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US clears 162 Abrams tank upgrades for Morocco

The U.S. State Department cleared Thursday the potential sale of support and upgrades for a Moroccan order of 162 Abrams tanks, a sale that could potentially be worth $1.26 billion.

As with all DSCA announcements, the sales must pass through the Senate, at which negotiations can begin. Total quantities and dollar totals often change from the original DSCA announcement and final sale.

It’s been a big week for American arms sales, Thursday’s announcement came two days after a trio of packages — Apache helicopters and tank ammunition for Egypt, and missiles for Qatar — were announced with a combined $1.42 estimated price tag.

The Morrocco deal covers upgrades to 162 excess Abrams, turning the older designs into one of three variants: the baseline M1A1, the, M1A2M design with a Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer or the M1A1 U.S. Marine Corps version.

“This proposed sale of M1A1 tank enhancements will contribute to the modernization of Morocco’s tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats,” the DSCA announcement reads. “These tanks will contribute to Morocco’s goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies.”

The prime contractor will be General Dynamics, with work performed at Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama and the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. Some form of industrial offset is expected, due to Moroccan law.

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