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S slip exposes tank 'deal'

By John Kerin

January 27, 2004

A SENIOR US military commander says Australia has agreed to buy more

than 100 US tanks for $780 million ($US600 million) in comments that

pre-empt a deal.

Defence Minister Robert Hill insisted last night that no decision had

been made on a replacement for Australia's 30-year-old Leopard tanks

despite negotiations entering a sensitive final phase.

US Army Abrams M1 tanks at work in Iraq / AFP Photo

But the commander of the Coalition Military Assistance Training team

in Iraq, Major-General Paul Eaton, said Australia had bought up to

two battalions of Abrams tanks - 108 - during a media briefing on the

types of armour the coalition could use to rebuild Iraqi tanks.

"If you're talking about the (Abrams) M1, I think Australia just made

a purchase of a couple of battalions," Major-General Eaton told a

media briefing in Baghdad on January 21. "You can check the price ...

(but) I think they paid something in the order of $US600 million."

The Howard Government is considering three tanks to replace the

ageing Leopard 1s: assorted versions of the Leopard 2, either ex-

German Army A4s and A5s or newer ex-Dutch Army A6s, the M1 Abrams

from the US and the Challenger 2 from Britain.

The US has slashed the price of the Abrams to try to be competitive

with the cheaper Leopard 2 bids, which also have the advantage of

being a later generation of the tank the army currently has in

service. The Challenger is understood not to be a serious contender.

The Abrams, believed to be strongly favoured by Defence Force Chief

General Peter Cosgrove, has been criticised by some defence sources

as being more tank than Australia needs because it weighs up to 68

tonnes, has high fuel consumption and would require extra logistical

support.

But it is a favourite given the extent to which Australian and US

forces have been working together in the war on terror in conflicts

in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A spokeswoman for Senator Hill said final submissions were still

being put together and a decision on which tank to buy had not been

made.

The Australian

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hmmm

Looks good, gunna be able to repel those invaders from the east easier now eh Jeff?

Hehehe

I think this is a good move tho, we wanna be a stabilising force in South East Asia, we really need to look pretty hard

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Yeah M1's are a good pick. Gues they'd be M1A2 SLEP's (Basically an M1A3)- what makes things interesting is they use DU on the armour for thos tanks and aslo DU in the Sabot Rounds generally, unless we get Tungsten rounds instead.

THe DU armour helps to break up long rod penetrators from enemy tank fire, which considering India and China's armoured focres use T-72, T-80 and T-90's and derviatives is a good idea. Aslo the challenger and M1 have great protection front on against ATGM and RPG's.

John Farrell who writes ANZ&D Mag is a mate of mine and he told me that he saw repeated strikes by RPG's and ATGM on Brit Challenger 2's around Basra and it didn't even scratch em. The Challenger and Abrams both use Chobham armour.

Challenger and Abrams have similar fire control computers i.e. fire on the move, stabilised turrets, M1A2 had nice C&C features

Challenger 2 has longer range with it's rifled cannon, but carries less rounds with the bags of proplleant it uses, the smoothbore on the M1A2 is good as well- engagement rnages of 3000m+ and I think a Challenger has the longst hit with a direct hit on an iraqi T-55 at over 5600m.

Personally Chall 2 or Abrams is a good choice.

Leopard 2A6 is a decent tank and up there with both others, only problem is the Germans have a policy of refusing to support a weapon system if they think the conflict isn't to there liking i.e like Iraq etc.

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Wha--?! Tanks?! Those sissies! They dont need tanks! What they need is...is...Pots! Yes Pots! A zillion of 'em. Just throw then all over the battlefield! No one will be able to move through 'em. And if you need armored support, well, just throw one on your head and scream "VROOOM!" while you charge the enemy! Yeah! And if they dont get out of your way, then you run them over! Pow! Kablam! Sploofa!

I like US tanks. A lot. Not only can they take a direct hit from about 90% of the AT rockets out there, but it outranges many tanks of our era. Its good to know the aussies are on our side too. Just think, a thousand guys storming my position, all screaming "deah to the bloody yank!" Scary stuff.

--Harrm

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Wha--?! Tanks?! Those sissies! They dont need tanks! What they need is...is...Pots! Yes Pots! A zillion of 'em. Just throw then all over the battlefield! No one will be able to move through 'em. And if you need armored support, well, just throw one on your head and scream "VROOOM!" while you charge the enemy! Yeah! And if they dont get out of your way, then you run them over! Pow! Kablam! Sploofa!

Pots? Hmmm interesting weapon of choice.

I like US tanks. A lot. Not only can they take a direct hit from about 90% of the AT rockets out there, but it outranges many tanks of our era. Its good to know the aussies are on our side too. Just think, a thousand guys storming my position, all screaming "deah to the bloody yank!" Scary stuff.

Yeah M1's are a nice tank. Our boys will em treat em nice if we get em.

Running over gum tree's at 80km/h, hmmm fun!

Mate the only time we do that running at Ynaks screaming death to the Yanks is on ex's. Happens a bit, the exercises, not the yelling

Edited by Gordo_Viper
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  • 5 months later...

I don't actually think the M1 is a good pick for us. Firstly, they're too damned big for our transports. That's right: we can't move them offshore without American help. And since all our current conflicts are elsewhere that's just a bit of a problem. Also, these supposedly indestructible behemoths have proved themselves not quite so indestructible in Iraq - I remember clearly pictures of an American tank crew crawling out of what was left of their M1 Abrams. And many of them have been disabled temporarily by RPGs. In my opinion, the Leopard 2 was a fine choice. Sure it didn't have the rep of the M1, or a ready built air conditioning system, but those are things that are easily fixed. And the heavy armour doesn't seem to do the Abrams much good when fighting infantry anyway, which is probably the only thing they would ever even get close to here. And at only about $8 million for brand new off the production line Leopard 2's as opposed to about $45 million for a battalion of reconditioned M1s, we could have actually paid for them without blowing the budget.

Though personally I'm motivated by a love of European military engineering. Gimme one of those UHT Tigers and a Steyr SSG please...

EDIT: Spelling. And that's "Aussies"

Edited by Shadowraithe
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In Gulf War I, didn't a Abrams take multiple shots from a Iraqi T55/T72 (forgot which one it was) and all it got was a couple of dents?

Yep, it took multiple hits from a T-72 tanks firing armor-piercing rounds.

Edited by Overseer
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EDIT: Spelling. And that's "Aussies"

pfffft, ozzies is fine.

The reson the gulf war abrams were so pycho was cos they used depleted uranium armour, you'll have a good time trying to get through that!!!

We arent buying that armour, cos its dangerous, that stuff gets hit, and you breathe in to much of the dust and crap, you start gettin real cancerous, real fast :wacko:

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Yeah, but you've got to admit, the inability to move them is a bit of a handicap...unless our government wants to waste more money on adequate second hand transports, but that's bordering on a political debat so I'll stop right there.

I'm just wondering...did they consider the Challenger design at all?

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Challenger 2, Leo 2A4 and M1 where all considered. Leo 2 was not selected mainly due to political reasons and armour package unlike the Chall 2 and M1 hasn't taken a hit from an ATGM or RPG's in operation.

Chall 2 is heaviest of all three tanks- very nice tank though- has a mate who saw the Brits rip into the Iraqi's at Basra with them... took hits from RPG's and ll sorts and didn't even scratch em..

M1 order comes with recovery and support vechiles... and all tanks at operational weight are within 1 tonne of each other... and as to transport you'd face problems with all of them as they are all much heavier than the Leo 1's....

None of them are going to fit into a C130....

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just like our lav3

you guys are get a new amp warship

you buy list

m1

new aew&cc aircaft

new tiger attack helo

join jsf

new destory

nz buy

lav3 and new radio

sell air force to buy lav 3

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None of them are going to fit into a C130....

for that we just hire a coupla those fat basstard russian Antonovs. Plenty of private companies own them, and are willing to lend em out.

One was over here a while back, i think they used it to move the fighters from Pearce to the middle east :thumbsup:

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Plus, the Jervis Bay is hardly tardy when it comes to moving stuff in bulk.

oh by ship is fine, the RAN has a sheep load of transport ships thatlly do the job. Just that takes time and effort. Planes are the way to go, crap that its an expensive way!

(and i do agree, the Jervis Bay is a mean ######!)

EDIT:

For those who dont know, this is the HMAS Jervis Bay:

4%20copy.jpg

6%20copy.jpg

Incat17_1_01.jpg

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That is pretty sweet. As an Anti-Armour guy, I prefer the Leo 2A4/5/6. Although is hasn't been shot at, IMO it is probably the finest MBT in the world, better than the M1A2 and Challenger 2. But you can't beat that sweet deal, all for less than $600 Million Aus.

For some odd reason Canada seems to be getting out of the MBT business... buying Stryker MGS (P.O.S) instead of buying new tanks... that and we're getting ripped off, buying 66 MGS for $700 Million Cdn. Perhaps we have a vision of fitting in with the US Stryker Brigade armed with Coyote's, LAV3's, MGS and LAV TUA... Too bad.

Lucky bloody aussies.

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