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  #121  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:16 PM
RN7 RN7 is offline
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That's pretty much the way it comes across to me. It stopped being a discussion a while back.
The American tanker who seems to be the main source for the claim that Australian Abrams have DU armour comes across as dogmatic in his beliefs despite rebuttals from an Australian Armoured Corp soldier who actually worked on the Australian Abrams.

The Australian government has a sometimes strange (read outright crazy) approach to the health and safety of military personnel at times, swinging between good practical common sense to "What the hell are they thinking?"
When the 76mm ammunition for the M113 MRVs was thought to be carcinogenic, the government immediately suspended all use of the 76mm gun (the gun does not have a fume extractor so fumes would vent into the turret).
When the Raven infantry radio was first issued, the batteries had a mercury component that could cause fumes if the case was cracked. SOP for damaged batteries was to immediately wrap them in plastic, burying them at a marked location and then a recovery team would remove the battery for full disposal.
At another point they went a little silly and decided that all General Service trucks in the Army had to be fitted with seatbelts in the flatbed so that they could safely transport troops (common sense finally saw the light of day and where necessary, coaches were used to transport personnel).

If the Australian Abrams were fitted with DU armour, there would be a stack of protocols in place to deal with everything from damage in peace time to damage in war time to general use to maintenance & refurbishment to who exactly in the Health & Occupational Safety government department would deal with it. The paper trail would be huge.
The fact that no such information has ever seen the light of day in the nearly two decades of us operating the Abrams suggest either a vast and incredibly effective conspiracy to deny such information to the wider world or, that DU armour is not being used.
You know my opinion and the American tankers opinion are no more dogmatic than yours?

If you can explain how these tanks are so heavy without DU armour then I won't have an argument with you.

None of the Australian tanks have ever been send outside of Australia or have been in combat. The armour on these tanks was fitted in America before the tanks were shipped to Australia. All major work on them is done in America, although I know that the gun on one tank was damaged and was repaired in Australia under supervision by US experts send out by GD. If the armour gets damaged and has to be repaired or replaced the tank will be shipped straight back to America as they are the only ones who can do it. The Australian government seems ok with all that. Why? I dunno maybe they know something!!
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  #122  
Old 05-24-2020, 09:22 PM
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Maybe it's because we don't have the facilities to repair advanced armours (we don't).
Maybe it's because we're required by the contract to have certain repairs/maintenance done by GD in the US (we are).
Maybe it's both of these things.
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  #123  
Old 05-24-2020, 09:26 PM
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Maybe it's because we don't have the facilities to repair advanced armours (we don't).
Maybe it's because we're required by the contract to have certain repairs/maintenance done by GD in the US (we are).
Maybe it's both of these things.
Maybe its because they have DU armour!!
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  #124  
Old 05-24-2020, 10:41 PM
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This same situation would have occurred if we had bought the Leopard 2 or the Challenger 2. We don't have the facilities to even make ceramic armours let alone repair something like Chobham armour let alone any armour more advanced than Chobham. Any repairs would require the vehicle be sent back to the country of origin. Even with the Leopard AS1 tank, we would have had to send them back to Germany for any significant repair or refurbishment.

DU armour was unacceptable to the Australian public and was, as mentioned before, a vote killer for any political party that went against that aspect of public opinion.
For any political party to covertly acquire tanks with DU armour at that period in time would require a conspiracy of silence from 2004 until the present day that would involve politicians on all sides of Australian politics, public servants, civilian contractors and military personnel to the tune of thousands of individuals. The Australian Greens party in particular would have rained merry hell down on government if they found out any such duplicity involving uranium had occurred.
The implication of all this is that either: -
1. the rest of the Australian population are a bunch of dupes who believe whatever the government tells them
2. the entire population of Australia is "in on it" and is lying to the rest of the world to protect the conspiracy despite many Australians being firmly opposed to DU
or
3. the government is telling the truth, we have no DU armour

In the nearly two decades of Abrams in Australian service, there has not been a single piece of evidence to support the notion that the Australian Abrams have DU armour. The American tanker that claimed we do have DU armour was arguing from a point of supposition. He displayed no consideration for the Australian social-political situation, of Australian health & safety regulations, of Australian military practice or, to be blunt, he exhibited no proof that he had any idea whatsoever about any aspect of Australia, the Australian government and the Australian military.
The Australian tanker could at least claim direct knowledge of all three of those subjects even if he had not had direct experience of the Australian Abrams.
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  #125  
Old 05-25-2020, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RN7 View Post
I gave you a polite and respectful answer to your reply. But if you want to be rude and condescending I can be like that too, in fact I can be like that with everything you type up from now on.

