Saudi Arabia has requested to buy General Dynamics Land Systems-made M1A2S Abrams tanks and M88A1/A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (Hercules) Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARV) in a foreign military sale worth approximately $1.15 billion, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency statement Tuesday.
Congress was notified yesterday of the possible sale, which the State Department has approved. The notice does not mean the sale has been concluded.
The kingdom’s request includes up to 153 M1A1/A2 tanks for conversion to 133 M1A2S Saudi Abrams-configured main battle tanks, along with 20 replacements for vehicles damaged in battle.
The Saudi Arabian government also wants 20 Hercules ARVs.
It is worth noting that the 20 replacements for vehicles damaged in battle most likely refers to tanks lost in the fighting in Yemen. Saudi forces have been engaged in Yemen fighting Iranian-backed Houthi separatists. Numerous videos of emerged over the past few months of Saudi tanks being engaged by Houthi fighters firing ATGMs. These videos show Saudi Abrams and M60 tanks being engaged, so the 20 damaged Abrams tanks mentioned in this news story only represent some of the Saudi tank losses in this conflict.