General Dynamics awarded U.S. Army contract for development of tank Abrams modernization 2909121
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Defense Industry News - General Dynamics
|Saturday, September 29, 2012, 08:00 AM|
|General Dynamics awarded U.S. Army contract for development of tank Abrams modernization.|
The U.S. Army TACOM Contracting Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), an eight-year, $395 million contract for research, development and testing in preparation for the Abrams main battle tank Engineering Change Proposal 1 (ECP1) production. The contract has an initial value of $80 million over 12 months. There is no tank production work associated with this award.
The key component of the M1A2 SEPv2 is the Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer.
The Abrams ECP1 program is an engineering-development effort focused on integrating a group of system improvements into a single upgrade program for the M1A2SEPv2 baseline tank. The objective of this research-and-development effort is to prepare the Abrams tank to accept additional Army-directed requirements in the future without impacting current vehicle performance. The Army plans to begin low rate initial production of tanks with ECP1 upgrades in 2017.
The M1A2s also have better night vision capabilities, more advanced fire control, an upgraded 80GB FBCB2 hard drive, an extensive Armor package upgrade, dual redundant digital traffic routing systems and a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station. The remote weapons station allows Soldiers to fire a .50-caliber machine gun inside the tank without exposing the crew to enemy fire.
Since its initial fielding in 1980, enhancements to the Abrams main battle tank have consumed much of the available space, weight and power capacity on the vehicle. ECP1 will reengineer internal systems to reduce size, weight and power requirements, creating capacity for additional upgrades in the future. The effort will include miniaturization of electronics; evolving to a Line Replaceable Module (LRM)-based electronics architecture; and increasing electrical capacity through improved power generation, distribution and management.
In addition, when implemented, ECP1 upgrades will improve Abrams’ survivability by enhancing armor and adding the capability to employ current and advanced counter-IED equipment.
Work will be performed by existing employees in Sterling Heights, Mich. The contract will be completed by 2020. The Abrams main battle tank is planned to be an active component of the Army’s fleet through 2050.