Your reply was this..

"Could the enhancements be the two extra tons? Any in depth maintenance would reveal DU lining."

16 words and that is supposed to be gospel. I've actually put a lot of time into researching and putting up information about the Australian Abram's tank on numerous posts on this thread. StainessSteelCynic doesn't agree with most of what I have said and that is his right, but unlike you he has actually done some research and made an effort to counter-argue his point with some data to back it up and I respect that.
First Off this quote that you say I said, I never said it, if you are going to quote someone at least quote the right someone this was said by .45cultist. Also it would not even take in depth maintenance just someone with a Geiger counter as DU does have low levels of radiation, enough that military counters (never used civilian) can detect it. Second off you have never answered the question that I asked, that being if the US has never sold a DU armored M1 what makes you think they decided to do so with the Australians who do not want it? Have I done much research, no/yes/maybe (depending on what you call research) as I lived this for ten years, but two tons (about 4000lbs) is not a lot of weight when you are talking tanks. I do not know what was added to the Australian tanks, but based on what I have seen posted here they have extra fuel, cool water storage, an APU(?), and use a heavier fuel. So just the change to a heavier fuel and adding say an extra 100 gallons takes up almost 1000lbs all by its self (about 700 for the extra 100 gallons, and about 250lbs for the difference in weight from JP to diesel), not knowing how much water is added, but water weighs about 8lbs per gallon not counting the system to hold it, and cool it, but lets say 40 gallons (ten per person, this is about twice what we carried so maybe to much and ours was carried in Jerry cans on the tank so was not added to the official weight of the tank) that is 320lbs just for the water. An APU is about 400lbs. So right here we have used a bit more than 3/4 of a ton, if they also use some extra armor to replace the DU but is half the weight (just a guess from my fourth point of contact) we are now looking at just a couple hundred pounds still not accounted for. This could easily be things like different track blocks, end connectors, amount of ammo carried (40 mail gun rounds for M1A1, 42 for M1A2) radios, and who know what other little things that add up quickly. Heck even the CVC (Combat Vehicle Crewman) helmet, my old one from my time in tanks, is about 3/4 of the weight of my brothers (who served after I got out of tanks as a tanker) now his was better but also weighed more. So summing up lots of examples/thought/whatnot have been given on why the weights may be different, but you are the only one that I see saying that it has to be DU armor as nothing else could possibly explain how that much (and when talking tanks it is not much) weight was added/retained.


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Originally Posted by RN7 View Post
If you know so much about DU armour and the Abram's in general well lets here it. Put up that information so I and everyone else on this board can see your obviously vast knowledge of the subject. I'll be happy to discuss it with you in great detail, in fact I'm really going to enjoy it.
I am not a expert on DU armor, but I did spend ten years as a M1 armor crewman, so I do know a few things about them. I have tried putting some of the information out there, based on my having been a tanker, but you have just ignored it as it has not fit with what you want the end story to be.

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Originally Posted by RN7 View Post
If you read even one of my posts on this subject you will realise that this is exactly what I have been saying. Have you actually read any of them at all?

What has this got to do with DU armour?
I have read what you posted, but it looks like you believe 100% the weights are gospel and the only way they can be that is if it has DU armor. Anything else the government is lieing about. I was trying to point out that it looks like sometimes they error, sometime it is misinformation, and yes it is likely sometimes it is flat out lies, but if you only pick and choose the ones that back what you want it to say then you are not really being objective.
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  #126  
Old 05-25-2020, 06:39 AM
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First Off this quote that you say I said, I never said it, if you are going to quote someone at least quote the right someone this was said by .45cultist.
Sorry about that I was busy last night when typing. But you were still being
rude.

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Originally Posted by CDAT View Post
Also it would not even take in depth maintenance just someone with a Geiger counter as DU does have low levels of radiation, enough that military counters (never used civilian) can detect it.
Right so you served on an M1. So did you ever use a Geiger counter on an Abram's or did someone you know ever use one, or did a superior officer ever allow you to use one near an Abram's and would you have been allowed go out and tell the world what you Geiger counter told you? They are military vehicles operated by the Australian Army. The only people allowed near them are military technicians who would need permission from a superior officer to use a Geiger counter, and they would be under orders and military laws.

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Originally Posted by CDAT View Post
Second off you have never answered the question that I asked, that being if the US has never sold a DU armored M1 what makes you think they decided to do so with the Australians who do not want it?
I think I tried to answer your question and others have also asked the same question and they got a reply from me too. Officially there is no DU armour and the Australian government has gone out of its way to state that, and I have stated that numerous times. But then there is the issue of the weight of the armour on the Australian Abram's. Read back on my posts I have put up a lot of information and data to try and support my view.

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Originally Posted by CDAT View Post
Have I done much research, no/yes/maybe (depending on what you call research) as I lived this for ten years, but two tons (about 4000lbs) is not a lot of weight when you are talking tanks. I do not know what was added to the Australian tanks, but based on what I have seen posted here they have extra fuel, cool water storage, an APU(?), and use a heavier fuel. So just the change to a heavier fuel and adding say an extra 100 gallons takes up almost 1000lbs all by its self (about 700 for the extra 100 gallons, and about 250lbs for the difference in weight from JP to diesel), not knowing how much water is added, but water weighs about 8lbs per gallon not counting the system to hold it, and cool it, but lets say 40 gallons (ten per person, this is about twice what we carried so maybe to much and ours was carried in Jerry cans on the tank so was not added to the official weight of the tank) that is 320lbs just for the water. An APU is about 400lbs. So right here we have used a bit more than 3/4 of a ton, if they also use some extra armor to replace the DU but is half the weight (just a guess from my fourth point of contact) we are now looking at just a couple hundred pounds still not accounted for. This could easily be things like different track blocks, end connectors, amount of ammo carried (40 mail gun rounds for M1A1, 42 for M1A2) radios, and who know what other little things that add up quickly. Heck even the CVC (Combat Vehicle Crewman) helmet, my old one from my time in tanks, is about 3/4 of the weight of my brothers (who served after I got out of tanks as a tanker) now his was better but also weighed more. So summing up lots of examples/thought/whatnot have been given on why the weights may be different, but you are the only one that I see saying that it has to be DU armor as nothing else could possibly explain how that much (and when talking tanks it is not much) weight was added/retained.
The weight difference between non-DU armoured Abram's and the weight of the tank listed by the Australian government is 3.5 US tons. That is equivalent to two medium sized cars added on to the tank. This weight was listed in 2008 before most of the additions that StainlessSteelCynic mentioned. This is the basic weight of the tank.

Extra fuel, extra water, extra ammo etc that you and StainlessSteelCynic mention is not part of that listed weight, and the Australian Army is not unique in carrying extra fuel, water, ammo etc in side and outside the tank.

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Originally Posted by CDAT View Post
I am not a expert on DU armor, but I did spend ten years as a M1 armor crewman, so I do know a few things about them. I have tried putting some of the information out there, based on my having been a tanker, but you have just ignored it as it has not fit with what you want the end story to be.
Lets be clear. This is what you said........

" I have served in the Middle East for about 5 years out of my 20 in uniform, and spent a lot of that time working with the locals, yes they have learned somethings from us, but other things that we keep trying to teach them they (as of 2013 when I got out) had not picked up in the more then twenty years that we had been trying to teach it to them. For example there tanks shoot a lot, probably more then even we do. However getting them to practice maneuver warfare training is like pulling teeth, they just do not want to do it. From what I am told it has something to do with the differences in culture and how we look at situations or something like that (never really made clear to me)."

