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MSPO 2021: General Dynamics presents M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 tank fitted with Trophy APS.

| 2021

American company General Dynamics presents for the first time to the public the M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 main battle tank fitted with the Trophy APS (Active Protection System) designed and manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael, at MSPO 2021, an international defense industry exhibition that takes place in Kielce, Poland.

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U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 main battle tank fitted with Israeli-made Trophy APS Active Protection System. (Picture source Army Recognition)

According to information published in July 2021, the Polish government would like to acquire American-made M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks in SEP V3 configuration. The Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak has announced that Poland could acquire 250 M1A2 SEP V3 tanks.

The M1A2 SEP V2 that was displayed at MSPO 2021 is an improvement of the M1A2 SEP main battle tank. Upgrades include improved survivability, automotive power pack, computer systems, and night vision capabilities. As the second version in the M1A2 SEP, the V2 variant provides the Army with a digital tank with a new electronic backbone, powerful new computers and an open architecture designed to accept future technologies without the need for significant redesign.

The main armament of the M1A2 SEP V2 is similar to the M1A2 Abrams which consists of one 120 mm smoothbore M256 cannon. It can fire a wide range of ammunition as the M829 APFSDS-T (Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot), M830 HEAT-MP-T (High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose - Tracer), M831 TP-T training round and M865 TPCSDS-T training round, but also the M829A3 kinetic, the M1028 canister rounds and the M829E4 120mm Advanced Kinetic Energy tactical tank round.

The layout of the M1A2 SEP V2 is similar to the standard M1A2 MBT with the driver position at the front in the center, the turret is in the middle of the hull and the powerpack at the rear. The M1A2 SEP V2 has improved frontal and side armor for enhanced crew survivability. It has a crew of four.

At MSPO 2021, the M1A2 SEP V2 was displayed with the Trophy APS (Active Protection System) mounted on each side of the turret including detection radar and flat-panel antennas. When the radar detects a threat, an internal computer calculates an approach vector before the projectile arrives. Once the incoming weapon is classified, the computers calculate the optimal time and angle to fire the counter-measures. The response comes from two rotating launchers installed on the sides of the vehicle which fire a very small number of MEFPs (Multiple Explosively Formed Penetrators) used to destroy the incoming threats. MEFP penetrates the threat envelope and disintegrates rockets or missiles at a safe distance from the vehicle.

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