M1A2 Abrams in Saudi Arabia’s tank fleet and upgrade to the M1A2S configuration.

The Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) program was designed economically to rebuild and maintain the M1A1 Main Battle Tank (MBT) to a ‘like new’ condition to improve fleet readiness and reduce sustainment costs. The 58 M1A1s will undergo an ‘AIM-like’ process and will be upgraded to the M1A2S configuration in the United States. The 315 Saudi M1A2A MBT’s will undergo an ‘AIM-like’ process and will be re-configured to the M1A2S configuration. Vehicle teardown and final re-assembly will be accomplished in Saudi Arabia.

The proposed sale and upgrade will allow Saudi Arabia to operate and exercise a more lethal and survivable M1A2S tank for the protection of critical infrastructure. This proposed sale/upgrade keeps a substantial number of tanks in the region that have a high degree of commonality with the U.S. tank fleet. The M1A2S design is intended to take advantage of the digital capabilities of the M1A2 while limiting obsolescence challenges. Saudi will have no difficulty absorbing these additional tanks into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be General Dynamics Land Systems of Sterling Heights, Michigan. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of U.S. Government and contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia for up to eight years. The exact number of representatives will be established during program definition between representatives of the United States Government and the purchaser.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the sale has been concluded.

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