WASHINGTON — 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.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency also announced the potential sale of 20 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) for Poland, with an estimated price tag of $655 million.
Combined, the two represent $1.91 billion in potential sales. 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.
The Polish buy for 20 HIMARS M142 launchers also comes with 36 guided multiple launch rocket systems, nine guided multiple launch rocket system M30A1 alternative warheads, 30 Army Tactical Missile Systems, 24 Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems and associated equipment. The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.