General Dynamics Successfully Completes Testing Of Diesel Tank -
(Source : General Dynamics Land Systems ; issued April 12, 2000)


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- General Dynamics Land Systems successfully completed testing of its prototype diesel-powered M1A2 Abrams tank at Aberdeen Test Center, Maryland, March 31, 2000.

Testing included 300 miles of reliability, availability and maintainability evaluations on five test courses and firing 70 main gun rounds at stationary and moving targets by General Dynamics and Department of Defense engineers. The testing validated successful integration of the diesel-powered chassis with the tank's System Enhancement Package turret.

General Dynamics pursued diesel power propulsion to comply with Turkish requirements contained in the Request for Proposals for their Main Battle Tank competition.

The effort demonstrates the flexibility of General Dynamics' engineering staff and of the M1A2 Abrams tank to accept a variety of engines and transmissions. The tank moves as well as the standard turbine-powered tank with no difference in target detection, identification or main gun accuracy. The testing confirms that the tank's performance is not changed by the diesel engine and that it has a significantly lower operating cost.

The prototype diesel-powered tank contains the new System Enhancement Package, standard on the U.S. Army M1A2 (SEP) tank since September 1999. The SEP improves the M1A2's digital command and control capabilities, adds a second generation forward looking infrared system to the gunner and commander thermal sights, provides environmental cooling for electronics components and the crew compartment, and adds a computer mass memory unit, color maps and displays.

Last year, in preparation for the Turkish competition, General Dynamics mated a System Enhancement Package turret to the Europack automotive test rig creating the prototype diesel- powered M1A2 (SEP) tank. Engineering work included the integration of a new engine exhaust system; air flow to the Nuclear, Chemical, Biological overpressure protection system; electrical and hydraulic power to the tank turret; and software to control the automotive systems and tuning of the tank's fire control.

Testing of the diesel-powered prototype continues the research and development efforts General Dynamics began in 1997 with integration of a Europack on the tank to replace the standard AGT-1500 gas turbine engine and X1100 hydro kinetic transmission. The Europack is an MTU-883 1,500 horsepower diesel engine with an HSWL 295TM transmission. That test rig completed 100 miles and 30 hours of operation at the General Motors test track in Milford, Michigan. Engineering development of the General Dynamics AVDS 1790 1,500 horsepower diesel engine and Allison X7050 transmission on the tank started in 1999 and continues this year.

General Dynamics Land Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD). General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 43,000 people worldwide and has annualized sales of approximately $10 billion. The company has leading market positions in shipbuilding and marine systems, land and amphibious combat systems, information systems, and business aviation.

The diesel engine is built by Motoren und Turbinen-Union GmbH, Friedrichshafen, Germany; and RENK, AG, Augsburg, Germany, builds the transmission.

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