Egypt's government has signed an agreement for the production of 500 Russian T-90MS tanks in the country, according to Russian media reports on June 27.
The reports quoted Russian defense industry sources as saying Russian tank maker Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) will build a facility to assemble the tanks under license, with many of the parts to be imported from Russia. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
The agreement was said to have been reached by Egypt's Defense Ministry, UVZ and Russia's Rosoboronexport arms export agency.
The T-90MS, the latest version of the T-90 main battle tank, is said to have powerful weaponry, an advanced fire control system and explosive reactive armor, as well as the capability to operate around the clock in any climate.
Reports said one of the reasons that the Egyptian military was interested in the T-90MS was because it is lighter than the M1 Abrams tank, which is too heavy to be transported by Egypt's Mistral-class Helicopter Carriers. Egypt has over 1,000 M1 Abrams tanks in its armored divisions.