Armor: Egyptian M-1 Fleet Expands

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November 25, 2011: Egypt has purchased components for another 125 American M-1A1 tanks, at a cost of $3.2 million each. The components are shipped to Egypt and assembled there. That process will take about four years. This is the 11th batch assembled by Egypt, giving them 1,130 M-1 tanks. Eight years ago, the price was $2.2 million each.

Because of this large M-1 force, and over a thousand U.S. M-60 tanks they have, Egypt has taken its Russian tanks out of service during the last decade. 

The 1979 peace deal between Egypt and Israel, brokered by the United States, included an agreement to provide Egypt with new weapons and this led to a 1984 agreement to provide 500 M-1 tanks, although Egypt wanted 1,500. Production did not begin in Egypt until 1992. The Egyptians were quite pleased with the M-1s. However, the expense of training with the M-1s (which consume 12 liters/three gallons of fuel per kilometer traveled) and the reliance on conscripts for tank crews has made the M-1s less effective than those used by the United States. However, the Egyptians put their best recruits into M-1 crews and spend a lot of time doing drills in stationary tanks and with simulators.

Thus while Egyptian crew training and tank maintenance may not be up to Israeli standards, the Egyptians feel they have a better tank force than they ever did in the past, especially when they relied largely on Russian equipment.

 


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