Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Egypt has signed a contract with Russia to license-build 500 T-90MS battle tanks according to sources in the Russian defense industry. The contract was signed by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and Military Production and the sole Russian state defense export agency Rosoboronexport.
Under the contract, the Uralvagonzavod corporation will build a facility to assemble T-90MS tanks under license in Egypt.
The T-90MS is a significantly upgraded version of the T-90S. The battle tank is equipped with a 1,130 hp engine, a PNM Sosna-U gunner sight, a UDP T05BV-1 remote weapon station with a 7.62 mm machine gun, and a brand new navigation system with GLONASS.
The tank protection was improved with the addition of the new Relikt explosive reactive armor (ERA) that covers a large part of the chassis and turret.
The purchase of T-90MS battle tanks will significantly improve the offensive capabilities of the Egyptian Armed Forces. The contract will also allow Egypt to gain vast experience in the construction and maintenance of battle tanks.
Egypt Army intends to take out of service all the old T-55/54 and T-62 main battle tanks, as well as all the relatively old Hefton tanks, and replace them with T-90 tanks.
The Egyptian Army has numerous tank troops. Out 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. The Egyptian Army is preparing to operate only two types of tanks in its future armored units: the American Abrahams and the Russian T-90s. The Egyptian Army will equip its armored divisions with T-90 tanks, while Abrahams M-1 models, will pass to the armored divisions subordinate to the mechanized divisions in the Egyptian Army.