" Now as I said I have been out for some time now, but to the best of my knowledge (and I will admit that I have not been tracking it) my understanding is that the US has never sold any DU equipped tanks, now if they were I would think a strong allies like Australia would be one to do so, but if we have not before and due to internal politics it is not a good way to make the sale, I have a hard time buying that they are just trying to sneak it in, when the troops with issued gear can tell if they are or not, and you know that if so someone would spill the beans. But this is just my thoughts worth what you paid for them."

" What I am seeing is that no matter what anyone says you are convinced that they have DU armor, so what is the point of further discussion? As I see it the main reason that we can say that they do not have DU armor is two fold, one the Australian government did not want it, and two the US government has never sold it before. If you are trying to find places where the governments may (likely did) say something that they did not mean to say that way, or said something that really was not cleared you can follow that rabbit for a long way. It may come as a shock to you (not likely, but who knows) that the government does not always tell the truth, for example the M1/IPM1 has a listed top speed on road of 45/30mph off road, and the M1A1 and later is 42/25mph. I can tell you from personal experience that is not true, I have gone much faster in my tank back in the day, but that is what the government says it is. The F-15 has a listed top speed of Mach 2.5, but there are press releases out there where it was said to have gone Mach 3.5, was that an oops we released something we should not have, or a typo? Also the SR-71 is listed as top speed of Mach 3.32, however it has been said that it can our run the Soviet missiles shoot at it (they can go up to Mac 4.5). So from my experience weights and speeds are very subjective and so should be taken with a large dose of Skepticism."

Tell me exactly what part of this is information directly related to the weight of the Abram's tank or DU armour? Its seem to be your opinion and experiences in the army, and a few examples of things which are not related to what I am talking about. It also includes a few comments which accuse me of ignoring what you and everyone else is saying because I don't want to listen to you and them and that I am arguing just for the sake of it. I have actually tried to answer you and everyone's posts with relevant information, but I've got a lot of accusations for doing that.

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Originally Posted by CDAT View Post
I have read what you posted, but it looks like you believe 100% the weights are gospel and the only way they can be that is if it has DU armor. Anything else the government is lieing about. I was trying to point out that it looks like sometimes they error, sometime it is misinformation, and yes it is likely sometimes it is flat out lies, but if you only pick and choose the ones that back what you want it to say then you are not really being objective.
And this is a prime example of what I just said.

I'm not being objective and I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but I do have an issue with weight of the Australian Abram's tank. I believe in facts and I've put up a lot information to support my view that the Australian Abram's has DU armour. According to you I'm accusing the Australian government of lying, but then you say......

"I was trying to point out that it looks like sometimes they error, sometime it is misinformation, and yes it is likely sometimes it is flat out lies"

What exactly are you trying to say? Are they lying? Yes I think they are lying about the Abram's tank. Thank you.
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  #127  
Old 05-25-2020, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
This same situation would have occurred if we had bought the Leopard 2 or the Challenger 2. We don't have the facilities to even make ceramic armours let alone repair something like Chobham armour let alone any armour more advanced than Chobham. Any repairs would require the vehicle be sent back to the country of origin. Even with the Leopard AS1 tank, we would have had to send them back to Germany for any significant repair or refurbishment.

DU armour was unacceptable to the Australian public and was, as mentioned before, a vote killer for any political party that went against that aspect of public opinion.
For any political party to covertly acquire tanks with DU armour at that period in time would require a conspiracy of silence from 2004 until the present day that would involve politicians on all sides of Australian politics, public servants, civilian contractors and military personnel to the tune of thousands of individuals. The Australian Greens party in particular would have rained merry hell down on government if they found out any such duplicity involving uranium had occurred.
The implication of all this is that either: -
1. the rest of the Australian population are a bunch of dupes who believe whatever the government tells them
2. the entire population of Australia is "in on it" and is lying to the rest of the world to protect the conspiracy despite many Australians being firmly opposed to DU
or
3. the government is telling the truth, we have no DU armour

In the nearly two decades of Abrams in Australian service, there has not been a single piece of evidence to support the notion that the Australian Abrams have DU armour. The American tanker that claimed we do have DU armour was arguing from a point of supposition. He displayed no consideration for the Australian social-political situation, of Australian health & safety regulations, of Australian military practice or, to be blunt, he exhibited no proof that he had any idea whatsoever about any aspect of Australia, the Australian government and the Australian military.
The Australian tanker could at least claim direct knowledge of all three of those subjects even if he had not had direct experience of the Australian Abrams.

