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Australian Army picks Thomas Global to build trainers for its new M1A2 Abrams tanks

New training systems for Australia's new M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks
Illustration: Australian defense ministry file photo of an Australian Army M1A1 Abrams MBT

The Australian defense ministry has selected Thomas Global Systems as the prime system integrator for the Australian Army’s M1A2 Abrams tank immersive tactical trainer (ITT).

Australia is buying new trainer systems after signing an A$3.5 billion (approx. US$ 2.5B) contract with the US for the purchase of 75 of the newest M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Program Version 3 (SEPv3) main battle tanks (MBT) and new combat engineering vehicles.

Thomas Global Systems will establish a new manufacturing facility in Newington, NSW, to deliver 16 ITT systems.

In addition to the acquisition contract announced, Thomas Global Systems has signed a separate comprehensive Support Contract to provide ongoing sustainment and support services of the delivered systems, bringing total program value to approximately $50 million.

This latest contract builds on the company’s 20-year history in military training simulation across land, maritime and aerospace domains; including ASLAV crew procedural trainers, Collins-class submarine trainers, and most recently being selected to deliver training equipment for the Australian Army’s Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle.

Once complete, the 12 containerized ITTs will be deployed to defense bases throughout Australia, along with four classrooms to be permanently established at the armored vehicle simulation site located at Puckapunyal, Victoria.

The Australian Army will be receiving 75 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks, 29 M1150 assault breacher vehicles, 17 M1074 joint assault bridge vehicles and an additional six M88A2 armored recovery vehicles, as part of the February 2022 agreement with the US.

“As an Australian defense technology contractor, we are delighted to be selected to support the crew tactical training for the $3.5 billion M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams MBT acquisition. This contract will enable Thomas Global Systems to further develop its sovereign design and manufacturing capability in complex immersive training systems, in Australia,” Thomas Global’s managing director Andrew Hutchinson said.

“This five-year contract with the Australian government presents a significant opportunity for Thomas Global Systems to access export markets in the global Abrams supply chain, in support of the US and our other allies and partners.”