The Australian Army’s School of Armour at Puckapunyal, Victoria, has received the first ten upgraded M1A1 Abrams tanks as part of the Tank Technical Refresh and Remediation Programme.

The deliveries are the result of a $59m programme carried out by the Land Systems Division (LSD) within the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), alongside the Army and Joint Logistics Unit, Victoria (JLU-V).

"The implementation of the Refresh programme is expected to allow the tanks to be supported through to life of type."

According to the Australian Department of Defense, the army approved the programme in 2013 to enhance the army’s 59 M1A1 Abrams tanks and seven M88A2 Hercules armoured recovery vehicles.

CASG Land Systems head major general Paul McLachlan said: "The implementation of the Refresh programme, combined with a fleet rotation that aims to even out usage across the fleet, is expected to allow the tanks to be supported through to life of type."

By the end of the programme in 2018, the issues in the baseline configuration of the tanks and M88s will be addressed.

JLU-V’s Transfield workforce in Bandiana will be responsible for the work on the M1A1 Tank fleet, while activities on the Hercules vehicles will be undertaken by a BAE Systems team at Joint Logistic Unit North, in Darwin, starting in early 2017.

The tank programme team at LSD has already completed the modernisation of all M1A1 Tank simulation at the School of Armour and 1st Armoured Regiment.

The programme on the M1A1’s AGT1500 turbine engine is expected to commence soon.

An upgraded variant of the US Army’s combat-proven M1Abrams third-generation MBT, the M1A1 Abrams features improved armament, protection and electronics systems.