Today Saab Barracuda signed a contract worth 4.5 million AUD with Defence Materiel Division of the Australian Defence Force. Saab will develop and manufacture Multispectral Camouflage Systems for Australia’s new fleet of M1A1 AIM Abrams Main Battle Tank and M88A2 Hercules Armoured Recovery Vehicle.
In July this year, the Australian Army accepted into service 59 M1A1 AIM Abrams MBT and 7 M88A2 Hercules ARV to replace the aging Leopard AS1 fleet. While the vehicles were procured via the U.S. FMS process, Army identified a need to reduce the multispectral signatures and customize the vehicles for Northern Australia conditions at the same time, and a tender for MCS was released.
The development and manufacture of the Saab MCS for Abrams
Saab is responsible under this contract to design, develop, and manufacture the Abrams and Hercules Multispectral Camouflage Systems using its proven Mobile Camouflage and Heat Transfer Reduction technologies. The development and manufacture will be carried out by Saab Barracuda, Sydney, Australia, with materials and support from Saab Barracuda, Sweden, and other, local, suppliers.
“We at the local Saab company are very proud to be chosen to use our unique technology to provide both signature management and solar heat reduction to Australian Army’s latest fleet of combat vehicles. Saab has been supplying the Australian Defence Force with its signature management capability for thirty years, and this project reaffirms their trust in Saab’s capability and experience”, says Bob Fuller, Managing Director of Saab Barracuda Pty Ltd.
Saab will develop the first MCS for the Abrams MBT worldwide
The Abrams MBT, which is in service or under planning by a number of nations, is considered one of the most capable combat vehicles in service, and this first development of an MCS by Saab will be closely watched by other operators of the Abrams.