AMMAN, Jordan — The first shipment of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAP) from the US has been delivered to the Egyptian military, according to the US Embassy in Egypt.

While the number of vehicles delivered was not stated, it is the first round of MRAPs out of 762 the US plan to send to Egypt.

According to the embassy, "this new capability will be used to combat terrorism and promote stability in the region."

And Maj. Gen. Charles Hooper, a senior defense official at the US Embassy in Egypt, said: "The delivery of these MRAPs to Egypt provides a crucial capability needed during these times of regional instability and is part of the continuing strong relationship between the US and Egypt."

The US is giving Egypt the MRAPs free of charge as part of the Pentagon's Excess Defense Articles grant program.

The US Army needs less MRAPs as it attempts to wind down its operations in Afghanistan. MRAPs were rapidly developed to protect troops from improvised explosive device blasts in the country.

While Egypt is receiving that equipment for free, the country's safety and security market is "flourishing," Cherine Maher, the head of regional safety and security at the US Embassy in Jordan, said May 10 at SOFEX, a special operations exhibition in Amman. Egypt's defense market is expected to grow by 15 to 20 percent during the next few years, she said.

"Egypt is facing a lot of challenges, especially in terms of border control and whether it's from the west or the east or the north or the south, so the main project that is going on is border and perimeter control," Maher said, which means the country really wants bomb detection, jammers and improvised explosive device diffusers.

Twitter: @JenJudson