The U.S. State Department recently approved the potential sale to Australia of the latest version of the Abrams tank, according to Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
On April 29, 2021, the DSCA, the Pentagon’s top arms broker, announced that the U.S. State Department has cleared 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.
According to the DSCA, the complete package includes 75 M1A2 tanks in the latest System Enhancement Program Version 3 (SEPv3) configuration, 29 M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles, 18 M1074 Joint Assault Bridges, 6 M88A2 Hercules Combat Recovery Vehicles, and one hundred 122 AGT1500 gas turbine engines.
“The proposed sale improves Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing the lethality, survivability, and interoperability of the Australian Army,” the DSCA notice says. “Australia will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.”
It is also important to note that DSCA said that 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.
The latest version of America’s iconic main battle tank, also know as the M1A2C, has improved fire control electronics mean the SEPv3’s gun can shoot faster and more accurately; the engine, drivetrain, and tracks have been updated for higher performance and to support the platform’s weight increase.
It is the most reliable Abrams tank ever produced, will decrease the Army’s logistic burden, and leads the Army in Enterprise-level connectivity to maintenance and supply systems.
The SEPv3 measures 9.7m-long, 3.7m-wide and 2.4m-high, and is manned by a crew of four, including a driver, a commander, a loader and a gunner.