Sept. 5 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Land Systems has received two contracts for upgrades to the M1A2 series of main battle tanks for the U.S. Army.
The first contract would upgrade Abrams tanks from the M1A2 System Enhancement Package 3 into a SEPv4 variant.
The SEPv4 includes upgrades of the Commander and Gunner's Primary Sights, thermal systems, and other enhancements to the tank's armor and mobility. The contract would deliver seven M1A2 SEPv4 prototypes to the Army at a cost of $311 million.
The second contract would deliver 45 Abrams SEPv3 to the U.S. Army for $270 million, with production starting in fall 2017. The SEPv3 has improved armor, communications and data processing abilities.
The M1A2 Abrams is the main battle tank of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and many other militaries. It is a modified version of the original M1 tank with a 120mm gun in place of the M1 105mm, depleted uranium armor inserts and other changes.
More than 10,000 Abrams tanks have been produced since the tanks introduction in 1980. It has been exported to countries across the world and is expected to remain the standard U.S. tank for years to come with the SEPv3 and SEPv4 versions.