I think I did say that the Leopard 2 or Challenger 2 would have been a better option for Australia at the time. The Leopard 2 is a fine tank but it has no real combat experience, and expect for maybe the very latest models available today in 2020 the armour on older models is not up to that of the DU-armoured Abram's or the Challenger 2. The armour on the Challenger 2 is equally as tough as the DU armour on the Abram's. I don't know what it is made of as the Brits wont tell anyone about it no matter how hard you look. Maybe some DU armour too huh!!

I think cost came into the equation when Australia was choosing which tank to buy, and America offered a relatively cheap package with mostly refurbished models. But all the work on them was done in America and there is ambiguity about which M1A1 SA AIP variant was supplied.

There is some secrecy about all of this and it is near impossible to find out which tank Australia really got. Australia says it got the M1A1 SA AIP v1 with no DU armour, but the data relating to the very heavy weight of the Australian tank points to M1A1 SA AIP v2 which has DU armour. All the major repair work is also done in America, and that is another part of the problem as you would have to closely inspect the armour to figure out what it actually is and that is only going to happen in America at a tank factory. Official secrets acts etc would mean you would end up in prison if you went near one.

But that is what you get when you don't have a major arms industry and have to buy from another country.

The Australian government has gone out of its way to state that there is no DU armour in it tanks and I have never denied any of this. However despite vocal support for condemning depleted uranium as a toxic weapon, the Australian government has abstained from voting in UN resolution to restrict or ban the use of depleted uranium weapons. Why was this?

The issue I have is the weight of the Australian tank. It is just far to heavy to be fitted with the export grade armour that was supplied to the Arabs.
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  #128  
Old 05-25-2020, 09:30 AM
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Interestingly enough, there were three camps in regards to a tank to replace the Leo AS1 and also three groups that had vocal opinions on it, the three groups being the government, the army itself and the last group being military affairs writers/commentators (many of them being ex-military). Unsurprisingly the three camps were, Leo 2, Challenger 2 and M1A1 Abrams.

The decision to buy the Abrams came down to two things, a strong political desire to strengthen defence ties with the US coupled with the fact that US made an offer that was "too good to refuse". So yeah, total costs played a very big part.
To a lesser extent the fact that the Abrams would be supplied already fitted for network-centric warfare played its part too but that again comes down to price - the other two could have been fitted with the gear but it would have been at additional cost. Every Abrams we got was a zero-hour refurbishment/rebuild of M1A1 models drawn from US Army or USMC stocks. This would also benefit the US in that it kept people employed at the tank plant and it meant cycling older models of Abrams out of inventory as the M1A2 became the mainstay of the US tank fleets further reducing total costs for everyone involved.

As for the three tanks, support for Leo 2 and Challenger 2 were about equal from the army as I recall it, with the Abrams running somewhat behind but there was a very vocal group of journo's in the defence affairs side of things who were stridently waving the flag for the Abrams. I don't recall this actually having much (if any) impact on the government decision but I definitely recall some of the rubbish they printed to belittle the Leo 2 and Challenger 2.
With the exception of network-centric warfare kit, the Abrams was not the best choice for the Australian Army but it was a very good choice for the Australian government and overall, the Army appears pretty happy with them now.

As for the Australian government abstaining from voting on the use of DU, it's got less to do with our new tanks and much more to do with decades old trade. Australia was one of the major exporters of uranium in the past and is still in the top 15 of the world's exporters of depleted uranium. The silence of the Australian government in the UN likely has more to do with keeping the export dollars rolling in. There are three very big players in the uranium mining industry in Australia and they have worldwide presence - BHP Billiton, Energy Resources of Australian and Rio Tinto (which actually owns over 50-60% of Energy Resources of Australia). All three make big wads of cash from uranium.

We have some absurdly high percent of GDP provided by mining, in the region of 15-20% and we have apparently, the world's largest supply of uranium resources. We still use coal powered electricity generation in some areas, nuclear power would be far better in terms of short and long term environmental impact but no government is willing to pitch nuclear power stations to the public, because they know the answer will be a majority "no".

