General Dynamics to upgrade 60 M1 Abrams battle tanks and vetronics to M1A2 SEPv3 configuration
WARREN, Mich. – Armored combat vehicle experts at General Dynamics Corp. will upgrade 60 M1 Abrams main battle tanks and vetronics to the most advanced M1A2 SEPv3 configuration under terms of a $7.8 million order announced on Wednesday.
Officials of the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich., are asking General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., to install the system enhancement package version 3 (SEPv3) on 60 M1A2 tanks. General Dynamics is the original M1 Abrams tank manufacturer.
The M1A2 SEPv3 main battle tank is the latest version of the M1 Abrams, and has increased power generation and distribution, better communications and networking, a new vehicle health management system (VHMS), line replaceable modules (LRMs) for improved maintenance, and an ammunition datalink (ADL) to enable the tank to use airburst rounds.
Wednesday's order is a modification of a $270.2 million contract to General Dynamics announced last July to install and integrate SEPv2 components resulting in 45 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks. That contract also asks General Dynamics to procure, stock, and store 60 sets of SEPv2 components.
The M1A2 SEPv3 offers an improved counter-improvised explosive device (IED) armor package, improved forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor using long- and mid-wave infrared, a low-profile Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS), and an auxiliary power unit (APU) under armor to run electronics without the engine running.
Prototypes of the M1A2 SEPv3 tank began testing in 2015, and were to enter service this year. Improvements to the SEPv3 version focus on increasing the electrical power; improving survivability; integrating the new Army network; electronic component improvements; new auxiliary power unit; and an ammunition data link.
The M1A2 SEPv3 improves on the SEPv2, which focused on improved survivability, automotive power pack, computer systems, and night vision capabilities. The SEPv2 also offered improvements in the CROWS and ballistic solution upgrades for the M829A3 kinetic and the M1028 canister rounds.
The M1A2 SEPv2 work involved improved microprocessors, color flat-panel displays, improved memory capacity, better soldier-machine interface. and a new open operating system designed to run the Common Operating Environment software. The tank's gunner’s primary sight and the commander’s independent thermal viewer include the improved thermal imaging capabilities of the new Block I 2nd generation FLIR technology.
Army leaders intend the M1A2 SEPv3 to defeat and suppress enemy tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, anti-tank guns, guided missile launchers, bunkers, infantry, and helicopters.
On Wednesday's order General Dynamics will do the work in Lima, Ohio; Scranton, Pa.; Anniston, Ala.; and Tallahassee, Fla., and should be finished by August 2019. For more information contact General Dynamics Land Systems online at www.gdls.com, or the Army Contracting Command-Warren at http://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-wrn.
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