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Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

This is a discussion on Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Unfortunately this entire part of the transcript is in uppercase. 04/08/2004 MSPA 40804/04 Chief of Army Media Briefing Session M1A1 ...


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Old August 4th, 2004   #1
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Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

Unfortunately this entire part of the transcript is in uppercase.

04/08/2004 MSPA 40804/04

Chief of Army Media Briefing Session

M1A1 Abrams integrated management (AIM) MAIN Battle tank



LIEUTENANT GENERAL PETER LEAHY

CHIEF OF ARMY

EVER SINCE THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DECISION TO REPLACE THE LEOPARD TANK THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERABLE INTEREST IN THE REPLACEMENT VEHICLE. SOME OF THIS HAS BEEN INFORMED SOME HAS NOT.

OUR AIM TODAY IS TO PROVIDE YOU WITH MORE INFORMATION ON THE M1A1 AIM TANK.

TODAY’S PRESENTATION WILL BE IN FOUR PARTS.

FIRST A BRIEF INTRODUCTION FROM ME.
SECOND BRIGADIER MICHAEL CLIFFORD, FROM ARMY HEADQUARTERS, WHO WILL TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE REQUIREMENT FOR A REPLACEMENT TANK AND THE BASIS FOR OUR DECISION TO SELECT THE ABRAMS TANK.
THIRD LTCOL DUNCAN HAYWARD WHO WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION, IN QUITE SPECIFIC DETAIL, ON WHAT WE WILL BE GETTING AS PART OF THE TANK REPLACEMENT PROJECT.
FINALLY, AFTER WE HAVE CONLCUDED OUR PRESENTATIONS THERE WILL BE TIME AVAILABLE FOR QUESTIONS.
TO HELP WITH QUESTIONS MR JOHN PLUCK AND LTCOL ANDREW LIBBY FROM THE DEFENCE MATERIEL OFFICE ARE HERE. ALSO ASSISTING IS COMMODORE ALAN DUTOIT FROM NAVY HEADQUARTERS WHO WILL BE ABLE TO ANSWER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ON HOW WE WILL MOVE THE TANK BY SEA.
THE CORE BUSINESS OF AN ARMY IS TO CONDUCT CLOSE COMBAT AGAINST AN ENEMY USING BALANCED COMBINED ARMS TEAMS. A COMBINED ARMS TEAM IS MADE UP OF INFANTRY, ARMOUR, ARTILLERY, ENGINEERS, AND ARMY AVIATION WORKING CLOSELY TOGETHER.

THE TANK IS A CENTRAL PART OF THIS COMBINED ARMS TEAM PROVIDING PROTECTION, COMMUNICATIONS AND FIREPOWER.

AS WE REVIEWED OUR FUTURE CAPABILITY AND THE CHANGES TO THE SECURITY ENVIRONMENT OVER THE NEXT FEW DECADES IT BECOME INCREASINGLY APPARENT THAT OUR CURRENT TANK WOULD NOT BE CAPABLE OF PERFORMING ITS ROLE IN A BALANCED COMBINED ARMS TEAM.

OUR REVIEWS WERE EXTENSIVE AND INCLUDED HISTORICAL ANALYSIS, WARGAMING, EXPERIMENTATION AND LESSONS FROM RECENT AND CURRENT OPERATIONS. ALL POINTED TO ONE CONCLUSION. TANKS PROVIDE THE FIREPOWER AND PROTECTION TO ENSURE THAT DEPLOYED FORCES ACHIEVE RAPID SUCCESS WHILE MINIMISING FRIENDLY CASUALTIES. PUT SIMPLY TANKS SAVE LIVES.

THE DECISION TO REPLACE THE LEOPARD TANK WITH THE ABRAMS M1A1 AIM TANK REPRESENTS CLEAR POLICY CONTINUITY. WE ARE NOT INTRODUCING A NEW CAPABILITY MERELY REPLACING AN EXISTING CAPABILITY. THE ABRAMS TANK WILL PROVIDE ARMY WITH INCREASED FIREPOWER, MOBILITY AND VERY IMPORTANTLY WITH INCREASED SURVIVABILITY FOR OUR SOLDIERS ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

OUR STRATEGIC RATIONALE HAS NOT CHANGED. IN THE AUSTRALIAN CONTEXT THE TANK HAS PREDOMINANTLY BEEN AN INFANTRY SUPPORT WEAPON. WE HAVE NEVER ENVISAGED BROAD SWEEPING TANK BATTLES. WE HAVE BEEN MUCH INFLUENCED BY OUR EXPERIENCES IN BUNA AND IN VIEETNAM. OUR TANK REGIMENT PRACTICES CLOSE COOPERATION IN COMBINED ARMS TEAMS AND IS BECOMING INCREASING EXPERT IN OPERATING IN COMPLEX TERRAIN.

THE ABRAMS TANK MEANS THAT IF WE HAVE TO DEPLOY OUR FORCES ON CLOSE COPMBAT OPERATIONS THEY WILL HAVE THE COMBAT WEIGHT THEY NEED TO ACHIEVE THEIR MISSION WITHOUT UNDUE RISK.

THIS SLIDE PROVIDES THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT TO INTRODUCE THE ABRAMS TANK.

BRIGADIER CLIFFORD WILL NOW GIVE YOU SOME MORE DETAIL ON HOW AND WHY WE MADE THE DECISION TO SELECT THE ABRAMS TANK.

BRIGADIER MICHAEL CLIFFORD

DIRECTOR GENERAL PREPARAEDNESS AND PLANS – ARMY

ARMY HEADQUARTERS

GOOD MORNING

I WILL START BY PICKING UP ON GENERAL LEAHY’S COMMENT POLICY CONTINUITY.

THE FIRST ISSUE TO HIGHLIGHT IS THAT THE DECISION TO REPLACE THE LEOPARD TANK REINFORCES THE GOVERNMENT’S 2000 WHITE PAPER JUDGEMENT THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR THE ADF TO DEVELOP A HEAVY ARMOURED FORCE.

THE ARMY DOES NOT SEE THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH A FORCE AS A REAL OPTION.

QUITE SIMPLY FORCES OF THIS TYPE CONTINUE TO BE BEYOND AUSTRALIA’S CAPACITY AND NEEDS.

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT DID CHOOSE TO DO IN THE 2000 WHITE PAPER. WAS TO RETAIN THE LEOPARD TANK AS A COMPONENT OF A BALANCED COMBINED ARMS CAPABILITY.

A CAPABILITY THAT COULD ACHIEVE A CLEAR MARGIN OF OPERATIONAL SUPERIORITY. THUS ENSURING A HIGH CHANCE OF SUCCESS AND SURVIVAL IN MORE DEMANDING OPERATIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE ASSUMPTION AT THE TIME WAS THAT THE LEOPARD WOULD CONTINUE TO BE A SUFFICIENTLY CAPABLE PLATFORM TO BE RISKED MANAGED THROUGH TO ITS PLANNED LIFE OF TYPE IN THE LATER HALF OF THE NEXT DECADE.

