M1A2 Abrams order greenlit
By: Charbel Kadib
The Commonwealth government has reportedly approved the multi-billion-dollar order of a fleet of the armoured fighting vehicles.
Australian Army’s request to purchase 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks under the LAND 907 Phase 2 project has been reportedly greenlit by the Commonwealth cabinet, with a formal announcement expected to be made imminently.
A separate order for 29 M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles, 18 M1074 Joint Assault Bridges, six M88A2 Hercules Combat Recovery Vehicles, and 122 AGT1500 gas turbine engines as part of LAND 8160 Phase 1 has also been approved.
This follows the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency’s (DSCA) decision to sanction a US$1.7 billion ($2.2 billion) Commonwealth government request to purchase M1A1 Tank structures/hulls in May.
The M1A2 SEPv3 Main Battle Tanks are expected to upgrade the existing fleet, with no changes to Royal Australian Armoured Corps force structure.
The M88A2 vehicles are to provide additional de-processing and combat vehicle recovery support for the current fleet, while the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABVs) and M1074 Joint Assault Bridges (JABs) deliver new capability to the Royal Australian Engineers.
The ABVs and JABs are tipped to deliver under-armour bridging and breaching capability, helping to increase the effectiveness and survivability of Australian combat engineers and provide increased mobility for the armoured fleet.