STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 15 Nov. 2005. General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded the final $42 million delivery order of a $70 million foreign military sales contract from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command to provide 59 refurbished M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) tanks to the Commonwealth of Australia.
Survivable and affordable vehicles with excellent potential for network centric warfare, the Abrams M1A1 AIM tanks will provide Australian Forces with increased connectivity, mobility, firepower and survivability. They will replace the Australian Land Forces' aging Leopard main battle tanks.
Additionally, the M1A1 AIM provides a cost-efficient armor solution as it incurs low operational and support costs, and reports high operational readiness rates. Under this contract, M1A1 Abrams tanks from the U.S. Army inventory will be completely disassembled, overhauled and refurbished to like-new "zero-mileage" condition.
The tank has a cruising range of up to 480 kilometers, the ability to reach speeds of 66 kph on-road and up to 48 kph off-road (while carrying four crewman and ammunition). The primary weapon is a 120mm smooth-bore cannon; it is also equipped with a 50-caliber machine gun for the tank commander and two additional 7.62mm machine guns. The Abrams can fire an advanced kinetic energy tungsten penetrator round against vehicles and a multipurpose round for infantry support.
The Abrams' survivability is enhanced through its nuclear, biological and chemical protection system, crew compartmentalization from munitions and armored blow-off panels, which allow stowed munitions to vent to the atmosphere if detonated.
Work will be performed by existing General Dynamics and Department of Defense employees in Anniston, Ala.; Lima, Ohio; Scranton, Pa.; and Tallahassee, Fla. The 59 M1A1 AIM tanks are scheduled for delivery to Australian Land Forces in two shipments, in June and December 2006. The tanks are part of a large worldwide fleet with known, stable operating costs, and are expected to be in service beyond 2020.
General Dynamics will offer the Commonwealth of Australia the same comprehensive material and logistics support available to the Abrams fleet worldwide. General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia, a subsidiary, will take the lead in working with the Commonwealth to structure and implement a robust logistics system for the vehicles.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 71,900 people worldwide and had 2004 revenue of $19.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. For more information, see www.generaldynamics.com.