THIS DID NOT PROVE TO BE AN ENDURING ASSUMPTION FOR TWO REASONS:

FIRSTLY DUE TO RAPID INCREASE IN RELATIVELY CHEAP YET VERY EFFECTIVE ANTI-ARMOURED WEAPONS,
AND SECONDLY THE INCREASING COST OF OWNERSHIP OF WHAT IS A SMALL ALMOST UNIQUE TANK FLEET WITHIN A QUICKLY DECLINING GLOBAL FLEET.
THE CASE THAT DEFENCE PUT AND THE GOVERNMENT AGREED TO WAS THAT THE ABSENCE OF A VIABLE TANK CAPABILITY REDUCED THE STRATEGIC CHOICES THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

I MIGHT ADD THAT THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM FACED ONLY BY AUSTRALIA.

ALL TANK OPERATING COUNTRIES ARE FACING THE DUAL CHALLENGES OF INCREASED THREAT WITHIN A MORE ROBUST OPERATING ENVIRONMENT.

COUPLED WITH THE NEED TO UPGRADE TANK FLEETS TO ACCOMMODATE THE DEMANDS OF A MORE COSTLY AND DIGITAL BATTLEFIELD.

AS YOU ARE AWARE ONCE THE GOVERNMENT HAD ACCEPTED THE DEPARTMENT’S CONCERNS THEY DIRECTED LATE LAST YEAR THAT WE INVESTIGATE THREE OPTIONS.

VARIANTS OF THE EUROPEAN LEOPARD 2,
THE BRITISH CHALLENGER TANK,
AND THE US ABRAMS MAIN BATTLE TANK.
THESE ARE ALL GOOD TANKS AND ALL HAVE UPGRADE OPTIONS EITHER IN PLACE OR PLANNED.

WE ANALYSED THE CRITERIA ON THE SCREEN WITH TWO FACTORS VERY CLEARLY IN MIND -CAPABILITY AND COST.

THE M1A1 WAS THE OUTSTANDING OPTION - IT STOOD OUT AS A TOTAL PACKAGE.

CREW SURVIVABILITY IS ONE OF ITS GREAT STRENGTHS AND

IT HAS BATTLEFIELD PROVEN LEVELS OF PROTECTION.

THE MOST STRIKING FEATURE IS AMMUNITION STORAGE. WHICH IS IN A SEPARATE ARMOURED COMPARTMENT AWAY FROM THE CREW.

THE AUSTRALIAN TANKS WILL BE PART OF A FLEET OF SOME 4000 TANKS WHICH WILL BE THE MAINSTAY OF THE US TANK FLEET WELL BEYOND 2020.

IT ALSO OFFERED THE BEST POTENTIAL TO SUPPORT OUR EVOLVING NETWORK CENTRIC WARFARE NEEDS.

AND IT IS AVAILABLE QUICKLY.

THE ACQUISITION IS VERY MUCH IN THE KINNAIRD MODEL.

THERE IS VERY CLOSE INVOLVEMENT BETWEEN ARMY, CAPABILITY SYSTEMS AND THE DMO. GIVEN OUR COMPRESSED TIME LINE IT COULD WORK IN NO OTHER WAY.

THE FIRST TANK SQUADRON WILL BE DELIVERED IN 2007.

WHILE THE PROJECT IS HIGH PROFILE THE ACQUISITION IS LOW RISK.

WE ARE BUYING 59 TANKS AS PART OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST AND MOST PROVEN TANK FLEETS.

IMPORTANTLY HOWEVER THE ABRAMS IS PART OF A LONGER TERM STRATEGY ON THE PART OF THE DEPARTMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT.

LAND 400 IS THE PROJECT WITH A YEAR OF DECISION OF 2011 THAT WILL MOVE US TOWARD A COMMON FLEET OF ARMOURED VEHICLES – TOWARD A SYSTEM OF COMBAT VEHICLES. THE ABRAMS IS JUST ONE STEP ON THIS JOURNEY.

THE ABRAMS ALSO PROVIDES US WITH ACCESS TO THE CUTTING EDGE OF NON DEPLETED URANIUM ARMOURER TECHNOLOGY.

LAND 907 WILL DELIVER A COMPLETE TANK CAPABILITY FOR ARMY.

ZERO KM AND ZERO HOURS TANKS, NEW RECOVERY VEHICLES, TANK TRANSPORTERS AND REFUELERS.

AND FINALLY THE INTRODUCTION OF A SUITE OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY TRAINING SIMULATORS WHICH WILL KEEP THE COST OF OWNERSHIP DOWN WHILE INCREASING THE COMPETENCE AND SKILLS OF OUR TANK CREWS.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL HAYWARD WILL NOW COVER THESE ITEMS IN MORE DETAIL FOR YOU.





LIEUTENANT COLONEL DUNCAN HAYWARD

STAFF OFFICER GRADE ONE ARMOURED FIGHTING VEHICLES (TANK)

ARMOURED FIGHTING VEHICLE CAPABILITY IMPLEMENTATION TEAM

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

GOOD MORNING.

I AM LTCOL DUNCAN HAYWARD AND I WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH IN DETAIL EACH OF THE KEY COMPONENTS OF THE NEW TANK CAPABILITY.

59 OF THE M1A1 AIM, LIKE THE ONE THAT YOU SEE BEHIND ME, WILL BE INTRODUCED INTO AUSTALIAN SERVICE IN 2007. OF THE 59 TOTAL, 41 TANKS WILL BE ISSUED TO 1ST ARMOURED REGIMENT IN DARWIN, WITH THE REMAINDER BEING ISSUED TO THE SCHOOL OF ARMOUR, PUCKAPUNYAL; THE ARMY LOGISTICS TRAINING CENTRE IN BANDIANNA, AND TO FLEET STOCKS. THE FIRST TANK SQUADRON WILL CONVERT FROM LEOPARD 1 TO M1A1 AIM IN MID2007 WITH THE WHOLE OF THE NEW CAPABILITY IN PLACE BY THE END OF 2008.

IN FRONT OF EACH OF YOU THERE SHOULD BE A COPY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND TABULATED DATA FOR THE TANK, SO I WILL DWELL ON THE FIGURES.

COMBAT LADEN THE M1A1 AIM TANK WEIGHS APPROXIAMATELY 62 TONNES. IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT THERE WAS ONLY ABOUT A TONNE OF WEIGHT SEPERATING EACH OF THE THREE TANK REPLACEMENT CONTENDERS. FOR ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSPORTATION, THE WEIGHT OF THE M1A1 AIM IS LESS THAN 60 TONNES.

THE ABRAMS IS ONLY MARGINALLY LONGER AND WIDER THAN THE LEOPARD IT REPLACES AND WILL HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON EXISTING FACILITIES.

