General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has been awarded a contract for upgrade of the US Army's M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) to the M1A2 systems enhancement package (SEP) V2 configuration.
Awarded by the US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Lifecycle Management Command (LCMC), the $72.7m contract covers conversion of a total of 12 M1A1 Abrams to the enhanced configuration.
The contract follows the original $1.5bn multi-year contract secured by the company in February 2008 to upgrade 435 M1A1 tanks, which 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 (CROWS II), a thermal management system (TMS) and a tank-infantry phone to provide commanders and crew with increased situational awareness of both vehicle and tactical surroundings.
Additional features include a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) detector in both the gunner's primary sight and the commander's independent thermal viewer, day and night thermal sights, auxiliary power and ballistic solution upgrades for advanced ammunition, such as M829A3 kinetic energy and M1028 canister rounds.
The configuration is a digitally connected tank with an advanced electronic backbone, powerful computers and an open architecture that is designed to accept future technologies without requiring significant reform.
Production work under the contract 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 December 2015.
Image: US Army's Abrams M1A2 SEP V2 tanks wait to be offloaded at Fort Riley, US. Photo: courtesy of Mollie Miller, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs.