According to the State Department’s statement, Romanian authorities are interested in acquiring 54 vehicles in the M1A2 SEPv3 configuration, which will be created by refurbishing 54 M1A1 tank structures. In addition to these, the package includes four M88A2 HERCULES armoured recovery vehicles, four M1110 Joint Assault Bridges, four M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles, and four HASB bridges. The Americans also intend to sell ten AGT1500 spare gas turbines, 54 M240C machine guns, 5940 M1147 HEMP-T tank rounds, 4230 M1002 TPMP-T rounds, mine ploughs, and various support vehicles (M1300 tractor units with trailers, M978A4 trucks, M107A1 and M1120 transporters). As standard, the package also encompasses necessary logistical and training support, spare parts, simulators, and operational equipment.
“The proposed sale will improve Romania’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a credible force that is capable of deterring adversaries and participating in NATO operations. Romania will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.
The Romanian Parliament approved the tank purchase plan in May this year. The American tanks will allow the rearmament of one of the five active tank battalions, currently equipped with around 270 vehicles. The Romanian Land Forces currently have over 300 TR-85 and TR-85M1 Bisonul tanks, as well as stored older TR-850 and T-55 tanks. Both types of domestic tanks (TR-85 and TR-580) are originally derived from the Soviet T-55s from the 1950s. Despite some modernizations of the TR-85 to the TR-85M1 standard in the late 1990s, these vehicles are hardly modern, still equipped only with solid steel armour, and their armament includes a 100 mm rifled barrel gun, among others.
Currently, in Europe, the Abrams tank family is operated by Poland (which has ordered a total of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 and 116 M1A1 tanks) and Ukraine (the United States Department of Defence has delivered 31 M1A1 tanks, which are already in the country).