Army Rolls out Latest Version of Iconic Abrams Main Battle Tank
(Source: US Army; issued Oct 09, 2017)
The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 is a significant step forward in reliability, sustainability, protection, and onboard power – which the US Army believes will position the 40-year old Abrams tank for a continuing role in the future. (US Army photo)
LIMA, Ohio --- On Wednesday, Oct. 4, members of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center workforce celebrated the delivery of the next iteration of the iconic Abrams Main Battle Tank as the Army accepted the first of six M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 initial production vehicles.

Production for the M1A2 SEPv3 is being conducted at JSMC in Lima, Ohio and at the Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama.

"This version is the most modernized configuration of the Abrams tank, having improved force protection and system survivability enhancements and increased lethality over the M1A1 and previous M1A2 variants," said Lt. Col. Justin Shell, the Army's product manager for Abrams. "The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tank will be the foundation for future incremental system upgrades and can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant."

"The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 is the first in a series of new or significantly improved vehicles that we will be delivering to the Army's ABCTs," said Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. "It is a great step forward in reliability, sustainability, protection, and on-board power which positions the Abrams tank and our ABCTs for the future. Even in a fiscal environment that has greatly hampered our ability to move towards entirely new vehicles, the Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 shows we can still deliver meaningful and operationally relevant improvements."

The SEPv3 will replace the M1A2 SEPv2 which has been in production since 2005. In 2011, the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems was directed by the Army to execute Engineering Change Proposals to restore lost capability and allow the capacity for the insertion of new technologies.

The M1A2 SEPv3 improvements include:

-- 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.

"These vehicles are not just about assuring our allies, or deterring or coercing potential adversaries," added Bassett. "They are about compelling our enemies and winning the multi-domain battle."

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