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Australia invests in heavy metal

11th January 2022 - 22:28 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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Australia is replacing its existing M1A1 AIM SA tanks (pictured here) with the more sophisticated M1A2 SEPv3. (Gordon Arthur)

Canberra has given a green light for the Australian Army to get new armour and combat engineer vehicles.

Australia is proceeding with a programme to upgrade the army’s M1 Abrams tank fleet, and add completely new combat engineering assets, after approval by cabinet, it was confirmed on 10 January.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton revealed the programme would cost A$3.5 billion ($2.5 billion) for Project Land 907 Phase 2 (the Abrams upgrade) and Project Land 8160 Phase 1 (combat engineering vehicles).

Specifically, the procurement entails 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks, 29 M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABV), 17 M1074 Joint Assault Bridges (JAB) and six M88A2 HERCULES armoured recovery vehicles.

On 29 April last year, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)

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