STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., April 30 (UPI) -- More than 40 U.S. Army Abrams main battle tanks are being upgraded through a contract awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems.
The modernization, which will be completed in late 2014, involves 24 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 22 M1A2 System Enhance Package Version One tanks.
The tanks will be upgraded to the M1A2 Version Two configuration, a digital tank system that includes improved color displays, day and night thermal sights and auxiliary power.
The contract from the U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command is worth $31 million. Work on the tanks will be performed at company facilities in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
General Dynamics Land Systems said the tanks it is upgrading have been in the U.S. Army inventory for as long as 20 years.
This award maintains the stability of the U.S. combat vehicle industrial base and helps protect critical commercial defense resources," the company said. "Abrams production helps preserve a strong national industrial base of approximately 882 suppliers, 64 percent of which are small businesses, as well as a strong national defense."