As many as is redundant here. So you can safely remove it. Also, answering your question,
1) "as many as" is used generally while comparing two quantities. It is used to show that there is no difference in the quantities. e.g. "The tub has as many balls as the bucket"
2) It is also used to qualify the meaning of many as a very large number, depending on what follows it. e.g. "you may take as many balls as you need"