Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has rolled out the newest variant of the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with survivability enhancements and increased lethality.
The first six M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 initial production vehicles made their appearance earlier this month at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center workforce tank in Lima, Ohio.
"The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 is the first in a series of new or significantly improved vehicles that we will be delivering to the Army's ABCTs," said Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. "It is a great step forward in reliability, sustainability, protection, and on-board power which positions the Abrams tank and our ABCTs [armored brigade combat team] for the future."
"Even in a fiscal environment that has greatly hampered our ability to move towards entirely new vehicles, the Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 shows we can still deliver meaningful and operationally relevant improvements."
The M1A2 SEPv2, which will be replaced over time by the SEPv3, has been in production since 2005.
The M1A2 SEPv3 improvements include a joint tactical radio system that integrates handheld, manpack, and small-form fit radios to maintain battle command and communications interoperability with future brigade combat teams. The new version also features improved power generation and distribution equipment, as well as counter remote control improvised explosive device electronic warfare/Duke V3 equipment.
The tank also features an ammunition data link for programing the M829A4 advanced kinetic energy and advanced multi-purpose rounds, a quiet auxiliary power unit to operate on-board systems during silent watch operations, and armor upgrades.