The U.S. Army has signed a delivery order for General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) to upgrade 100 more M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks to the state-of-the-art M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 (M1A2 SEPv3) configuration.
The delivery order is part of an Army Requirements Contract signed in December 2017 through which the Army can upgrade up to 435 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPv3 configuration. The M1A2 SEPv3 configuration features technological advancements in communications, reliability, sustainment and fuel efficiency, plus upgraded armor.
Work on this delivery order will be performed at Land Systems locations in Scranton, Pa., and Tallahassee, Fla., and at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, the only operational tank plant in the country.
Initial pilot M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks were delivered to the Army in October 2017.
M1 Abrams is an American third-generation main battle tank which is highly mobile, well armed and heavily armored.
Notable features include a powerful AGT1500 multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated composite armor, and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety. Weighing nearly 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service.
The M1 Abrams entered U.S. service in 1980, ultimately replacing the M60 tank. The M1 is the main battle tank of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and is also used by the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Iraq.
Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection, and electronics. These improvements and other upgrades to in-service tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service.
Extensive improvements have been implemented to the latest M1A2 SEPv3 version. The SEPv3 will replace the M1A2 SEPv2 which has been in production since 2005.
Production for the M1A2 SEPv3 is being conducted at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima, Ohio and at the Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama. The first of six M1A2 SEPv3 initial production vehicles was accepted by the U.S. Army on Oct. 4 last year.
The M1A2 SEPv3 improvements include:
+ Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS): Integration of the Government Furnished Equipment Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit radio to support the need to establish network readiness and maintain battle command and communications interoperability with future Brigade Combat Teams.
+ Power Generation and Distribution: Aspects include Improved Amperage Alternator, Slip Ring, Enhanced Hull Power Distribution Unit/Common Remote Switching Modules, and the Battery Monitoring System. These technologies address the power demand growth potential and the need for dissemination of critical information.
+ Line Replaceable Unit/Line Replaceable Modules Redesign: Migration of current force Abrams platforms to a two-level maintenance scheme can be initiated through the implementation of Line Replaceable Module technology.
+ AN/VLQ-12 Counter RCIED (Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device) Electronic Warfare (CREW) Duke V3: It is a vehicle-mounted, lightweight system that neutralizes RCIED threats and gives U.S. troops a tactical advantage across the full spectrum of operations. CREW/Duke V3 is the latest version from PM CREW.
+ Ammunition Data Link (ADL): The ADL is required to program the M829A4 Advanced Kinetic Energy and Advanced Multi-Purpose rounds.
+ Auxiliary Power Unit (APU): The under armor APU provides capability to operate on-board systems with a reduced probability of detection during silent watch operations.
+ Armor Upgrades: The Abrams Tank will continue to advance its ballistic protection to counter the latest threats and maintain battlefield superiority.