THE MAIN ARMAMENT IS A 120MM GUN WHICH WILL ALLOW ENGAGEMENT OF TARGETS AT A GREATER RANGE, AND WITH GREATER ACCURACY THAN THE CURRENT 105MM LEOPARD GUN. THE 120 MM TANK GUN IS NOW THE STANDARD CALIBRE FOR WESTERN MILITARYS.

THE ABRAMS INTRODUCES A 0.50 CALIBRE MACHINE GUN AS A SECONDARY ARMAMENT ON THE TANK. IT CAN BE FIRED BY THE CREW COMMANDER, WHEN HE IS CLOSED DOWN AND UNDER ARMOUR SO AS NOT TO EXPOSE HIM TO ENEMY FIRE. IT ALLOWS COMMANDERS TO ENGAGE TARGETS WITHOUT HAVING TO RESORT TO THE USE OF THE MAIN GUN IN THE FIRST INSTANCE.

THERE ARE TWO SMALLER, 7.62MM MACHINE GUNS, ONE MOUNTED COAXIALLY NEXT TO THE MAIN ARMAMENT AND ONE ON A PINTLE ON THE TURRET ROOF FOR THE LOADER. THESE MACHINE GUNS ARE ALREADY IN SERVICE ON THE ASLAV FAMILY OF VEHICLES.

THE TANK WILL FIRE AN ADVANCED KINETIC ENERGY TUNSTEN PENETRATOR (ARMOUR PIERCING FIN STABILISED DISCARDING SABOT ROUND – APFSDS) FOR USE AGAINST VEHICLES. THIS ROUND DOES NOT CONTAIN DEPLETED URANIUM OR EXPLOSIVE AND RELIES ON ITS VELOCITY FOR TERMINAL EFFECT. THE SECOND MAIN ROUND IS A MULTI-PURPOSE EXPLOSIVE ROUND, CALLED MPAT, WHICH IS USED FOR INFANTRY SUPPORT AND TO ENGAGE TARGETS TYPES. THE ABRAMS CARRIES 40 ROUNDS MAIN ARMAMENT ROUNDS IN TOTAL.

APART FROM STANDARD MACHINE GUN AMMUNITION THE TANK IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH 12 SMOKE GRENADE DISCHARGES, SIX ON EACH SIDE, WHICH DETONATE A 66MM GRENADE TO QUICKLY PRODUCE A SMOKE CLOUD TO CONCEAL THE TANK AS A SELF-PROTECTION MEASURE.

TO ASSIST WITH COMMAND AND CONTROL THE ABRAMS BE DELIVERED WITH ADVANCED DIGITAL RADIOS (SINGARS ASIP) THAT ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE RADIOS IN SERVICE IN WITH ARMY NOW. THE INTERCOMMUNICATION SYSTEM ON THE TANK, WHICH ALLOWS THE CREW TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER THROUGH HEADSETS, IS THE SAME SYSTEM IN SERVICE ON THE ASLAV AND THE AUSTRALIAN M113 VEHICLE FLEETS.

THE ARMOUR PROTECTION ON THE M1A1 AIM IS OUTSTANDING. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF NOT ALL US TANKS HAVE DEPLETED URANIUM. THE AUSTRALIAN TANKS HAVE NOT HAD DEPLETED URANIUM FITTED TO THEM IN THE PAST. INSTEAD, DURING REBUILD THEY WILL BE FITTED WITH AN ADVANCED NON-DEPLETED URANIUM ARMOUR.

A RECENT VISIT TO THE US BY AN AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION SCIENTIST CONFIRMS THAT THE ARMOUR WE ARE PURCHASING PROVIDES ADVANCED PROTECTION CAPABILITIES THAT IS BROADLY COMPARABLE TO OTHER ARMOUR TYPES, AND THAT IT MEETS OUR CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.

THERE HAS BEEN SOME MISCONCEPTION THAT THE M1A1 AIM TANK IS AN OLD SECOND HAND VEHICLE. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. TO SET THE STAGE, THE US CURRENTLY OPERATES FOUR VARIANTS OF THE M1 TANK AND WHICH ARE PROGRESSIVELY REDUCED TO TWO MAIN TYPES.

THE M1A1 TANK, WHICH HAS CEASED PRODUCTION.

THE M1A2, WHICH ALSO HAS CEASED PRODUCTION WILL EVENTUALLY BE PHASED OUT OF SERVICE, TO BE REPLACED BY THE M1A1 AIM AND M1A2 SEP TANKS.

THE M1A2SEP OR SYSTEMS ENHANCEMENT PACKAGE TANK IS OPTIMISED FOR USE AGAINST MASSED ARMOUR WITH A COMMANDERS INDEPENDENT SIGHT – THIS CAPABILITY IS NOT REQUIRED FOR AUSTRALIAN USE WHERE THE TANK WILL BE USED TO SUPPORT OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE COMBINED ARMS TEAM.

THE M1A1 AIM OR ABRAMS INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT TANK, WHICH IS THE TANK WE ARE PURCHASING, IS A LIKE NEW, ZERO KM, AND ZERO HOUR TANK WHICH HAS EMBEDDED DIAGNOSTICS AND DIGITILISATION PLUS A RANGE OF ARMOUR, FIREPOWER, AUTOMOTIVE AND ENGINE IMPROVEMENTS. WITH THESE IMPROVEMENTS IT WILL COMPRISE THE BACKBONE OF THE ABRAMS FLEET OUT TO 2020.

THE ABRAMS INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IS A COMPLETE REBUILD OF THE M1A1 TANK. TANKS ENTERING THE PROGRAM ARE COMPLETELY DISASSEMBLED AT ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, ALABAMA. THE TANK IS STRIPPED DOWN AND INSPECTED. THE DEPOT REFURBISHES MANY OF THE TANKS ASSEMBLIES. THE ASSEMBLIES AND THE TANK ARE THEN SHIPPED TO THE LIMA ARMY TANK PLANT, IN OHIO WHERE THEY ARE REASSEMBLED TO A ZERO KM / ZERO HOURS STANDARD.

THE AIM PROGRAM APPLIES MODIFICATIONS AND UPGRADES TO THE TANK INCLUDING EMBEDDED DIAGNOSTICS.

OF THE 6256 MAJOR COMPONETS ON THE TANK, 5368 ARE REPLACED NEW. THE REMAINING 888 ARE CHECKED TO THE MANUFACTURERS ORIGINIAL SPECIFICATION OR REPLACED NEW.

THE TANKS ARE SUBJECT TO STRINGENT QUALITY CONTROL AND QUALITY ASSURANCE AT ALL STAGES OF REBUILD WITH THE TANK HAVING TO PASS A FINAL QUALITY ASSURANCE TEST PRIOR TO BEING SHIPPED FROM LIMA ARMY TANK PLANT.

ADDITIONALLY AUSTRALIA HAS SELECTED THE TANKS THAT WILL ENTER OUR PRODUCTION LINE, FROM A BATCH OF LOW KILOMETRE, LOW USE VEHICLES. THESE TANKS HAVE SPENT THE MAJORITY OF THEIR LIFE IN STORAGE AND HAVE NOT BEEN USED ON OPERATIONS. THE PROCESS WILL TAKE BETWEEN 12 AND 24 MONTHS DUE TO THE NEED TO ORDER LONG LEAD ITEMS AND COMPONENTS.

THIS SHOW THE PROGRESS OF THE UPGRADE PROGRAM AND SHOWS THE TANK AS IT LEAVES LIMA, WITH AIM IMPROVEMENTS SPECIFICALLY

LATEST GENERATION NIGHT SIGHTS.
EXTERNAL AUXILLARY POWER UNIT
PULSE JET AIR SYSTEM
MODIFICATIONS FOR A FORDING KIT
EMBEDDED DIAGNOSTICS
IMPROVED ENGINE AND FUEL CONSUMPTION
THERE WILL BE MINIMAL AUSTRALIANISATION OF THE M1A1 AIM,

SPECIFICALLY:

MOUNTS TO FIT THE AUSTRALIAN STEYR RIFLE
CHILLED DRINKING WATER AND A CAMOUFLAGE SYSTEM
AND THE ADDITION OF AN INFANTRY TANK TELEPHONE AT THE REAR OF THE TANK AND THE INTEGRATED OF THE INFANTRY PERSONAL ROLE RADIO TO ENSURE THE TANK INTEGRATES INTO THE COMBINED ARMS TEAM.
2 X 20 CM RED KANGAROO ON THE SIDE.
THE NEXT SERIES OF SLIDE SHOW SOME OF AIM UPGRADES AND EMBEDDED DIAGNOSTICS ON THE VEHICLE.

THE UPGRADED TANK COMMANDERS PANEL (UTCP) PROVIDES INCREASED FUNCTIONALITY FOR THE TANK COMMANDER, INCLUDING SAFETY FEATURES.

AN UPGRADE WHICH IMPROVES PERFORMANCE AND AIR FILTER LIFE IN DRY AND DUSTY CONDITIONS BY DETECTING A DECREASE IN AIRFLOW THROUGH THE AIR FILTERS AND REDIRECTING THE EXHAUST TO BLOW OUT THE DUST AND CLEAN THE FILTERS WHILE THE TANK IS MOVING.

THE NEXT TWO SLIDES SHOW THE ADDED DIGITAL DATA AND EMBEDDED DIAGNOSTIC CAPABILITY TO DISPLAY TO THE CREW KEY INFORMATION ON THE TANK STATUS.

THIS SLIDE SHOWS ONE TEST ON THE FINAL ACCEPTANCE STAGE, BY TESTING THE ABILITY OF THE BRAKES TO HOLD THE TANK ON A 60 DEGREE SLOPE.

THE NEXT MAJOR COMPONENT OF THE CAPABILITY IS THAT OF REPAIR AND RECOVERY. THE M88A2 HERCULES IS A NEW BUILT ARMOURED RECOVERY VEHICLE, OF WHICH 7 ARE BEING PURCHASED. IT CARRIES OUT ALL THE TASKS OF THE VEHICLE THAT IT REPLACES AND INTRODUCES THE ABILITY TO LIFT A TURRET FROM A TANK WITHOUT DEEPER LEVEL MAINTENACE FACILITES. IT IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF RECOVERYING AND TOWING DAMAGED OR BROKEN VEHICLES.

THE M88A2 WITH A WELL-TRAINED CREW CAN REMOVE THE POWER PACK FROM A DISABLED TANK AND REPLACE IT WITH A NEW ONE, IN UNDER AN HOUR. THIS LATTER VERSION OF THE RECOVERY VEHICLE INCLUDES INCREASED ARMOUR FOR CREW PROTECTION.

AS PART OF THE PROJECT UP TO 8 WHEELED TACTICAL REFUELERS AND UP 14 TANK TRANSPORTERS WILL BE PROCURED DOMESTICALLY. THE REFUELER WILL CARRY 10,000 LITRES OF FUEL AND IS IN SERVICE WITH ARMY ALREADY. THE DEFENCE MATERIAL ORGANISATION WILL REQUEST TENDERS THIS YEAR FOR A DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED TRUCK AND TRAILER TO FULFIL THE TANK TRANSPORTER REQUIREMENT.

A KEY PART OF THE NEW CAPABILITY IS THE INTRODUCTION OF MODERN SIMULATION SYSTEMS SUCH AS THE ADVANCED GUNNERY TRAINING SYSTEM. THIS SIMULATION SYSTEM WILL BE BASED WITH 4 SIMULATERS IN DARWIN AND TWO IN PUCKAPUNYAL. IT WILL ALLOWS TANK CREWS TO TRAIN AS INDIVIDUALS OR COLLECTIVELY AND TO TRANSITION EFFICIENTLY TO LIFE FIRE GUNNERY. IT WILL MAXIMISE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NORHTERN WET SEASON AND WILL DECREASE THE USE OF MAIN GUN TRAINING AMMUNITION.

THE TANK DRIVER TRAINER IS VERY SIMILAR IN LOOKS AND OPERATION TO AN AIRCRAFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR. IT PROVIDES A SIMULATED TANK DRIVING STATION, ELEVATED FROM THE GROUND ON 6 HYDRAULIC ARMS THAT REPLICATE THE REAL MOTION OF A TANK DRIVING. IT WILL BE USED TO TRAIN NEW DRIVERS AND TO TRANSITION LEOPARD DRIVERS TO THE NEW TANK. IT WILL BE LOCATED AT THE SCHOOL OF ARMOUR IN PUCKAPUNYAL.

IN JUNE THE AUSTRALIAN AND US GOVERNMENTS SIGNED THE PRIME EQUIPMENT CASE FOR THE PURCHASE OF:

59 M1A1 TANKS
59 ABRAMS INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT REBUILDS
7 NEW ARMOURED RECOVERY VEHICLES
6 ADVANCED GUNNERY TRAINER SIMULATORS
1 TANK DRIVER TRAINER SIMULATOR
ENGINEERING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

http://www.defence.gov.au/media/Depa...CurrentId=4093
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Old August 4th, 2004   #2
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Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used - MEDIA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

MEDIA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

BRIEFING ON THE M1A1 ABRAMS INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT (AIM) MAIN BATTLE TANK

LIEUTENANT GENERAL PETER LEAHY:
Ladies and gentlemen, do you have any questions?

I might just hand the microphone to whoever is asking the first question. Can I also ask that people identify themselves and the media organisation that they work for, before asking your question.

QUESTION:
General Leahy, John Kerin from The Australian. Is 41 out of the 59 sort of I guess being available, and you've got, what, eight or nine in training, is that the sort of work rate you expect from these tanks?

GENERAL LEAHY:
What it provides us is essentially three squadrons. A squadron is the sort of identity that we'd expect to be able to provide a very strong capability into these combined arms teams that we're talking about.

It also provides us the capability to have one on operations, one preparing for operations and if necessary one resting from operations.

Frankly we don't consider that we would need to deploy much larger than squadron size, and if we had to we could adjust. So we think this is a sensible and sustainable organisation.

We do know that we're going to have to prepare some - we've got to train people, so we do need the spare ones. The pools that we're talking about that we think the organisations into the three squadrons and the one regiment provide us all the capability that we need.

QUESTION:
Ian McPhedran from News Limited. If you had these tanks available for a campaign such as Iraq, would you imagine that you would actually deploy them in a situation like that?

And my second question is there's been a lot of criticism of this decision based on the fact that the strategic thinkers believe there's a great - it's not very likely that we'll ever use these things or that they'll ever fire a shot in anger?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Let me deal with the second part of the question. We see that the type of security environment in the future is becoming increasingly complex, but also unpredictable.

A large part of our argument and the eventual decision to acquire this tank was based on the fact that we really don't know with any degree of certainty what sort of threat weapons may appear on the battlefield.

We believe that to ensure that, as I said in the opening remarks, our soldiers can achieve their mission without undue risk. We need to have readily available the protection from these tanks, both for the tank crew, but also the protection that they provide for the combined arms team.

Their ability to move into a battle site, their ability to survive as you've just seen, a range of threat weapons, and then, and most importantly in the complex environment, their ability to be able to be very accurate, to show discrimination and discretion.

We see this complex environment quite possibly urban terrain, and it will be hard to distinguish the enemy from people going about their normal business. We expect that the ability for a tank to take a hit, to move forward, to identify very clearly a target and then protect the combined armed team is a very important part of what we're doing.

With regard to decisions for deployment, and that properly is one for government, as Brigadier Clifford said, this provides government with a further range of options in the complex environment of the future.

QUESTION:
Would you be recommending to government the deployment of this force in a situation such as Iraq?

GENERAL LEAHY:
If there were a threat, and I won't be specific about the particular environment, if there were threat to our forces I would of course recommend the best force mix to make sure that our force could achieve its mission without undue risk.

I talked about the simple fact that our historical analysis, our experimentation and our observations tell us that tanks save lives. That's what I would seek to do, save our soldiers lives.

QUESTION:
Geoff Barker, Financial Review. In addition to what you've said it's also been suggested quite frequently that one of the reasons for this acquisition was to be able to train Australian crews in them, deploy the crews, but not the tanks so that the Australian crews might be able to operate pre-deployed American equipment in certain areas. I that part of the reason for getting the tanks?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Frankly it wasn't. I think we've gone through in some detail the criteria for selecting the tank, the way that we've selected this tank. This is the best tank available out there. What you've talked about, the fact that our crews might be able to operate other people's tanks is coincidental to that.

Frankly, it applies across a whole range of capabilities we've got in the ADF at the moment from some of our aeroplanes to our ships and so on. It's coincidental we're purchasing a tank that will do a job for Australia.

QUESTION:
Max Blenkin from AAP, General. A few technical issues. The Singars* radios we're acquiring with these are a fairly advanced bit of kit. Is there compatibility issues. Does that mean - what implications does that have ...

GENERAL LEAHY:
If I can hand over to Duncan, I think he mentioned that they are compatible but he'll give you the details of that and I'll give the floor to him.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL DUNCAN HAYWARD: The Singars radio is compatible with the raven* radio that we use in Australia now.

QUESTION:
Does this have issues for other ongoing projects to re-equip the communications systems across Army?

COLONEL HAYWARD:
Because of the digital, because of the embedded diagnostics in the vehicle and the embedded digital systems it provides us the option to easily change components without having to re-change the whole thing.

If in the future we decided to put a different sort of radio in, that is something that is very easily achieved.

QUESTION:
If we're not getting DU armour what sort of armour are we getting.

COLONEL HAYWARD: Armour technologies are sensitive in a classified area. The armour that we are getting is an advanced non-DU armour. We have had a look at destructive testing of this armour and we have sent across an Australian scientist to have a look at it, and it provides us an excellent level of protection.

QUESTION:
It's basically [indistinct] armour isn't it?

COLONEL HAYWARD: It's an advanced non-DU armour that provides us an excellent level of protection.

QUESTION:
Just a bit more on survivability. The Americans have had quite a lot of experience in Baghdad fighting in urban terrain and some of their tanks have taken catastrophic hits. Are you aware of that? Are you conscious of what they're up against over there and what we might have to face in urban terrain.

COLONEL HAYWARD:
One of the things that you don't see from those videos when you see a destroyed tank is the fact that the crew has survived and has been able to leave the vehicle either unharmed or with minimal injuries. No tank is invulnerable but this is a world class tank that offers world calls protection.

QUESTION:
Daniel Cottrell from Australian Defence Magazine. I'd like to ask some general questions about deployability of our new tanks. Specifically you mentioned there's Navy people here to tell us about how they can be moved by sea, but also the sort of specification we need with tank transporters, how we get on with underpasses and bridges and particularly perhaps some not so strong bridges in our regions we might need to use these?

GENERAL LEAHY:
If I could start, I'll turn to the guys who are perhaps better versed including Alan Dutoit. We see that this tank will be able to be moved both throughout Australia and throughout the region.

We don't have in the Australian Defence Force a doctrine of amphibious assault. We don't see that we'll rush up against the beach and put everything ashore on day one.

We see that predominantly the tank will be moved through the region if necessary wherever we might decide to take it, administratively.

We see throughout Australia that the majority of the moves will be administrative, and they can be done quite easily.

But the tank is also, as we mentioned, in the order of 60 tons, 62 tons combat weight. I'd remind you that the Centurion tank that operated most successfully in Vietnam was in the order of 52 tons combat weight. So we're not talking about a huge difference here.

We see that we can deploy this tank and we can use it in a very wide range of situations.

Now perhaps if I turn to - Duncan, are you the best guy for this in terms of the weight, or should we go to Alan Dutoit about the Navy? What would you like? Navy?

COLONEL HAYWARD:
Well perhaps a little more on the road transporters with the contract upcoming and then Navy after that.

The vehicle's only 30, about 30 to 40 centimetres wider than a Leopard and it's about a half a metre longer than the Leopard. We're currently looking at a range of transporters for the vehicle that will be domestically produced. In terms of overall weight, it is essentially in the order of magnitude of a road train which operates quite successfully in the north and is about that same order of magnitude.

The trailer and the tank are less than 4 metres and 4.6 metres is normally the difficulty you have with dealing with underpasses. So we're well under that.

GENERAL LEAHY:
If I could invite Commodore Alan Dutoit to come up and talk about some of the Naval aspects of moving this vehicle.

COMMODORE ALAN DUTOIT:
Yes good morning. I'll make the point as Army has made that tanks are not a new capability but it is just improving on the capability. It's the same for Navy. We are capable of carrying our current generation of Leopard tanks now and we'll be able to carry the new Abrams tank in the future, both with our current capability and indeed as we look to our future for these capabilities.

And I make the point here that on a regular basis we carry heavy loads, you know the tank is over 60 tonnes. On both the Tobruk and the LPA as we carry the landing craft, the old CM8s, they come in at 65 tonnes with a 70 tonne crane on those ships. So we're used to moving heavy gear around, and it also applies to heavy plant and machinery. If there's a natural disaster within the nation or indeed in the region, we would have to be able to move out of shore as well. So it's within our means.

QUESTION:
General, Graeme Dobell from the ABC. You're talking about geo-historical analysis, and the way you've looked at this. I'm interested in why we've moved from the 200 White Paper, where tanks were not necessarily very high on the priority list, even a questionable capacity in terms of the White Paper, to this need to have it in service by 2007.

What has changed in the way we look at the region, that you've had this quite, turnaround at least?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Graeme, I'd disagree with you when you say there's been a turnaround or a change in the White Paper and our view of that.

The White Paper said that - and Brigadier Clifford talked about it; I talked about policy continuity. The White Paper said that we do not seek to develop heavy armoured forces. Now we're not developing heavy armoured forces.

The very next paragraph in the White Paper then talked about the fact that we would seek to have the combat weight to ensure that our soldiers would be able to carry out their mission without undue risk. And that is essentially the argument that we're talking about.

So I don't see that there is any significant change. Indeed, very little change at all from the prescription of the White Paper of 2000, to what we're producing here.

This is about infantry, tank, combined arms team cooperation, to ensure that our soldiers who might be deployed in a wide variety of operations, from all out warfare, conventional operations, to what we saw in peacekeeping operations.

And let me remark in historical analysis on Blackhawk Down in Mogadishu - what was a peacekeeping operation, a humanitarian, they had very few critical hours - Blackhawk Down, what actually finished the day off and saved the day was the arrival of Pakistani tanks.

And we see that quickly a situation in something as relatively benign as Mogadishu in those days of peace support and peacekeeping could go really bad really quickly. And to be able to have the ability to quickly escalate to dominate the environment, is something that means our soldiers can survive.

So I disagree that there is a change in the policy prescription. This is policy continuity. It's entirely in line with having the ability to achieve success on the battlefield, and do it quickly and keep our soldiers alive.

QUESTION:
In terms of the region, I mean, none of the operations we've, the peacekeeping we've done recently in Timor and Solomons and Bougainville, we haven't even, we haven't thought we needed that capacity for a tank.

I mean, we've had armoured personnel carriers, and that's been all we've felt the need of. What's changed in the region that you can use a, a sort of a Blackhawk Down analogy and apply it to the South Pacific or South East Asia?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Well, it's not just about the region. It's not about one specific scenario. I think what's changed is the complexity of the future security environment. The speed at which things could escalate; the fact that now very lethal threat weapons are readily available, and that to be able to cope in this sort of environment, we need available this sort of capability.

QUESTION:
My last one. Is the upgrade more important to army than some of the other ideas that have been put out by various commentators - Kim Beazley the latest, before him, Paul Dibb* - about the need for army to get another battalion. Is, would, in terms of those sort of trade-offs, why tanks instead of another battalion?

GENERAL LEAHY:
It's really about trying to bring balance back to that core element of army, which is the combined arms team; to make sure that infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, and now our army aviation, can all work in concert.

And what we see in the combined arms team, that at times, the strength of one element will cover for the inherent weakness of another. And you will change the mix.

What we're tyring to make sure is we've got the balanced combined arms team. We saw that the Leopard was frankly vulnerable. It wasn't going to be able to provide its part of the effort for the combined arms team, so we've sought to replace it. The A1 is going to replace it. It will bring balance back to that combined arms team.

QUESTION:
Geoff Barker again, General. I know this was about tanks, but you have introduced Blackhawk Down into this discussion. Could you tell me whether the army's analysis of the comparison between the MRH 90 and the Sikorsky matches that of the ADA, and when we might expect a decision on that?

GENERAL LEAHY:
I can tell you that Defence has forwarded to the Minister our deliberations on Air 9000, and that the Minister has that, and I would expect - I think it's in the next week or so - that it might go to the Cabinet, and we'd expect a decision then. And I'll wait, just as you will wait Geoff, for what the decision will be.

QUESTION:
In terms of the other side of what you're talking about - the need for balance - is part of the resistance of army to the idea of an extra battalion or extra battalions, that need to actually bulk up the battalions you've got, that whole debate about hollowing out. Is that still part of the concerns you have about the existing force?

GENERAL LEAHY:
I wouldn't have said that I've got resistance or concerns. What we're trying to provide, through our program of hardening and network the army, is a balanced force. And we're prepared to consider all of the issues.

I'm aware that there is a debate out there on certain elements of the army, and we've got our own debate internally. We'll work with people who would assist us from outside; we'll work internally, and we'll come up with a balanced force.

QUESTION:
Nick Stewart, The Canberra Times. Two questions. One technical one. First of all, I presume that we're still using normal fuel and we're not moving to a specific turbine fuel for our vehicles, our variant?

GENERAL LEAHY:
I'll hand to Duncan for that one.

COLONEL HAYWARD:
In regard fuel type, we will continue to use diesel fuel in the vehicle, or in military terms DF2. In American service they use JP8 or JP9. For the first 12 years of American use of M1, they ran it exclusively on diesel. It works very well on diesel. The only reason that the US changed was because of the increase fuel consumption brought about by their large rotary-wing helicopter fleet.

QUESTION:
Thanks. And the second question was, I presume we're using three tank troops and there'd be three troops in a squadron. Would, given that it is essentially a heavy tank, will there be increased emphasis on combined arms operation, and do you see that we require an independent armoured regiment, or would there be a need to merge it into more a combined arms regiment?

GENERAL LEAHY:
One of the things we're looking through our program of hardening a network in the army, is to improve our ability to group and regroup; to tailor for a specific mission the types of force that we might require.

And we see firstly that the headquarters of the armoured regiment is a headquarters that we might aggregate infantry, armour, artillery and other forces around. So we see that the headquarters has a definite role.

But I also see that the flexibility of the squadron and the troop structure, whereby you have integral command, you have some support capabilities, means that we can group and regroup that very quickly, perhaps to infantry, to cavalry, and other organisations.

So we're looking for the inherent flexibility from the structure that you've described, quite accurately, to provide us a much greater capability of combined arms teams.

