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Leonardo DRS to equip Australian ABVs with electro-optical sensors

In January 2022, Australia announced the procurement of 29 Assault Breacher Vehicles from the US. (US Marine Corps)

The United States Army has awarded a contract to Leonardo DRS for equipping Australia's Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABVs) with thermal integrated vision systems (IVSs), Leonardo DRS said.

According to a press release by Leonardo DRS on 4 October, the contract is worth USD9.6 million.

The company added that the IVS combines state-of-the-art uncooled thermal technology into a small two-axis stabilised gimbal in addition to a situation awareness camera system.

β€œWhen the ABV is equipped with IVS, the thermal sighting technology allows users to be protected inside the armoured vehicle. IVS also provides users with a visual situational awareness outside during combat missions,” said Leonardo DRS.

In January, Australia announced the procurement of Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) and combat engineering capabilities for AUD3.5 billion (USD2.26 billion) from the US.

Under this deal, the Australian Army will receive 75 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 29 M1150 ABVs, 17 M1074 Joint Assault Bridge Vehicles, and an additional six M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles.

An Australian defence spokesperson told Janes on 9 September that the first vehicles will be delivered to Australia in 2024, with the projects expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2025.

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