The Australian government has announced that the Australian Army would be receiving $3.5 billion worth of new battle tanks and combat engineering vehicles from the United States.
The upgraded tanks and vehicles would consist of 775 Abrams tanks, 29 assault breacher vehicles, 17 joint assault bridge vehicles, and six armored recovery vehicles.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the vehicles would be an extremely important asset to the Australian military.
“Teamed with the Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Combat Engineering Vehicles, and self-propelled howitzers, the new Abrams will give our soldiers the best possibility of success and protection from harm,” Dutton said.
The US approved the sale back in April 2021, saying that the sale to Australia would benefit both the US and Australia.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said last year.
However, the announcement received mixed reactions in Australia, with former Leader of the Australian Greens Christine Milne saying, “we can’t have #FreeRAT or a better-funded public health system, but we can have new tanks. Which makes us feel more secure in a global pandemic, high-quality public health system or armored vehicles?”
Authorities said the vehicles will be delivered to Australia from the US starting 2024 and will be fully operational by 2025.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.