US approves potential USD1.68 billion sale of heavy armoured combat systems to Australia

by Gabriel Dominguez & Julian Kerr

The US State Department has approved a potential USD1.68 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of heavy armoured combat systems, along with related equipment and services, to Australia.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 29 April that Canberra had requested to buy 160 M1A1 tank structures/hulls and 122 AGT1500 gas turbine engines provided from stock to produce 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs), 29 M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABVs), 18 M1074 Joint Assault Bridges (JABs), and six M88A2 Hercules armoured recovery vehicles. This totals 128 vehicles, with the remaining 32 hulls likely intended as spares.

Also included in the deal, which still needs to be approved by the US Congress, is development of a unique armour package, Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station Low Profile (CROWS-LP), Driver’s Vision Enhancer, mission equipment, special tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, system and engine spare parts, technical data, publications, modification work orders/engineering change proposals (MWO/ECPs), US government and contractor technical and logistics assistance, quality assurance teams, transportation services, programme management, New Equipment Training (NET); and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

The US DSCA announced on 29 April that the US State Department had approved a potential sale to Australia of heavy armoured combat systems, including 160 M1A1 tank structures/hulls to produce 75 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 MBTs (similar to this one in US Army service). (US Army)

The US DSCA announced on 29 April that the US State Department had approved a potential sale to Australia of heavy armoured combat systems, including 160 M1A1 tank structures/hulls to produce 75 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 MBTs (similar to this one in US Army service). (US Army)

The M1A2 SEPv3 MBTs will replace the Australian Army’s current fleet of M1A1 SA tanks (with no changes to the force structure of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps), while the additional M88A2 vehicles will provide “deprocessing and combat vehicle recovery support” for the Australian tank fleet, according to the DSCA.

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The US State Department has approved a potential USD1.68 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of heav...

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