The Abrams has the firepower, mobility and survivability to provide the key component in the combined arms team. The Army’s operational fleet of Abrams is held by Army’s three Armoured Cavalry Regiments in Adelaide, Brisbane and Townsville. Additionally, vehicles for training purposes are also held at the School of Armour in Puckapunyal and the Army Logistic Training Centre at Bandiana.
The Abrams tank is fitted with advanced composite armour, which provides substantial defence against enemy fire and Improvised Explosive Devices. Fuel and ammunition reside in separate compartments to protect the crew from the risk of the tank's own ammunition exploding if the tank is damaged.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has also purchased the Tank Urban Survivability Kit which greatly enhances the Abram's survivability in complex terrain.
The Abrams is fitted with an onboard digital fire control computer which enables the gunner to 'point and shoot' to engage targets. This capability coupled with an advanced sensor suite, allows the Abrams to engage targets at extended ranges, day or night, even in adverse weather conditions.
To support the Abrams, the ADF has produced seven M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) armoured recovery vehicles. The HERCULES is a fully-tracked heavy armoured vehicle which performs hoisting, winching and towing as part of recovery operations and evacuation of heavy tanks and other combat vehicles.
The Abrams is also supported by Heavy Tank Transporters to fulfil its logistics requirements while on operations. A range of simulators have also been procured to assist in training and crew preparedness.
Purchasing and support
The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is responsible for purchasing and supporting the Abrams Main Battle Tank, HERCULES, Heavy Tank Transporters and Simulation Systems, under Project LAND 907.
Weight: 62,000 kilograms
Length: 9.83 metres
Width: 3.65 metres
Height: 2.89 metres
Crew: Four - Commander, Gunner, Loader and Driver
Power plant: Gas Turbine Engine 1119 kilowatts
Speed: More than 60 kilometres per hour; Cross-Country more than 40 kilometres per hour
Operational range: More than 400 kilometres
Smoke Grenade System: 66 millimetre Launcher Grenade M250
Aramment: 120 millimetre M256 Smooth Bore Cannon, 12.7 millimetre M2HB QCB Machine Gun, 2 x 7.62 millimetre MAG58 Machine Gun