Australia approves the purchase of 75 US M1A2 SEP V3 Main Battle Tanks


According to information published by the "Defence Connect" website on December 18, 2021, the Australian Government has approved the purchase of 75 M1A2 SEP V3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks under the LAND 907 Phase 2 project.
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U.S. soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3ABCT), 1st Cavalry Division, stage the first set of new M1A2C (SEP v.3) Abrams Tanks at Fort Hood, Texas, July 21, 2020.(Picture source U.S. DoD)


The Land 907 Phase 2 Project of the Australian Army includes the upgrade of the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, the M88A2 Armored Recovery Vehicle and tank supporting systems.

In April 2021, the U.S. State Department has released the approval of a 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 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.

The M1A2 SEP V3 Main Battle Tanks will upgrade the current Australian fleet of M1A1 SA tanks with no changes to Royal Australian Armored Corps force structure. The principal contractors will be General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, MI; BAE Systems, York, PA; Leonardo DRS, Arlington, VA; and Honeywell Aerospace, Phoenix, AZ.

According to the military balance 2020, the Australian army has a total of 59 M1A1 Abrams. In March 2004, the Australian government has announced that the Australian Army with being equipped with 59 United States M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management main battle tanks to replace the German-designed and built Leopard AS1, which entered Australian service in 1976. The first M1A1 Abrams entered into service with the Australian army in mid-2007.

The M1A2 SEPV V3 also called M1A2C is a modernized version of the Abrams M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank (MBT) that benefits from a number of upgrades in the areas of survivability, maintainability, full efficiency, and network capability.

The M1A2 Abrams SEP V3 has the same design as the M1A2 MBT with the driver’s position at the forward centre of the hull, turret in the middle and power-pack at the rear. It has a crew of four including driver, commander, gunner and loader.

The main armament of M1A2 SEP V3 includes one 120 mm smoothbore M256 cannon. The tank will be fitted with a Low Profile (LP) CROW (Common Remotely Operated Weapon System). This effort improves the tank commander’s situational awareness without compromising capability. The second armament includes a coaxial 7.62 mm M240 machine gun mounted to the right of the main gun, and a similar weapon skate-mounted on the left side of the turret for the loader can be elevated from -30 to +65º, total traverse being 265º.

The M1A2 SEP V3 has a new armor package inside the turret and the hull to provide better survivability against multiple IED (Improvised Explosive Device) threats.


Defense News December 2021

 

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