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M1A2 Abrams SEP Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2000 Total Production: ? Unitary Cost: USD$8.5 million Also Known As:M1A2 Abrams SEP v2, M1A2 SEP and M1A2 SEPv2 Origin:United States of America Corporations:General Dynamics
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 M1A2 Abrams main battle tank features a M256 120mm smooth bore gun with 42 rounds, two M240 7.62mm machine guns and a M2 12.7mm crew-served machine gun which provides a short range air defense capability against helicopters and low flying aircraft. The first M1A2 was fielded within the US Army in 1996. US Army M1A2s are remanufactured and upgraded existing M1 Abrams main battle tanks. This model retains mobility and increases firepower compared to previous M1 tank. The M1A2 provides the Abrams with improvements in lethality, survivability, and fightability required to defeat advanced threats. The A2 includes a commander's independent thermal viewer (CITV), an improved weapon station, fire control system, and increased armor. The M1A2 Abrams SEP (System Enhancement Program) features enhanced digital command and control (C2) capabilities allowing the Abrams to use the US Army common command and control software enabling the rapid transfer of digital situational data and map overlays. In addition, a second generation FLIR is provided to gunner and commander, as well as a new auxiliary power unit under armor.
The M1A2 Abrams SEP v2 (M1A2SEPv2) standard includes the remotely operated Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS II), enhanced microprocessors, color flat-panel displays, and a new operating system. Frontal and side armor were upgraded and the tank was fitted with the Total InteGrated Engine Revitalization (TIGER) affecting the engine and transmission. The US Army plans call for the production of approximately 2,000 M1A2 SEP v2 tanks by June 2014. The M1A1 SA and the M1A2 SEP v2 form the wide majority of the 6,000+ Abrams tanks operated by the US Army and the US Marine Corps.