Jan. 9 (UPI) -- General Dynamics announced the $714 million order for upgrades to 174 additional U.S. Army M1A1 Abrams tanks.
The tanks will be upgraded to state-of-the-art M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 status, the company said on Tuesday.
The SEPv3 configuration includes advancements in communications, reliability, sustainment, fuel efficiency and upgraded armor. The army ordered the same improvements to 100 tanks earlier in 2018.
Work will be performed at General Dynamics facilities in Scranton, Pa., Tallahassee, Fla., and Lima, Ohio.
"We're proud to help the Army provide world-class combat capability to Armored Brigade Combat Teams," says Don Kotchman of General Dynamics. "This delivery order, along with our previous orders, means our production line will be rolling at a steady rate through 2021."
Up to 435 M1A1 tanks will be improved under a Defense Department contract, announced in December 2017 and valued at $2.6 billion.
"This version is the most modernized configuration of the Abrams tank, having improved force protection and system survivability enhancements and increased lethality over the M1A1 and previous M1A2 variants," Lt. Col. Justin Shell, the Army's product manager for Abrams tanks, said before the contract award in October 2017. "The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tank will be the foundation for future incremental system upgrades and can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant."