The M1150 assault breacher vehicle (ABV) is a highly mobile armoured minefield and obstacle breaching system based on the M1 Abrams chassis.
The M1150 ABV is a hybrid between a tank and a harvesting machine, which offers crew safety and vehicle survivability while maintaining the necessary speed and agility to stay in sync with the manoeuvre force.
The ABV is in service with the US Army as part of its Heavy Brigade Combat Team. It is a part of the Army National Guard, US Army Forces Command, and Army Prepositioned Stocks.
Developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD), the ABV was adopted in 2009. The US Marines utilised M1150 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, during an operation in December 2009. They decommissioned the vehicles in 2023.
In November 2023 however, an ABV was displayed in Ukraine as part of a ceremony marking Ukraine’s Rocket Forces and Artillery and Engineering Troops Day.
A total of 239 M1150 ABVs have been manufactured until November 2023.
M1150 ABV design and features
The M1150 ABV comprises an M1A1 Abrams tank hull and a distinctive turret accommodating two linear demolition charge systems featuring two mine-clearing line charges (MICLIC) apart from rockets.
Additionally, it includes a lane marking system (LMS), an integrated vision system (IVS), and a high lift adapter that can be used to attach either a full-width mine plough (FWMP) or a combat dozer blade.
The 12m-long combat vehicle weighs 72 tons and has the capability to accommodate two crew members.
The unique 4.6m-wide mine plough attached to the front of the vehicle is bolstered by metal skis that slide along the ground as the vehicle moves forward. It establishes a cleared pathway of tank width through a minefield by deploying and detonating one of its MICLIC systems across the field. The vehicle reinforces the pathway using its FWMP and designates the cleared route with its LMS.
Integrated vision system details
The ABV is equipped with DRS IVS, an advanced thermal sighting technology.
The IVS integrates advanced uncooled thermal technology into a compact two-axis stabilised gimbal, along with DRS’ enhanced situation awareness camera system. It enables operators to maintain their position within the protective armour while executing a mission with enhanced visual awareness around the vehicle.
The vehicle is equipped with two M58 MICLIC launchers for remote demining. The launchers can establish a cleared pathway within a minefield measuring 100m long and 8m wide.
The crew has the option to employ an M2 Browning machine gun for their self-defence.
The M1150 is powered by an engine with a power output of 1,500hp.
The M1150 ABV was built in Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama, US, with engineering breaching systems supplied by Pearson Engineering, a civil engineering company based in the UK.
AECOM, an engineering company based in the US, supplied linear demolition charge systems for the vehicle while Leonardo DRS, an arms industry company also based in the US, provided the thermal IVS and embedded diagnostics systems.
Military vehicles manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems supplied hull integration kits for the ABV. Technical manuals were provided by XMCO, a professional services provider.
Orders and deliveries
The Australian Government requested to procure 29 M1150 ABVs from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency for the Australian Army in April 2021.
The initial batch of vehicles is set to arrive in Australia by 2024 and is anticipated to attain initial operating capability by 2025.