• Research & Development underway for Abrams Modernization

    The Abrams ECP ensures the Army can seamlessly incorporate other programs of record into the Abrams well into the future, without degrading operational performance. (U.S. Army photo)

    Bill Good

     

    Over the past decade the only thing that has been able to slow the Army’s premier combat vehicle hasn’t been enemies on the battlefield, but rather the technological advancements added to the platform. While every vehicle is designed to have Space, Weight, and Power, or SWaP, margin for incremental improvements, recent upgrades made to the Abrams M1A2 System Enhancement Program Version 2 have left little margin for future improvements.

    The ECP1 upgrade will posture the tank to accept the Army network components in the near term, while building the necessary margin to accept future capabilities in the decades to come.

    “The Abrams main battle tank was developed over three decades ago in response to a major Soviet threat. We were fortunate that engineers had the foresight to design in enough SWaP margin to enable us to host new capabilities needed during our recent missions in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lt. Col. William Brennan, product manager for Abrams.

    To help alleviate SWaP constraints, the Army has launched the Abrams Engineering Change Proposal, or ECP, program designed to reeestablish as much SWaP as possible by redesigning and modernizing many elements of the tank. This ECP is a modification to the system that leaves the essential capability unchanged. The Abrams ECP program will help ensure the Army can seamlessly incorporate other programs of record into the Abrams well into the future, without degrading operational performance.

    “Right now the electrical power is in short supply on the tank. The centerpiece of the ECP 1 upgrade will be to restore lost power margin through the integration of a larger generator, improved slip ring, battery management system and a new power generation and distribution system,” said Brennan.

    Other major Abrams ECP upgrades will focus on communications, data transmission and processing, and survivability. The communications upgrade will integrate the Joint Tactical Radio Systemand Handheld, Manpack, & Small Form Fit into the Abrams, replacing the current Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System.

    The ability to incorporate the Army’s network is also a vital part of the ECP1 effort. To address network requirements the Abrams will integrate a gigabit Ethernet databus to allow greater data processing and transmission. The modified slip ring on the turret will provide the ability to transmit larger amounts of data into the turretand provide more power.

    “The ECP1 upgrade will posture the tank to accept the Army network components in the near term, while building the necessary margin to accept future capabilities in the decades to come,” added Brennan.

    While the Abrams remains the dominate vehicle on the battlefield, the ECP program will make it more formidable by including a new armor solution as well as an updated version of the counter-remote-control improvised explosive device electronic warfaresystem.

    Initial production of tanks with ECP1 upgrades is slated to begin in 2017.

    The Abrams ECP program is managed by Product Manager Abrams, which falls under leadership of the Project Manager, Heavy Brigade Combat Team within the Program Executive (PEO) Office for Ground Combat Systems (GCS).

     


    • Bill Good is with Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems Public Affairs.

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  • Team Stryker receives 2012 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Award

    The Stryker Life Cycle Requirements Contracting Team received the 2012 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Team Award for outstanding Systems, Research and Development, and Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting. Here, Slovenian soldiers from the 74th Motorized Infantry Battalion and U.S. Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment conduct a Stryker convoy during Saber Junction 2012, a decisive action training environment exercise conducted at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, in October 2012. (Photo by SGT Ian Schell, Viper Combat Camera, U.S. Army Europe)

    Bill Good

     

    The Stryker Life Cycle Requirements Contracting Team has received the 2012 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Award for outstanding Systems, Research and Development, and Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting as a result of its work on a complicated follow-on contract that included more than a dozen scopes of work.

    “There were numerous submittals in this category, all of which exemplified contracting excellence in a teaming environment,” said Harry Hallock, Executive Director of the Army Contracting Command, in an email congratulating Team Stryker on its award. “Team Stryker’s selection as the ‘best of the best’ is a tribute to your professionalism and drive to accomplish the mission, as teammates and colleagues with individual and unique talents that are enhanced by working together for a common goal in support of your customer, every day.”

    The Stryker team was nominated for the exemplary performance it demonstrated during the acquisition planning and pre-solicitation phase associated with the fiscal year 2013-2015 Stryker Life Cycle follow-on requirements contract. The contract will enable the Stryker Team to cost-effectively continue its mission over the next three years and includes key services such as new equipment training, fielding, logistics and engineering support, and possibly, production.

    “Our most important mission is to provide Soldiers with ground combat systems that are adaptable, versatile, and affordable, all while ensuring we provide the taxpayer with the kind of value they deserve.”

    The entire program’s complement of life cycle mission requirements are contained under one base contract, with performance enacted by the issuance of delivery orders that are linked to 13 distinct scopes of work.

    “This means that Stryker has one contract with 13 different sections, each of which supports continued real time execution of the Stryker mission,” said David Dopp, project manager for the Army’s Stryker Brigade Combat Team. “The planning and pre-solicitation effort associated with this contract required careful orchestration across the organization.”

    The team developed several key elements needed to execute the project from start to finish, including an integrated master schedule and defined project organizational resource charts. Team Stryker created a specific working group for each scope of work —13 different working groups each responsible for their own scope of work and deliverables, and for developing, evaluating, and negotiating all elements of the proposed contract. “To say it’s a huge task would be an understatement,” said Dopp.

    “This project was successful because of Team Stryker’s ability to define and communicate the details of a highly complex and integrated project,” said Scott Davis, the Army’s Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems. “To increase efficiency and reduce cost, the team defined and obtained approval to implement a staggered proposal submission and award schedule for each of the 13 distinct scopes of work, allowing the project to be managed within existing resources.”

    Davis added, “What is truly significant about this award is that it demonstrates the incredible attention to detail and adherence to best business practices that the Styker team goes through every day. Our most important mission is to provide Soldiers with ground combat systems that are adaptable, versatile, and affordable, all while ensuring we provide the taxpayer with the kind of value they deserve.”
     


    • Bill Good is with Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems Public Affairs.

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