The Abrams request would deliver 175 of the heavy tanks, for an estimated value of $12.4 billion. Those tanks would be in the upgraded configuration featuring a 120mm gun. Also included in that sale would be 15 M88A2 tank recovery vehicles, tens of thousands of rounds of 120mm ammunition, 190 AN/VRC-92 vehicular dual long-range radio systems and 700 M1028 commercial utility cargo vehicles, among other support gear.
In a news release announcing the potential sale, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) noted that the tanks would "facilitate progress towards increasing [Iraq's] ability to quickly mobilize and defend its border." The announcement also said the sale would demonstrate "the on-going US commitment to support Iraq's continued development into a sovereign, stable, and long-term self-reliant strategic partner."
As with the Abrams tanks, DSCA says the Humvees would increase the "safety, effectiveness, and self-reliance of the Iraqi Security Forces."
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.