U.S. State Department Approves 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Tanks For Australia

The State Department has approved possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of Heavy Armored Combat Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.685 billion. 

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy one hundred sixty (160) M1A1 Tank structures/hulls provided from stock in order to produce the following end items and spares:  seventy-five (75) M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks; twenty-nine (29) M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles; eighteen (18) M1074 Joint Assault Bridges; six (6) M88A2 Hercules Combat Recovery Vehicles; and one hundred twenty-two (122) AGT1500 gas turbine engines.  Also included is development of a unique armor 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), U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics assistance, quality assurance teams, transportation services, program management, New Equipment Training (NET); and other related elements of logistical and program support. 

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.  Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific, the State Department said in a statement.

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The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.  It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

The proposed sale improves Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing the lethality, survivability, and interoperability of the Australian Army.  Australia will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. 

The M1A2 SEPv3 Main Battle Tanks will upgrade the current Australian fleet of M1A1 SA tanks with no changes to Royal Australian Armoured Corps force structure.  Additional M88A2 vehicles provide de-processing and combat vehicle recovery support for the Australian tank fleet. 

The M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABVs) and M1074 Joint Assault Bridges (JABs) will be a new capability for the Royal Australian Engineers, bringing under-armor bridging and breaching capability, increasing the effectiveness and survivability of Australian Combat Engineers and providing increased mobility for the armored fleet. 

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