QUESTION:
Thanks Sir. And, sorry, a final question, with - at the moment C Squadron is a reserve squadron - with particularly the extra number of driver simulators and gunnery simulators, do you see a greater role - well, either will C Squadron remain reserve or will you move to a greater reserve role?

GENERAL LEAHY:
We'd be seeking to maximise the use of the reservists in the tank. C Squadron has been valuable to us. But I think C Squadron and others would recognise that it's difficult to get the sort of time for the reservists to train. This tank will be a little more difficult to drive - we'll have improved training systems, but we'll be looking to make sure that the skills are there, that people who can contribute to that will make a valuable contribution.

I think it'll be difficult for reservists to do it, but we'll looking to maximise their contribution.

QUESTION:
Neil James from Defender. Nick just stole my first question, in fact. I've got two questions. The first one is, is the new improved armour as good as depleted uranium armour - yes/no?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Duncan, you want to take that?

COLONEL HAYWARD:
The armour that we're getting is very close to depleted uranium armour. In some aspects it is better against some types of threats. But I'm unable to discuss those in this forum.

QUESTION:
Okay, let's assume that the new armour is not as good as depleted uranium armour. Is the only reason we're not getting depleted uranium armour because of political concerns in Australia, and therefore are we running the risk of Australian soldiers being endangered in the future because political considerations prevent them having the best protection?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Oh, I think Neil, you know me well enough that I wouldn't endanger our soldiers lives for a reason like that. We're getting very good armour. One that I have every confidence in, and one that I'd be happy for our soldiers to fight behind.

QUESTION:
Thank you chief. I just wanted to get that on the public record. And the last, my last question is a simple one - most of the comment by so-called strategic commentators in the press, on the tanks, has portrayed profound ignorance about warfare and often not a good grasp of strategy.

Why isn't the ADF going on the attack against stupid comments like by Professor Dibb and Mr [indistinct] Smith on Saturday, why is the ADF just sitting back and copping silly arguments against its capability?

GENERAL LEAHY:
I think Neil we come out and talk sensibly about things that are important. I think we are not sitting back, we are ready to engage and I think today is part of that engagement. You know that we're prepared to talk to your association, I'm prepared to talk to journalists, I think there's an active debate. People can make their own judgements about the validity of people's opinions.

QUESTION:
Trevor Thomas, Australian Defence Business Review. General, just a couple of questions on logistics. I may have missed it but replenishment of the tank rounds once you've gone through the 40 120 millimetre rounds, how are we proposing to do that? Does the Hercules carry replenishment rounds or is there another vehicle? If there is, what is that vehicle? How many of those are we going to buy?

GENERAL LEAHY:
The Hercules is specifically a repair and recovery vehicle. It doesn't carry ammunition to replenish the tanks. Currently we use a variant of the M113 to carry ammunition and we also use wheeled vehicles, trucks. And we have a replenishment system where the tanks will reverse back, pull up next to one of those two vehicle types and receive the ammunition replenished from those vehicles.

There is an issue of the armoured logistics vehicle, the M113 logistics vehicle, which will be part of first armoured regiment and part of its establishment.

QUESTION:
So are we going to retain the current M113s but do a bit of a refit so they work better with the Abrams?

GENERAL LEAHY:
No. As part of the upgraded M113 project there is a variant within that new upgraded fleet that is called the armoured logistics vehicle. That vehicle will be used to replenish the tank.

QUESTION:
Can I just enter a couple first okay? The next one was the simulators, I'm assuming we're not regenerating a simulator with like with the [indistinct] CPTs, we're just going to be buying off the shelf simulators, same issue standard brand as the US forces?

GENERAL LEAHY:
That's correct. It's a brand new simulator, it's a Lockheed Martin product and it is a new simulator. We are doing nothing special to it, it provides us the requirement that we need.

QUESTION:
And the last one for me, just with the Navy about - you're talking about the 70 ton cranes. Are we to assume that you'll be holding the Abrams on the deck and craning them over the side? That they're not going to be used internally in the current LPAs?
COMMODORE DUTOIT:
Okay we've got a whole range of ways that we can carry them. Tobruk in the first instance was built as a heavy lift ship with her crane. We can embark both current generation and indeed the Abrams into the tank deck of the ship so they can be embarked and disembarked via the stern door. And indeed they can be craned and uncraned from the ship, either onto a landing craft alongside, or if we're doing an administrative lift to a wharf if that's possible. So we've got a range of means.

The LPA, similarly over the stern door and indeed they could be carried as a cargo on the foredeck. They could again be craned using a shore side crane from the aft hatch either onto or off the ship. So there's a range of means of embarking and disembarking.

QUESTION:
I know I'm going to get questioned from the ABC in Darwin on this so I better ask you the Darwin question. Is it - just to clarify - is it the argument that the tanks as they move around the Northern Territory are going to be able to go anywhere that a road train would go? Is that the proposition you were putting?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Essentially that's what we see. We've got a variety of means - one by road - these things can self-deploy. We've also got a beaut railway up there and we'd be looking at using that railway and you've seen us use it with deployment out of Adelaide of 16 Air Defence Regiment, we've got training areas in the south. We see that there are a number of possibilities for deployment in the Northern Territory.

QUESTION:
Anywhere a road train can go, these tanks can go?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Duncan have you got anything to add to what I've said?

COLONEL HAYWARD:
[indistinct]

QUESTION:
At the risk of being seen as an ignorant commentator I'll ask this question. On a scale of one to ten, one being least likely, ten being most likely, how likely do you think it will be that in the next 20 years these tanks will be deployed on an operation and fire any shots in anger?

GENERAL LEAHY:
I think I'd rather put it in terms of preference. My preference is that we would not deploy them and we'd not fire shots in anger. But what I'm seeing is a rather unpredictable, complex security environment into the future and I for one want to be prepared if we're asked to do that. This better prepares us.

UNIDENTIFIED:
Final question.

QUESTION:
Can I just ask one final...

GENERAL LEAHY:
We've got one other here. We'll have one more last question then we'll come down to Geoffrey.

QUESTION:
Brendan Nicholson from The Age. Was there any particular episode that decided you that the military needed this capability? Would you have liked to have had them in East Timor for instance, or was there any other occasion effecting our forces or other allied forces that you're aware of that made you, that led to this decision?

GENERAL LEAHY:
If there was any one issue that brought us to the conclusion I think it was the culmination of a whole series of work in the experimentation and the war gaming and the historical analysis that's come out of our forced development group in Puckapunyal in Victoria.

The land warfare development centre has been set up for some time and we've asked them to look very carefully at our force capabilities and our mixes. Their work has led us to the conclusion that Leopard was vulnerable, that the sort of capability we need into the future is a balanced combined arms team. We're out of balance; we needed to restore that balance.

So I would say it's more of an intellectual realisation than anything that said this is happening out in the environment, hypothetical or actual. It was to provide a whole range of options to government and make sure that the force we put into the field is both effective and survivable.

