CAIRO: After three years of closure, Military Tanks Factory 200 was reopened Sunday to provide the Armed Forces with M1A1 tanks and M88A2 recovery vehicles, according to a military statement.
The factory resumed operation after the U.S. ban on some tank components sharply affected production. The ban was imposed after the violent dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in August 2013, but was lifted in March 2015.
Over 9,000 workers and engineers were affected by the closure, Minister of Military Production Mohamed al-Assar said at the celebration, adding that the step will allow optimum utilization of equipment and qualified technical personnel of the factory.
The Military Factory 200, established in 1992, proves the depth of cooperation between Cairo and Washington, and the reopening is a “clear indicator of the strong partnership” of the two countries, the statement quoted U.S. Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo, Major General Charles Hooper.
The factory will help periodically develop the M1A1 tank, which is the main combat tank in service, modernize and maintain all continuous track machines, and produce spare parts to support the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces, Assar said.
The resumption of production at the factory was discussed Oct. 15 by Assar, U.S. ambassador to Egypt Robert S. Beecroft and Donald Schenk, head of the General Dynamics defense company.
The U.S. had delivered M1A1 Tank turrets to Egypt in August.