The United States delivered the first shipment of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to the Egyptian military on Thursday via the port of Alexandria, the US embassy said in an official statement.
The heavily armored MRAP vehicles are specifically designed to protect soldiers from blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), landmines, and other types of attacks.
Thursday’s delivery is the first batch of a total of 762 MRAP vehicles that the US is transferring to Egypt. “This new capability will be used to combat terrorism and promote stability in the region,” the embassy said.
Originally designed to support US military operations in Afghanistan, MRAPs provide an enhanced level of protection to soldiers and are proven to save lives, according to the statement
The embassy’s senior defence official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper stated: “The delivery of these MRAPs to Egypt provides a crucial capability needed during these times of regional instability and is part of the continuing strong relationship between the US and Egypt.”
Major military support from the US began following the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty; partly to guarantee security for Israel and partly as a Cold War strategy to realign Egypt from the Soviet Union to the US. The Atlantic Council report states that over the course of the past 35 years, the US has provided over $40bn worth of defence aid to Egypt, second only to Israel.