The US military is buying breaching attack vehicles from a British company

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a modified contract to Pearson Engineering – a combat systems supplier based in Newcastle, UK – to deliver M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABV) to the US military.

The vehicle will be built in Anniston, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2025.

The procurement of 2024 weapons and combat vehicle tracking, Army funds, of $11.2 million (£8.9 million) were obligated at the time of the award.

The M1150 ABV is a hybrid between General DynamicsThe M1 Abrams main battle tank and a harvester engine, providing crew safety and vehicle survivability while maintaining the speed and agility necessary to stay in sync with the maneuver force.

Pearson provided the specially designed plow and other mine-clearing components integrated into the front of the Abrams hull.

In 2022, Raphael got Pearson. At the time, Israel’s third-largest defense company said:

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“Pearson Engineering’s business is underpinned by an outstanding legacy of excellence in innovation… By acquiring this company, [Rafael] will be able to strengthen and expand Pearson Engineering’s manufacturing capabilities in the UK, thereby strengthening our UK supply chain to better support our customers.”

ABV development

Originally developed by the US Department of Defense, the ABV was adopted in 2009. US Marines used the M1150 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, during an operation in December 2009. They have since decommissioned the vehicles in 2023.

Although, in November 2023, an ABV was presented at Ukraine as part of a ceremony celebrating the Day of Missile Forces and Artillery and Engineering Troops of Ukraine.

A total of 239 M1150 ABVs have been made through November 2023.

An M1150 includes an Abrams tank hull and a distinctive turret that houses two Demolition Line Charge Systems that feature two Mine Clearance Line Charges (MICLIC) in addition to rockets.

Additionally, it includes a Lane Marking System (LMS), an Integrated Sighting System (IVS) and a high-lift adapter that can be used to attach either a full-width minefield plow (FWMP) or a combat bulldozer blade.

The 12-meter (m) long combat vehicle weighs 72 tons and can accommodate two crew members.

The unique 4.6m wide mine plow attached to the front of the vehicle is supported by metal skis that slide along the ground as the vehicle moves forward. He creates a clear tank-width path through a minefield by deploying and detonating one of his MICLIC systems across the field. The vehicle reinforces the path using its FWMP and defines the cleared path with its LMS.

in text image ABV
Photo of the M1150 ABV from the front, showing the M1 Abrams hull and minesweeping attachment. Credit: US Army Corporal Alisha Grezlik via Army Technology.

Demining in Ukraine

On September 18, 2023, of Ukraine Ministry of Defense announced that he had searched the liberated area of ​​Kherson region. Sappers used Danish drones on nearly 600 hectares of farmland, where they detected more than 1,500 magnetic anomalies.

As a result, Lithuania has gathered more support in recent months for the Demining Capability Coalition it established in June 2023 to support Ukraine.

Currently, the coalition includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. Its strategy is based on the “train and equip” principle of supplying the Ukrainian military with demining equipment and training personnel.

Ukraine’s demining struggle reflects ABV’s continued utility in an era of war in which belligerents are not yet beyond the use of traditional mines.

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