M1A2 SEP V3 or M1A2C
Main Battle Tank MBT - United States
The M1A2 Abrams SEP v3 (System Enhanced Package) is a modernized version of the M1A2 SEPV v2 main battle tank that benefits from a number of upgrades in the areas of survivability, maintainability, full efficiency, and network capability. In October 2015, the M1A2 SP V3 was presented for the first time at the AUSA defense exhibition in Washington D.C. Nine prototypes were available from October 2015 and seven would be tested by the U.S. Army. General Dynamics Land Systems was expected to complete the trial tests by Spring 2015 and then receive a positive answer from the U.S. Army to start the production. The primary mission of the M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) V3 Abrams is to provide mobile, protected firepower for combined-arms maneuver and wide-area security. The Abrams must be capable of engaging the enemy in any weather, day or night, on the multi-dimensional, non-linear battlefield using firepower, maneuver, and shock effect. In response to the U.S. Army requirements for 2014-2024, the Abrams’ lethality must continue to be improved. This improvement in lethality for the Abrams M1A2 SEP V3 derives from the combination of developmental upgrades and the addition of mature technologies that include the Ammunition DataLink (ADL), improved 120mm ammunition, Improved Forward-Looking Infrared (IFLIR), and the low-profile (LP) Common Remotely Operated Weapon System (CROWS). According to a representative of General Dynamics Land Systems, Tim Reese, "M1A2 SEP v3 is the most modern version of the Abrams main battle tank which can enter service with the US armed forces in 2017". It's easy to recognize the M1A2 SEP v3, because, at the rear left, there is a small exhaust for the new under armor generator. In September 2018, it was announced that M1A2 SEPv3 and M1A2 SEPv4 variants were being renamed to M1A2C and M1A2D, The change was outlined in an August 15 memo from Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings. Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were the first to receive the U.S. Army’s newest version of the M1 Abrams Tank, the M1A2C (SEP v.3), Fort Hood, Texas, July 20, 2020. In December 2020, General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a $4,620,000,000 fixed-price-incentive contract to produce Abrams M1A2 SEP v3 main battle tanks. In October 2021, Poland has confirmed its plan to acquire 250 M1A2 SEP V3 main battle tanks from the United States and that will enter into service with the 18th Mechanized Division of the Polish army. In December 2021, it was announced that Australia has confirmed the purchase of 75 M1A2 SEPV V3. On February 17, 2022, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of M1A2 SEP v3 Main Battle Tanks and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.0 billion.
- M1A2: first version of the tank
- M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package): Has upgraded 3rd generation depleted uranium armor components with graphite coating (240 new built, 300 M1A2s upgraded to M1A2SEP for the USA, also unknown numbers of upgraded basic M1s and M1IPs, also 400 oldest M1A1s upgraded to M1A2SEP).
- M1A2 SEP V2: includes improved displays, sights, power, and a tank-infantry phone. It represents the most technologically advanced Abrams tank and can accommodate future technology improvements to ensure compatibility with the Army's Future Combat Systems.
The main armament of M1A2 SEP V3 includes one 120 mm smoothbore M256 cannon. The tank will be fitted with a Low Profile (LP) CROW (Common Remotely Operated Weapon System). This effort improves the tank commander’s situational awareness without compromising capability. LP CROWS significantly lowers the profile of the weapon station, returning both open- and closed-hatch fields of view (FOV). Also, LP CROWS will be equipped with an upgraded day camera that uses picture-in-picture technology to combine different FOVs, and it offers a 340 percent larger scene in the wide FOV. The second armament includes a coaxial 7.62 mm M240 machine gun mounted to the right of the main gun, and a similar weapon skate-mounted on the left side of the turret for the loader can be elevated from -30 to +65º, total traverse being 265º. The loader hatch weapon system is now protected by armor plates on 360°. On both sides of the turret, the tank is fitted with six-barrelled smoke grenade dischargers, model L8A1, designation M250. A smokescreen can also be laid by an engine operated system. The M1A2 SEP V3 will be able to fire the M829E4 (soon to be type-classified as the M829A4) fifth-generation kinetic-energy anti-tank (AT) round. This new round provides heavy-armor defeat capability at extended ranges. It uses a depleted-uranium penetrator and anti-armor design advancements to defeat threat targets equipped with AERA (Advanced Explosive Reactive Armor) and APS (Active Protection Systems). The advanced multi-purpose (AMP) round is a line-of-sight munition with three modes of operation: point detonate, delay and airburst. This essential capability required in urban environments allows the tank crew to defeat AT guided-missile teams at ranges of 50 to 2,000 meters with a precision lethal airburst. The point-detonate and delay modes allow for obstacle reduction (OR), bunker defeat and a wall-breach capability for dismounted infantry. The AMP round also reduces the logistics burden by replacing four existing rounds (M830 high-explosive (HE) AT, M803A1 multipurpose HEAT, M1028 canister and M908 HE-OR). The tank will be also fitted with the Ammunition DataLink (ADL) to provide communications with the platform’s fire-control system. The ADL consists of a modified breechblock, upgraded Improved Fire-Control Electronics Unit, and upgraded Abrams tank software.
|Design and protection|
The layout of the M1A2 SEP V3 is similar to the 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. There is a new armor package inside the turret and the hull to provide better survivability against multiple IED threats.
|The M1A2 SEP V3 is motorized with a Honeywell AGT1500 gas turbine engine. One of the major changes for fuel efficiency of the M1A2 SEP V3 is the under armor generator power unit which allows the turret to be operated when running of small generator in place to use the main engine to save a lot of fuel when the vehicle is not moving. The suspension is also similar to the M1A2 and M1A2 SEP with seven road wheels on each side with rotary shock-absorbers at the first, second and seventh road wheel stations. The drive sprocket is at the rear with the idler at the front and there are two return rollers.|
|The M1A2 SEP V3 is equipped with a new improved entire IED capability electronic warfare built on the vehicle. This tank will be fitted with (IFLIR) Improved Forward-Looking Infrared to identify a target. The IFLIR uses long- and mid-wave infrared technology in both the gunner’s primary sight and the commander’s independent thermal viewer. The IFLIR will provide four fields of view (FOV) displayed on high-definition displays, greatly improving target acquisition, identification and engagement times – compared to the current second-generation FLIR – under all conditions, including fog/obscurants. This version features also all the equipment and combat systems of the M1A2 SEP V2 variant. In October 2019, Leonardo DRS, Inc. and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel (RAFAEL) have announced that the partners have delivered on time the first Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) to defend the US Army’s M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks against a variety of anti-armor threats. This delivery marks the first of several that will ultimately outfit four brigades of tanks.|
|One 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun, one coaxial 7.62 mm M240 MG, CROWS II Remotely Operated Weapon Station with 12.7mm machine gun, one 7.62 mm M240 machine gun||New armor package for hull and turret to increase protection against IED threats.|
|United States||73,600 kg|
|United States||68 km/h|
|The second-generation infrared sight system, auxiliary power, high-resolution color displays, Improved Forward-Looking Infrared, Ammunition DataLink||425 km|
|4||Length: 9.77 m; Width: 3.7 m; Height: 2.4 m|
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