Army finalizes $395 million contract to General Dynamics to upgrade M1A2 tank vetronics

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 27 Sept. 2012. Armored combat vehicle designers at General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., won a $395 million eight-year contract from the U.S. Army TACOM Contracting Command for research, development and testing in preparation for the Abrams main battle tank Engineering Change Proposal 1 (ECP1) production, General Dynamics officials announced today.

The Army had announced plans last week to award the tank upgrade contract to General Dynamics. Work will involve upgrades to the M1A2 SEP v2 tank's power, communications, embedded computing, electronic warfare, and targeting vetronics. Army officials had estimated the contract at $383 million; the actual amount is $395 million, General Dynamics officials say.

The Abrams ECP1 program focuses on integrating a group of system tank improvements into one upgrade program for the M1A2 SEP v2 baseline tank to prepare the Abrams combat vehicle to accept future Army requirements without compromising current vehicle performance. The Army plans to start building new tanks with ECP1 upgrades in 2017.

Since its fielding in 1980, enhancements to the Abrams main battle tank have consumed much of the available space, weight and power capacity on the vehicle, General Dynamics officials point out.

ECP1 will re-engineer internal systems to reduce size, weight, and power requirements, creating capacity for additional upgrades in the future. The effort will include miniaturization of electronics; evolving to a line replaceable module (LRM)-based electronics architecture; and increasing electrical capacity by improving power generation, distribution and management.

In addition, when implemented, ECP1 upgrades will improve Abrams' survivability by enhancing armor and adding the capability to employ current and advanced counter-IED equipment, company officials say.

The contract calls for General Dynamics engineers to install several electronics upgrades to the Abrams tank. First, engineers will install the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) handheld manpack and small form fit radios to replace the tank's single-channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS) and Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS). The tank's new JTRS software-defined radio will have two-channel communications to support legacy SINCGARS and future radio waveforms.

Next, General Dynamics will install a power generation distribution system with new 1,000-amp alternator, slip ring, hull-processing distribution unit, remote switching modules, and battery monitoring system. These technologies will increase the tank's power to accommodate future electronic technologies. The modified slip rink will be able to pass video and additional power to the turret, Army officials say.

Then the company will install new line-replaceable unit (LRU) and line-replaceable modules (LRM) hardware on the Abrams tank for obsolescence management, SWaP growth, and increased energy efficiency. The LRU/LRM design will capitalize on industry standards for single-board computer interfaces, and accommodate Gigabit Ethernet data communications.

Also on tap for the upgraded M1A2 SEP v2 tank is the latest versions of the counter-remote-control improvised explosive device (IED) electronic warfare (CREW) system.

General Dynamics also will install a new Ammunition Data Link (ADL) to program the tank's M8294E4 advanced kinetic energy and advanced multi-purpose ammunition. The ADL, which passes important platform information to the round, consists of a modified breech block circuit card, cables, software, and ammunition selection switches.

Next for the upgrade tank is a new auxiliary power unit (APU) to operate on-board systems while giving the tank a reduced probability of detection during silent operations. The APU will save fuel, and reduce the number of batteries on each tank from 12 to six.

General Dynamics will do the work in Sterling Heights, Mich., and should be finished by 2020. Army officials plan to operate the Abrams tank through 2050.

For more information contact General Dynamics Land Systems online at, or the Army Contracting Command at

Follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPedite7575 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7575 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XTend7103 | COM Express® Carrier for COM Express® Type 10 Mezzanine Modules

The XTend7103 is a COM Express® carrier card designed to provide a low-cost and compact platform ...

XPort6173 | 3U VPX Carrier for Two 2.5 in. Solid-State Drives (SSDs)

The XPort6173 supports two, standard, 2.5 in. Solid-State Drives (SSDs) in a single 0.8 in. or 1....

XCalibur1642 | Freescale Eight-Core P4080 Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur1642 is a high-performance, 6U VPX, single board computer supporting Freescale QorIQ ...

XCalibur1645 | Freescale Eight-Core P4080 Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur1645 is a high-performance, 6U VPX, single board computer supporting Freescale QorIQ ...

XCalibur4540 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4540 is a high-performance, 6U OpenVPX™, multiprocessing, single board computer that ...

XPm2020 | 3U VPX Power Supply with Integrated MIL-STD-461E Filtering

The XPm2020 is a VITA 62-compliant 3U VPX power supply that takes in a MIL-STD-704 28 VDC input v...

XCalibur4443 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U VPX SBC

The XCalibur4443 is a high-performance, multiprocessing, 6U VPX, single board computer that is id...

XCalibur1641 | Freescale Eight-Core P4080 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur1641 is a high-performance, 6U VPX, single board computer supporting Freescale QorIQ ...

XPedite7479 | 3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based 3U VPX Module with Full XMC J16 I/O Routing

The XPedite7479 is a high-performance, low-power, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

Related Companies

Southwest Antennas

Designs and manufactures high-performance RF and Microwave antennas and accessories designed for today’s communicatio...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...


Mil Spec EMC/NEMP/ filters and EMC product solutions for military applications.


Spectracom supports mission-critical communications systems with precise and reliable time and frequency synchronizat...

Premier Polymers

Provides seamless epoxy flooring and industrial resinous coatings

CORWIL Technology Corp

CORWIL Technology, the premier US based, IC assembly and test services subcontractor, offering full back-end assembly...


IndustryARC primarily focuses on Cutting Edge Technologies and Newer Applications of the Market. Our Custom Research ...

DiCon Fiberoptics Inc

Offers fiber optic switches, tunable filters, and VOAs. Founded in 1986, the company is a US based, AS9100 certified,...

Harris Corporation

Harris provides advanced, technology-based solutions that solve government and commercial customers' mission critical...

GE Intelligent Platforms

Provides software, hardware and services with expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique found...


The Intel Xeon-D processor and its role in high-performance embedded computing (HPEC)

The rugged Intel Xeon-D server-class multicore microprocessor is set to revolutionize high-performance embedded computing. By itself, the processor will bring unprecedented power to embedded computing applic...

Harsh Environment Protection for Advanced Electronics and Components

This webinar will offer an opportunity to learn more about ultra-thin Parylene conformal coatings – how they are applied, applications they protect today, and the properties and benefits they offer, includin...

Press Releases


Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply its small form factor ...

Innovative Integration Announces the FMC-Servo

Camarillo, CA June 19, 2015, Innovative Integration, a trusted supplier of signal processing and data acquisition hardware and software solutions, today announced the FMC-S...


Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has further enhanced its innovative VRD1 high definition (HD) video management system (VMS) w...

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

August 2015
Volume 26, Issue 8

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles