General Dynamics Land Systems (GD) is to build 140 M1A1 situational awareness tanks for the Iraqi Army.

Under a $198m contract, the company will build 140 M1A1 tanks with major enhancements to the base vehicles.

Enhancements include a second-generation forward-looking infrared thermal sight, a driver’s vision-enhancer thermal viewer and tank srban survivability kit (TUSK) improvements, which provide better crew protection in urban warfare environments.

In addition, engines for the vehicle have been developed as part of the army’s total integrated engine revitalisation (TIGER) programme and the pulse-jet filter cleaning systems will be installed to enhance performance while reducing maintenance costs.

Work will be carried out in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Florida and is expected to be complete by 31 May 2011.

The contract has been awarded by the US Army Tank and Automotive Command.