Abrams tank

General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has secured a task order to upgrade additional US Army M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 systems enhancement package (SEP) V2 configuration.

The $49.7m order from the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command Lifecycle Management Command forms part of a February 2008 multi-year contract to upgrade 435 M1A1 tanks that have been in the army’s inventory for more than 20 years.

The M1A2 SEP V2 is a technologically advanced digital tank featuring improved colour displays, commander remote operated weapon station, a thermal management system and a tank-infantry phone, providing commanders and crew with increased situational awareness of both vehicle and tactical surroundings.

Additional features include a forward-looking infrared detector in the gunner’s primary sight and commander’s independent thermal viewer and day and night thermal sights, as well as auxiliary power and ballistic solution upgrades for advanced ammunition, including M829A3 kinetic energy and M1028 canister rounds.

"The configuration is a digitally connected tank with an advanced electronic backbone and powerful computers."

The configuration is a digitally connected tank with an advanced electronic backbone and powerful computers, and has an open architecture that is designed to accept future technologies without requiring significant reform.

Production work is scheduled to be performed at the company’s facilities in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, US, and is expected to be completed by January 2017.

Manufactured by GDLS, the M1A2 Abrams tank is designed to engage and attack enemy forces using enhanced firepower, manoeuvrability and shock-effect in the battlefield.

An upgraded variant of the US Army and Marine Corps M1A1 MBT, the tank features improved armament and electronics, including a weapon station, position navigation equipment and a full set of controls and displays networked by a digital data bus.

Image: M1A2 SEP V2 configuration Abrams tank. Photo: courtesy of Jennifer Davis.