Australia to buy tanks and other armoured vehicles from US for A$3.5B

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 Australia to buy tanks and other armoured vehicles from US for A$3.5B
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Highlights

  • Australia is all set to upgrade the Country’s army fleet with the acquisition of over 120 tanks along with other armoured vehicles from the US for AU$3.5 billion.
  • Last year, the US, UK and Australia forged an alliance in what is viewed as an attempt to counter China.
  • China had condemned the trilateral security partnership signed between the three countries and dubbed it as "extremely irresponsible".

Australia has shared cordial relations with the United States since times immemorial. The Bilateral defence ties between the two countries have become much stronger after the duo signed the trilateral defence pact in September last year. What has united the two nations even more is the emerging threat of what is perceived as their common enemy, “People’s Republic of China.”

In the latest development, as part of a major boost to the Australian fleet, Morrison Government is all set to acquire over 120 tanks along with other armoured vehicles from the US for AU$3.5 billion.

Australia has often joined US in criticising China for creating geopolitical tension in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia’s commitment to purchase 75 M1A2 main battle tanks shows the government’s dedication to an advanced fleet of armoured vehicles despite its initial focus on other major acquisitions like submarines, jet fighters and long-range missiles amidst escalating Chinese tensions.

As per reports Defence Minister Peter Dutton is likely to give confirmation regarding the upgrade on Monday. The tanks will be a substitute for the army’s 59 abrams M1A1s, that were incorporated in 2007 but have not seen combat.

Besides, the country is also committed to 29 assault breacher vehicles, used to clear mines and explosives, along with 17 joint assault bridge vehicles and an additional six armoured recovery vehicles.

What is Aukus?

In September last year, the US, UK and Australia forged a military pact called Aukus. The trilateral defence pact aimed at making Australian Navy's next submarine fleet nuclear-powered and enhanced regional cooperation ensuring exchange of sensitive "naval nuclear propulsion information" between the three countries.

The initiative, known as Aukus was jointly announced by US President Joe Biden and prime ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson, via a videoconference.

Though, there was no mention of China when the alliance was announced, however policy makers believe that the agreement was a response to the Chinese aggression and its expansionist policy in the South China Sea.

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