Australia orders new M1A2 Abrams tanks

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton today announced a $3.5 billion investment in the Main Battle Tank Upgrade (LAND 907 Phase 2) and Combat Engineering Vehicle (LAND 8160 Phase 1) projects.

FILE PHOTO: A US Army 1st Cavalry Division Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 sends its first round down range at Fort Hood, Texas. Photo by Sergeant Calab Franklin.

Army will receive up to 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks, 29 M1150 assault breacher vehicles, 17 M1074 joint assault bridge vehicles and an additional six M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles.

Minister Dutton said the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams would provide critical protection and firepower for the ADF in land operations.

“Teamed with the infantry fighting vehicles, combat engineering vehicles and self-propelled howitzers, the new Abrams will give our soldiers the best possibility of success and protection from harm,” Minister Dutton said.

“The M1A2 Abrams will incorporate the latest developments in Australian sovereign defence capabilities, including command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems, and benefit from the intended manufacture of tank ammunition in Australia.

“Introduction of the new M1A2 vehicles will take advantage of the existing support infrastructure, with significant investment in Australian industry continuing in the areas of sustainment, simulation and training.”

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said that tanks and combat engineering vehicles were essential to Australia’s ability to contribute to a credible land-combat capability integrated with joint and coalition forces.

“The main battle tank is at the core of the ADF’s combined-arms fighting system, which includes infantry, artillery, communications, engineers, attack helicopters and logistics,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

“Because of their versatility, tanks can be used in a wide range of scenarios, environments and levels of conflict in the region.

“This system is the only part of the ADF that can successfully operate in medium to high-threat land environments.

“The M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams protection, accurate and lethal fire, mobility and situational awareness cannot be delivered by any other platform.

“There are no other current or emerging technologies – or combination of technologies – that can yet deliver the capability currently provided by a main battle tank.”

The first vehicles will be delivered to Australia in 2024, with the projects expected to achieve Initial Operating Capability in 2025.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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5 thoughts on “Australia orders new M1A2 Abrams tanks

  • 26/01/2022 at 12:10 pm

    Australia has not deployed a tank since the Vietnam war, so why all of a sudden do we need all this extra armour? Does the Army think we are going back to the middle east or to join the US in Europe? They will make great targets for Chinese Drones and that’s about all. May be the Army thinks we will have a major tank engagement in the Simpson desert. We would have been better of spending the money on ground attack aircraft. When will defence start focusing on actual threats, rather imagined ones.

  • 24/01/2022 at 6:53 am

    “…vehicles, worth $3.5billion.”
    I doubt that: more likely how much Australian taxpayers will pay – initially.
    Most government contracts have major built-in inflation because we all know that government coffers are bottomless.
    In what scenario do the boffins believe these will most likely be used? Coastal defence by invading forces? Taiwan? Solomon Islands?
    And is the next step a doubling of Globemasters to get them to the next foreign joint campaign?

  • 23/01/2022 at 4:27 pm

    I think their collective Call Sign is “Drone Target’.
    The next war has already been fought – twice, and with many other minor practice runs, but our military has ignored the evidence and the results. Our continuing faith that these armoured drone targets will live long enough to reach the battlefield and fire a shot is touching, but misplaced … Read on and weep. The next war was fought using new technologies and tactics not in our inventory.
    The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020 was a territorial war initiated by Armenia against Azerbaijan to connect the ethnic Armenian enclaves.
    The war was decisively won by Azerbaijan (with the assistance of Turkish drones).
    How did it happen against the superior armoured Armenian Forces? The Armenians committed 64,000 troops – and lost 4,900 KIA, 250 Tanks, 550 AFV & Military Vehicles, 270 Artillery Guns & 60 AA systems and 8x Arms Warehouses in 44 days. And proportionally, Armenian territory equivalent to the size of WA.
    Read again the Armenian losses to drones in just 44 days …
    Now cue to the Ethiopian-Tigray War, which Ethiopia was losing until Turkish & Saudi drones helped them stop and throw back the Tigrayan offensive and recover territory held by Tigray for years.
    We have no armed drones, are not planning to get any and have therefore already lost the next war. Azerbaijan or Ethiopia could beat us.
    Try and do what our ADF hierarchy apparently cannot do and join the dots.
    Drones are unfair! That’s why we stick with the good old tried and tested cold steel of the bayonet.

      • 23/01/2022 at 10:58 pm

        I think OP was referring to the tactical-level drones and ‘loitering munitions’ used by the Azerbaijanis and Ethiopians supplied by Israel and Turkey. The MQ-9B is an operational-level C4ISR asset, albeit capable of carrying weapons (although this is not its primary role), not a weapons delivery asset like the Hermes 900 or Bayraktar (or the Israeli ‘kamikaze’ Harop loitering munition).


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