UNIDENTIFIED:
Graeme you had a last question?

GENERAL LEAHY:
Last question down here.

QUESTION:
Graeme asked the Darwin question, I'll ask the financial question. Do you know - I'm not clear - who will do the through life support on these tanks and can you give us any numbers on what you expect that contract to be worth? And can you give us any idea of the operating costs of these vehicles?

GENERAL LEAHY:
John are you the best guy to answer this do you think? John Pluck is from the [indistinct] down in Melbourne, the project office and I've asked john to come up and talk to you about that.

JOHN PLUCK:
The cost of supporting these tanks depends very much on how much we actually use them, this is mostly self-evident. We are committed to operating the tanks at a total operating cost, which covers maintenance, spares, ammunition, fuel, people, for no more than the current fleet of Leopards. Very round figures, that total figure is around about $30 million at the moment.

QUESTION:
Sorry I couldn't hear that.

JOHN PLUCK:
Total round figures, that's about $30 million.

QUESTION:
A year?

JOHN PLUCK:
A year, yep. Now the balance between repair and maintenance, ammunition and so on will vary with the Abrams form what is with the Leopard at the moment because we'll have a much greater use of simulation to try and reduce our training costs and operating costs. So at this stage we're not able to give you a specific figure of what the repair and maintenance on it we're likely to contract is going to be, that's still being refined at the moment.

QUESTION:
The contract's been let?

JOHN PLUCK:
Not yet no.

GENERAL LEAHY:
Thanks. Ladies and gentlemen thank you very much for coming along, it's been a pleasure to be able to give you some more detail and I look forward to other opportunities in the future. I think you know we've got a beaut new helicopter arriving soon and if you're agreeable we might try and do something similar to talk you through the introduction of the arm reconnaissance helicopter at a date sometime in the future. But thank you for coming.

* * End * *

http://www.defence.gov.au/media/Depa...CurrentId=4094
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Old August 5th, 2004   #3
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Long read!
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Old August 5th, 2004   #4
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Long read!
Yeah, sorry about that, but I didn't want to start censoring things and run the risk of looking as though I was being selective.

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Old August 5th, 2004   #5
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Re: Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

You're not wrong Umair. Now to those who might read this article. Several persons hereabouts have accused Australia in not so many words, of being warlike and questioning why Australia is re-arming it's forces? This article shows among other things, that Australia explains to the best of it's ability it's defence acquisitions, the reasons behind such acquisitions and what if anything we plan to do with them. We don't hide much at all when it comes to defence acquistions, in fact we go out of our way to explain them. If anybody still thinks Australia has any aggressive tendency's after this article, then I feel sorry for you. Name another Country that goes to such lengths to reassure people about it's intentions with regards to it's defence acquistions, I dare you...
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Old August 12th, 2004   #6
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Re: Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

I know this isn't completely on topic, but i thought that this media release was particularly objective and gave both sides a fair go....you'll see what i mean hehe

Minister for Defence Media Mail List
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, 11 August 2004 159/2004

LABOR'S DEFENCE POLICY: REPLACING CHOCOLATE BARS WITH POLLIE-WAFFLE

Kim Beazley has summed up the Labor Party's complete failure on Defence policy in a simple phrase: "watch this space".
The fact that the "space" remains empty after eight years of Opposition confirms Labor's lazy approach to national security issues and that it is still not ready to govern.
The complete lack of detail in Mr Beazley's speech comes just two weeks after Labor's condemnation of providing chocolate bars in Australian Defence Force ration packs.
In an address to the National Press Club more appropriately titled "Conditions for Committing to Nothing in a Very Long Speech" Mr Beazley was back to his old flip-flop self.
Mr Beazley as Finance Minister oversaw the axing of two full-time infantry battalions as a cost-saving measure.
It was the Coalition which reinstated those battalions and ensured the ADF was ready for the challenges of East Timor.
Mr Beazley has recently floated his proposal for another full-time infantry battalion promising to give details in today's address.
Not surprisingly, there was no detail at all.
Mr Beazley says that vital capabilities are being pushed out to the out years of the Defence Capability Plan but then says he'll use the money allocated to those projects for other priorities. Which priorities? Again, no detail.
Less than a fortnight ago Mr Beazley said "whatever you need to do in Defence, the money is going to be found to do it." (ABC Insiders, 01.08.04). Today Mr Beazley says there will be no new money for Defence.
So how will Labor pay for the new battalion? Again, no detail.
Mr Beazley could not even keep to a consistent line during the time it took him to deliver his speech. During his speech he decried the amount of funding being spent on the Defence bureaucracy. At the end of his speech he was asked how many jobs would be cut to get that figure down. Answer: sorry, no detail.
When broken down, today's speech amounts to nothing more than a promise of yet another Defence White Paper along with a review of a couple of existing projects. The fact that it took more than 30 minutes for Mr Beazley to say so little should surprise no-one.

Media contacts
Catherine Fitzpatrick (Senator Hill)
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Old August 12th, 2004   #7
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Why are the Aussies digging up weapons? Are they going to war? First the Aegis now the Abrahms!
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Old August 12th, 2004   #8
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Why are the Aussies digging up weapons? Are they going to war? First the Aegis now the Abrahms!
Does the expression "block obsolesence" ring a bell?? This has tried to be explained ad nauseum over various posts since I first registered even.

You'll have to go and look it up rather than submit pithy one liners.

If you don't understand the issue after that, then there's not much we can do to make it more simple.
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Old August 13th, 2004   #9
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Re: Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

Most of Australia's equipment is becoming obsolete. We are replacing it with new equipment. Pretty standard really. Most Countries do this. Some don't.
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Old August 13th, 2004   #10
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Re: Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

Replacing it with SOME new equiptment ... I mean, 60 tanks is not a lot, considering the size of the country and populations. I know of far smaller countries that have a far greater number of Leo II's.

SPeaking of which ... there must be at least 3000 of those around! It's the most common modern MBT in Europe.
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Old August 13th, 2004   #11
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Re: Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatra
SPeaking of which ... there must be at least 3000 of those around! It's the most common modern MBT in Europe.
My preference was always for the Leo2A4 with an A5 upgrade. (A6 is non exportable AFAIK).

But the closest I've got to playing with and making an assessment on the really big cavalry toys is on a project building armoured cars for the Kuwaitis - not exactly the same thing.
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Old August 13th, 2004   #12
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Re: Australia - Why Abrams was chosen and how it will be used

Tatra, 59 tanks is the same number of "gun" tanks as we have in service now. We are also buying support vehicles etc in addition to the 59 gun tanks. We currently only operate 1 tank Regiment in the Australian Army. This number of tanks will equip 3 Squadrons plus the Army School of Armour for training purposes. There is a force structure study underway at the moment and with the Chief of Army's publicly stated desire to make the Australian Army an army of "2's" rather than "1's", I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a follow-on purchase of M1A1's at some later time...
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