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US Clears $2.2B Bahrain Purchase of Abrams Main Battle Tanks

M1A2 Abrams Tanks

The U.S. Department of State has approved the government of Bahrain’s request to purchase Abrams main battle tanks for an estimated $2.2 billion.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the procurement includes 50 M1A2 System Enhancement Program version 3 tanks, four M88A2 Hercules combat recovery vehicles and eight M1150 assault breacher vehicles. Other related items included in the planned purchase are M1110 joint assault bridges, M240 Coaxial 7.62 mm machine guns and 120 mm M1002 target practice multipurpose tracer projectiles.

The DSCA named General Dynamics’ land systems unit, BAE Systems, Leonardo, Honeywell Aerospace, RTX and Lockheed Martin as the deal’s principal contractors. Bahrain has requested that one government agent and 30 contractor representatives be assigned for five years in the country to support the equipment’s local fielding and training activities.

According to the agency, the procurement will boost the Middle Eastern kingdom’s defense against present and future security threats and enable the country to join the United States and other allies in regional operations.    

The U.S. approval of the Abrams tank purchase follows Lockheed Martin’s March delivery of the first ferry cell of three F-16 Block 70 jet fighters that Bahrain ordered in June 2018. The State Department also approved in March 2023 a potential $350 million foreign military sale to refurbish Bahrain’s AH-1W attack helicopter fleet.

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