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US DSCA Approves HACS Sale To Australia

Australia plans to upgrade its M1A1 Abrams fleet (example seen here) with 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams MBTs converted from US surplus stocks [©Gordon Arthur]

The US DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) has approved the sale of HACS (Heavy Armoured Combat Systems) to the Australian Government.


DSCA Press Release, Washington, 29 April 2021: The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of Heavy Armoured 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 armour 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), US 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. The total estimated value is $1.685 billion.

US Marine Corps M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles, Yakima Training Area, April 2019 [©Bob Morrison]

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 strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence 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 defence 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-armour bridging and breaching capability, increasing the effectiveness and survivability of Australian Combat Engineers and providing increased mobility for the armoured fleet. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

US Army M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicle, Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, August 2020 [©Bob Morrison]

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

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. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).

Implementation of this sale will require the assignment of approximately 10 additional US or contractor representatives to Australia. There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.

US Army M1A2 SEPV3 Abrams Main Battle Tank, Fort Hood, Texas, August 18, 2020
[US Army: Sgt Calab Franklin]
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