June 12 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Land Systems has received a $16.2 million contract modification for technical support in building Abrams M1A1 tanks, both for the U.S. military and for foreign military sales to Morocco, the Defense Department said.
The contract, announced Tuesday, covers systems technical support for the Abrams family of vehicles, with work on the contract to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich., and an expected completion date of June 30, 2020.
The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces has ordered at least 162 Abrams tanks, a well-armed and highly mobile main battle tank built for armored ground warfare. In November 2018, the State Department approved the sale of 162 tanks to Morocco at an estimated cost of $1.259 billion.
Morocco has been acquiring Abrams tanks from the U.S. for nearly a decade, though.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in June 2012 that Morocco had requested the possible sale of 200 surplus M1A1 tanks, along with associated parts, equipment, logistical support and training. In 2016, 22 refurbished Abrams tanks were officially handed over by the U.S. Army to the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in a ceremony in Nouaceur, Morocco. By 2018 the Moroccan army had 127 Abrams tanks, as well as tanks made in Russia and China.