The US Army has awarded a delivery order to General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) for the modernisation and upgrade of 100 additional M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks.

Under the deal, the company will be responsible for upgrading the M1A1 tanks into the latest and advanced M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 (SEPv3) configuration.

The delivery order is part of an Army Requirements Contract signed in December last year, under which GDLS is committed to modernise up to 435 M1A1s to the new configuration.

The M1A2 SEPv3 configuration features technological advancements in communications, reliability, sustainment and fuel efficiency, in addition to providing upgraded armour.

Work on the project will be carried out at Land Systems locations in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Tallahassee, Florida, in addition to the US’ only operational tank plant, the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio.

“The initial pilot M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks were delivered to the US Army in October last year.”

The initial pilot M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks were delivered to the US Army in October last year.

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Land Systems, which serves as the business unit of GD, delivers new design, engineering, technology, production and full lifecycle support for land combat vehicles deployed across the world.

Built on the legacy M1 Abrams model, the M1A1 variant replaced the 105mm main gun of the M1 series with a 120mm gun, in addition to integrating the system with other upgrades, such as improved suspension, a new turret, increased armour protection and a nuclear-chemical-biological protection system.

The latest M1A2 variant includes all of the features of the M1A1 series, along with a commander’s independent thermal viewer, an independent commander’s weapon station, position navigation equipment, and a digital data bus and radio interface unit.