Last October, General Dynamics Land Systems sent the U.S. Army six M1A2 SEPv3 (System Enhancement Package Version 3) Abrams tanks, which is the latest configuration of the famed M1A1 Abrams. Now the service has placed an order for the delivery of 100 additional M1A2 SEPv3 vehicles.
The General Dynamics press release says this order is part of an Army contract signed in December 2017 which enables the Army to upgrade up to 435 of the M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPv3 setup. Work on the order will be performed at Land Systems locations in Scranton, Pa.; and Tallahassee, Fla. Work will also take place at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. General Dynamics claims this is the only operational tank plant in the country.
The M1A1 Abrams tank first entered U.S. Army service in 1980. Different versions of the tank have been introduced since that time, with the M1A2 SEPv2 arriving in 2005. According to The National Interest, the service plans on fielding the M1A2 SEPv3 in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020. Meanwhile, the upcoming SEPv4 model is due to begin testing in 2021. That variant will boast new laser rangefinder tech; color cameras; integrated on-board network; new and improved slip-rings; souped up meteorological sensors; ammo data links; laser warning receivers; and a multi-purpose 120mm round.
Upgrade M1A1 Abrams Tank
In case you need a refresher, here’s what’s new on the M1A2 SEPv3:
Joint Tactical Radio System: Integration of the Government Furnished Equipment Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit radio to support the need to establish network readiness and maintain battle command and communications interoperability with future Brigade Combat Teams.
Power Generation and Distribution: Aspects include Improved Amperage Alternator, Slip Ring, Enhanced Hull Power Distribution Unit/Common Remote Switching Modules, and the Battery Monitoring System. These technologies address the power demand growth potential and the need for dissemination of critical information.
Line Replaceable Unit/Line Replaceable Modules Redesign: Migration of current force Abrams platforms to a two-level maintenance scheme can be initiated through the implementation of Line Replaceable Module technology.
Counter Remote Control Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare V3: Counter Remote Control Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare/Duke V3 is the latest version from PM CREW.
Ammunition Data Link: The ADL is required to program the M829A4 Advanced Kinetic Energy and Advanced Multi-Purpose rounds.
Auxiliary Power Unit: The under armor APU provides capability to operate on-board systems with a reduced probability of detection during silent watch operations.
Armor Upgrades: The Abrams Tank will continue to advance its ballistic protection to counter the latest threats and maintain battlefield superiority.