Thursday, February 09, 2017

Australian M1 Abrams suffering reliability issues?

Thanks to Dave for the link!

via Australian
Previously, the Honeywell AGT1500 gas turbine engine which powers the tank had to be shipped back to the US for overhaul at a US Army repair depot in Alabama – a process which could take between 9-12 months before the power-plant returned to Australian soil and cost up to $500,000 per unit.
The overhauled engine also had a TAE Health and Usage Monitoring (HUMS) system fitted during overhaul and the Australian Army is the first Abrams operator in the world to adopt the system.
Australia purchased 59 refurbished Abrams M1A1 Main Battle Tanks from the US in 2004 and they will remain in service until at least 2035. The recent Defence White Paper forecasts a capability upgrade in the near future, to be carried out under project Land 907 Phase 2.
The 15,000 shaft horsepower (shp) AGT1500 has amassed over 24 million hours of operation worldwide and is a modular design, meaning that the power unit can be split apart in the field. Though for all intents and purposes identical to US Marine Corps tanks, Australia's M1A1 Abrams have not enjoyed the same reliability – a phenomenon attributable to the harsh local operating environment, but also to the way Army uses its fleet.
So your question is the same as mine...How do the Australians use their tanks in ways that US Marine Tankers don't?  From the same article...
 Army Head of Modernisation and Strategic Planning Major General Gus McLachlan recently hosted personnel from the US Army’s Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) in Michigan to investigate what he describes as ‘very significant and reliability issues’ with the Abrams fleet in Australia.
“At the end of it the Americans back-briefed me, saying we are using our tanks at 10 times the rate of a similar American unit and also, we use them on terrain that our soldiers would never contemplate crossing,” he told delegates at the SimTecT 2016 conference in Melbourne recently.
A further difference between the two Abrams operators is that the Australian Army runs the AGT1500 engine on diesel, where US forces use Aviation Turbine (AVTUR) fuel.

So that's the real deal.

They use diesel fuel and we use avgas!

I'm not calling the Australian General a liar but seriously?  I mean really?  Has he never been to 29 Palms, Ft Irwin or even Ft Knox (when they were up and running)!!!  Our guys run those tanks hard and put them away soaking wet!

Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe there really is an issue with the M1's motor.... 

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