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US Army places $4.6B contract for deliveries of newest Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tanks

M1A2 Abrams MBT
Photo: US Army

The US Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $4.62 billion contract for the production of the latest version of the Abrams tank.

Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 (System Enhancement Program Version 3) is an upgrade to the US Army’s current main battle tank. The Army intends the M1A2 SEPv3 to enable the crew to engage the full spectrum of enemy ground targets with a variety of accurate point and area fire weapons in urban and open terrain. The latest variant includes multiple upgrades to improve power generation, network compatibility, survivability and other vulnerability reduction measures to reduce the tank’s vulnerability to IEDs.

Pentagon’s contract announcement did not specify the amount of tanks GDLS is to deliver, stating only that the work had an estimated completion date of June 2028.

The Abrams fleet consists of two variants: the M1A1 SA (situational awareness) and the M1A2 SEP (system enhancement program) version 2. The M1A2 SEPv3 will be followed by another variant, the M1A2 SEPv4, which is in initial development.

M1A2 SEPv3 rectifies many of the space, weight and power issues identified during operation Iraqi Freedom and will be the foundational variant for all future incremental upgrades. According to the US Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC), it is the most reliable Abrams tank ever produced, and will decrease the army’s logistic burden. SEPv4 will come with third generation (3GEN) FLIR, which will provide tank crews much greater lethality thanks to a color camera, eye-safe laser range finder and a cross-platform laser pointer to facilitate multidomain battle in to the commander’s sight.

The Abrams is a full-tracked, low-profile, land combat assault weapon with a 1,500-horsepower turbine engine and a 120 mm main gun.