The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon subsidiary, a $24m contract to deliver electric generators and containers to power the US Army’s Abrams M1A2 main battle tanks (MBTs).

Abrams M1A2 System Enhanced Package version 3 (SEPv3) is a modernised configuration of the Abrams MBT in service with the US Army. The new version offers enhanced protection and survivability, as well as higher lethality than its predecessors – with the RTX generator playing a significant part in delivering its power capacity for advanced systems.

The tank also features various advancements in technology, including improved armour, communications, reliability, sustainment, and fuel efficiency.

As part of the Army’s SEPv3 to improve the M1A2’s performance and extend its service life, Collins’ generator will provide 50% more onboard power than the MBT’s legacy system in the same space, enhancing the tank’s survivability and reliability.

Russell Andrey, Programme Manager for Collins pointed out that “To date, Collins has delivered 800 electric generators in support of the SEPv3 programme supplying critical power, diagnostics and predictive maintenance support on the ground.”

With increased power, the electric generator helps improve the M1A2’s survivability by enabling the addition of advanced systems, such as laser warning receivers and radio jamming capabilities.

GlobalData reveals that the US Army has integrated unmanned turrets on some of its armoured vehicles, such as the M1A2 Abrams and the Stryker. These unmanned turrets use advanced sensors and targeting systems to provide increased accuracy and situational awareness for the crew; this requires enormous electrical processing power, especially as systems become more autonomous and network-centric.

Furthermore, the generator uses advanced magnetics and active load management to deliver 100% rated power throughout the M1A2’s operating range.

This is an important step as the defence industry looks to curtail unnecessary energy consumption. It is this turn toward ESG principles that has led to theme to consistently perform among the top three themes with the highest patent filings this year according to GlobalData intelligence.

Collins also designed the generators to fit in the same space as the legacy system without requiring major changes to the vehicle or its existing electric systems architecture as the US Army moves to integrate systems across its increasingly multi-domain fighting force.