Now I'm never going to declare the Australian government are not a bunch of money grubbers nor are they without hypocrisy but I believe the trade in uranium has much more to do with their decision in the UN than the purchase of the Abrams did. Voting against the use of DU would lose too many dollars in trade, voting yes would be hypocritical. The only way to save face and more importantly all those lovely, lovely export dollars, was to abstain.
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  #129  
Old 05-25-2020, 11:28 AM
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The armour on the Challenger 2 is equally as tough as the DU armour on the Abram's. I don't know what it is made of as the Brits wont tell anyone about it no matter how hard you look. Maybe some DU armour too huh!!
I believe it is Chobham armor with a Tungsten alloy.
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  #130  
Old 05-25-2020, 11:34 AM
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Could the Abrams' proven track record (no pun intended) in arid, desert environments have factored into the decision? The Challenger II has also had some operational deployments in desert areas but, AFAIK, the Leopard II has not.

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  #131  
Old 05-25-2020, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Interestingly enough, there were three camps in regards to a tank to replace the Leo AS1 and also three groups that had vocal opinions on it, the three groups being the government, the army itself and the last group being military affairs writers/commentators (many of them being ex-military). Unsurprisingly the three camps were, Leo 2, Challenger 2 and M1A1 Abrams.

The decision to buy the Abrams came down to two things, a strong political desire to strengthen defence ties with the US coupled with the fact that US made an offer that was "too good to refuse". So yeah, total costs played a very big part.
To a lesser extent the fact that the Abrams would be supplied already fitted for network-centric warfare played its part too but that again comes down to price - the other two could have been fitted with the gear but it would have been at additional cost. Every Abrams we got was a zero-hour refurbishment/rebuild of M1A1 models drawn from US Army or USMC stocks. This would also benefit the US in that it kept people employed at the tank plant and it meant cycling older models of Abrams out of inventory as the M1A2 became the mainstay of the US tank fleets further reducing total costs for everyone involved.

As for the three tanks, support for Leo 2 and Challenger 2 were about equal from the army as I recall it, with the Abrams running somewhat behind but there was a very vocal group of journo's in the defence affairs side of things who were stridently waving the flag for the Abrams. I don't recall this actually having much (if any) impact on the government decision but I definitely recall some of the rubbish they printed to belittle the Leo 2 and Challenger 2.
With the exception of network-centric warfare kit, the Abrams was not the best choice for the Australian Army but it was a very good choice for the Australian government and overall, the Army appears pretty happy with them now.

As for the Australian government abstaining from voting on the use of DU, it's got less to do with our new tanks and much more to do with decades old trade. Australia was one of the major exporters of uranium in the past and is still in the top 15 of the world's exporters of depleted uranium. The silence of the Australian government in the UN likely has more to do with keeping the export dollars rolling in. There are three very big players in the uranium mining industry in Australia and they have worldwide presence - BHP Billiton, Energy Resources of Australian and Rio Tinto (which actually owns over 50-60% of Energy Resources of Australia). All three make big wads of cash from uranium.

We have some absurdly high percent of GDP provided by mining, in the region of 15-20% and we have apparently, the world's largest supply of uranium resources. We still use coal powered electricity generation in some areas, nuclear power would be far better in terms of short and long term environmental impact but no government is willing to pitch nuclear power stations to the public, because they know the answer will be a majority "no".

Now I'm never going to declare the Australian government are not a bunch of money grubbers nor are they without hypocrisy but I believe the trade in uranium has much more to do with their decision in the UN than the purchase of the Abrams did. Voting against the use of DU would lose too many dollars in trade, voting yes would be hypocritical. The only way to save face and more importantly all those lovely, lovely export dollars, was to abstain.
I couldn't argue with this, and I would say all or most of it played a part in the Australian decision to but the Abram's.

I know Australia has a big uranium mining industry but as far as I aware it doesn't produce DU armour or DU ammunition. I could be wrong as I haven't done to much research on it, but I think you need nuclear reactors and an enrichment plant to produce depleted uranium. Australia does have a small stock of highly enriched uranium (0.001 tons).

