Egypt signs deal for 500 Russian T-90MS main battle tanks

The Egyptian Ministry of Defence has apparently signed a deal with Russia’s Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) corporation and arms export agency Rosoboronexport to license-build 500 T-90MS main battle tanks.

The deal will see Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) corporation building a facility in Egypt to assemble up to 500 T90MS tanks before the end of 2021, although, some parts for the tanks will still be imported from Russia.

So far, details like the value of the deal has not been disclosed. In June 2017, reports of Egypt’s interest in the Russian T-90 main battle tank first came to light. Apparently, Egypt is impress with the T-90 MBT’s performance in Syria.

The Egyptian Army (EA) has a large stock of American made M1 Abram Main Battle Tanks about 1100 in total all built in Egypt. The EA is likely considering the T-90MS MBT because it is light enough to be transported by its new Mistral Class Helicopter Carriers since the M1 Abrams is too heavy to be transported by the ships.

Weighing 43 tons, the T-90MS is the latest version of the Russian T-90 main battle tank It was first revealed in 2011. The T-90’s 125mm can also fire the 9M119 “Refleks” anti-tank guided missile.

The newly assembled T-90MS will replace outdated tanks in Egyptian Army service including T-55/54, T-62, and M60s. The T-90s will equip Egypt’s Army armored divisions while the M1 Abrams will be transferred to the mechanized units under the armoured Corp.

The Egyptian Army has numerous tank troops. Of more or less modern combat vehicles, Cairo has 34 T-80U tanks and 1,100 M1A1 Abrams. 840 T-54/55 units and 500 T-62 units, only 200 are in service, the remaining are in storage. There are still 300 old American M60A1 and 850 M60A3.

It is equipped with a 1,130 hp engine, a PNM Sosna-U gunner view, a UDP T05BV-1 RWS with a 7.62 mm machine gun, GLONASS, inertial navigation systems, new Relikt explosive reactive armour (ERA) that covers more of the tank, and a steering wheel. A new removable turret bustle is included, which provides storage for eight additional rounds.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.