M1A2 Abrams SEPv4
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: M1A2 SEPv4 and M1A3 Abrams
Origin: United States of America
General Dynamics Land Systems
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Description: The United States of America M1 Abrams tank was designed to provide heavy armor superiority on the battlefield destroying enemy forces using mobility and firepower. Initially the US Army and the German agreed to develop a new heavy tank in the 1970s but the joint program split into the German Leopard 2 and the US M1 Abrams. It was deployed in the early 1980s replacing the aging M60 Patton main battle tank (MBT) within the US Army and within the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in the 1990s. It has been exported to the Armies of Egypt (M1A1), Saudi Arabia (M1A1 and M1A2), Kuwait (M1A2), Australia (M1A1) and recently Iraq (M1A1). Roughly 10,000 M1 Abrams main battle tanks were produced for the US Army, the USMC, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
In addition to its heavy armor, the M1 Abrams tank features Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection and a 1,500-hp AGT-1500 gas engine which allows high mobility on road and off road. The M1 Abrams 105mm or 120mm stabilized cannon can open fire moving or stationary, at night, in adverse weather against moving and stationary targets with a high probability of kill using depleted uranium penetration ammunition and its advanced ballistic computers, as well as its sensor package housed on the turret. The frontal part of the turret is protected using depleted uranium plates which are more resistant than steel. Export Abrams are not provided with the depleted uranium armor.
The US Army's Abrams Engineering Change Proposal 1 (ECP1) tank, M1A3? or M1A2 Abrams SEP v4, is a new configuration of the Abrams tank intended to keep the fleet battle ready by 2050. The US Army TACOM awarded the eight-year $395 million ECP1 developmental contract to General Dynamics Land Systems in September 2012. Low rate initial production of tanks with ECP1 are scheduled to start in 2017. ECP1 will reengineer internal systems to reduce size, weight and power requirements, creating capacity for additional upgrades in the future. ECP1 also includes miniaturization of electronics, increased electrical capacity and inclusion of Line Replaceable Module (LRM)-based electronics architecture. The ECP1 Abrams tank will be fitted with counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) equipment and upgraded armor to increase its survivability. The US Army expects to start field trials with the new SEPv4 tank in 2021 to be fielded in 2022 or later.
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