At the time I would have placed the Challenger 2 as the front runner due to three factors. 1) armour protection 2) Non DU armour (so the they say!!!) 3) Experience of use in desert and temperate climates. The Abram's I think beat it on price and perhaps one other factor. The Challenger 2 uses a 120mm rifled gun and the Abram's and Leopard 2 have 120mm smoothbores. The British rifled gun itself is sound enough design and is actually longer ranged, but it is not compatible with most NATO ammunition. Converting the Challenger to a smoothbore gun would have added way to much to the unit cost.

The Abram's was chosen but I still think protection was an issue. The Abram's with DU armour is very well protected, but DU armour is no no in Australia. So I think Australia may have told a bit of a white lie about it, and has been able to cover it up through using GD to do all of the major engineering work in America. I would say much of this work could actually be done in Australia, but it suits everyone in involved in the programme to have it done in the States.

Again I could be wrong and there may be a very rational explanation to why the Australian Abram's is 3.5 US tons heavier than it should be if it doesn't have DU armour. I may have just missed something or read the wrong information. I don't think we will ever know the real specs of the Australian Abram's unless someone in the Australian or US governments blurts something out by mistake and it enters the public domain.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:16 PM
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I believe it is Chobham armor with a Tungsten alloy.
It could well be, but I would say a bit of depleted uranium and something else is in the mix.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:17 PM
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Could the Abrams' proven track record (no pun intended) in arid, desert environments have factored into the decision? The Challenger II has also had some operational deployments in desert areas but, AFAIK, the Leopard II has not.-
Definitely
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:49 PM
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A couple of things here.

The proven track record in desert environments wasn't as big a consideration as one might expect. A more important consideration for the Australian Army was range on full fuel load so in that aspect, I believe the Challenger 2 was the lead candidate. But the Abrams deal saved the government a bucket-load of cash plus it was also pre-fitted for network-centric warfare (thereby saving further costs). That coupled with the then Prime Minister's desire to strengthen the bond with the US... we all know the end result.

Not something widely known but Australia has had an Atomic Energy Commission since 1952 and we've had a nuclear reactor since 1958. It's located in Sydney, the suburb of Lucas Heights specifically.
It was used for research and the production of medical & industrial isotopes. As a byproduct, it also supplied electricity to the local area. It was replaced by a newer technology reactor in 2007.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 05-25-2020 at 08:50 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:20 AM
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Digging a little into Australia's uranium exports, apparently a major customer in the last couple of decades is the USA, listed as accounting for over half of Australian uranium sales as of 2019-20
So, some idle speculation... Australia abstains in the UN vote against DU because voting yes would potentially sour the export of uranium to the US.
Something to consider...
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:53 AM
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After doing a bit of research this is what I found. Australia is a major producer or uranium, and I think it has the largest reserves of uranium in the world and certainly has the largest uranium mine. However Australia is only involved in the extraction of uranium, with the mined uranium shipped overseas.

Depleted uranium does not occur naturally. Natural uranium primarily contains two isotopes, uranium-238 (99.3 percent) and U-235 (0.7%). The concentration of U-235 which is the fissionable isotope needs to be increased to between 3 and 5% for nuclear fuel. Uranium enrichment plants use gaseous diffusion, gas centrifuge, or laser separation enrichment to do that, and one of the by products that they produce in depleted uranium..

Australia has no commercial nuclear power plants and limited domestic uranium requirements. An Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) research reactor is operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights south of Sydney, New South Wales. The OPAL reactor has the capacity to produce commercial quantities of radioisotopes utilising low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel.

Australia has no uranium enrichment facilities. Countries with major uranium enrichment facilities are located in the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, Germany and Netherlands. There are also minor uranium enrichment facilities in Argentina, Brazil, India, Iran, Japan and Pakistan.

Countries that produce depleted uranium ammunition include the United States, China, Britain, France and Russia. India and Pakistan also produce small quantities. The United States is the biggest producer of DU ammunition

Countries that use depleted uranium ammunition include the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia,. Bahrain, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and possibly Serbia.
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