Why, for goodness’s sake, would Australia be wanting to buy more tanks? Is it a distant memory of World War 2 and fighting in North Africa, or deployments more recently in the Middle East? The die appears to be cast with purchases going ahead for the moment.
When APDR asked Defence about the current Abrams tank situation their spokesperson gave an unequivocal answer “Defence will invest $3.5 billion in the Main Battle Tank Upgrade (LAND 907 Phase 2) and Combat Engineering Vehicle (LAND 8160 Phase 1) projects with approximately $2 billion approved in acquisition and $1.5 billion in sustainment.
“Upgraded M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and Combat Engineering Vehicles are being acquired via the United States Government Foreign Military Sales program.”
The author of this article considers there can be no basis for requiring tanks for any military operations in South East Asia, our most likely engagement area in the near future. Hopefully the Defence Strategic Review currently underway will agree.
Interested readers know the love of firepower goes all the way back to Oliver Cromwell, at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, who is supposed to have told his Roundhead troops in that opening fight of the English civil war, ”Put your trust in God, my boys, but mind to keep your powder dry.’
Have those who plan future equipment requirements for the ADF not even noticed the trend for a lightly armed adversary to use loitering small aerial vehicles, similar to the AeroVironment Switchblade kamikaze drone, to fly and hover over tanks, descend onto them, then explode their onboard munitions causing destruction of the tank including killing all of its crew.