Updated: March 31, 2022
The Abrams Main Battle Tank closes with and destroys the enemy using mobility, firepower, and shock effect. The Abrams is a full-tracked, low-profile, land combat assault weapon enabling expeditionary Warfighters to dominate their adversaries through lethal firepower, unparalleled survivability, and audacious maneuver. The Abrams tank sends a message to those who would oppose the United States as to the resolve, capability, and might of the U.S. Army. A 1,500-horsepower turbine engine, 120 mm main gun and special armor make the Abrams tank particularly lethal against heavy armor forces.
The Abrams program is a mature, Acquisition Category IC program. Design decision authority is delegated to Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems, further empowering leaders at the lowest level to execute. This creates great Acquisition agility and enables quick reactions to the Army’s requirements while focusing on the real-time needs of the warfighting formations.
M1A1 Situational Awareness (SA): Currently in Sustainment and slated for divestment by Fiscal Year (FY) 2025, this variant has a single second-generation Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) sight and analog architecture. The M1A1 SA is as survivable and maneuverable as the more modern variants with upgrades such as powertrain improvements and a Blue Force Tracker – a digital command-and-control system that gives commanders information about their location relative to friendly forces.
M1A2 System Enhancement Package version 2 (SEPv2): The M1A2 SEPv2 brings the Abrams fleet into the modern era by upgrading the platform to digital architecture. M1A2 SEPv2 tanks have two sights, a gunner’s and commander’s sight, which increase the tank’s lethality by enabling a hunter/killer technique – as the gunner destroys targets, the commander can simultaneously survey the battlefield for the next threat. To strengthen and continue the Abrams battlefield overmatch, the M1A2 is the first variant to integrate a Non-Developmental Item Active Protection System (APS)-Trophy. Other incremental upgrades through Modification Work Orders include a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station-Low Profile, an Ammunition Data Link to fire improved smart rounds, and increased battery storage.
M1A2 SEP version 3 (SEPv3): The current production version of the Abrams tank is scheduled for First Unit Equipped in FY 2020. This version rectifies many of the space, weight, and power issues identified during Operation Iraqi Freedom and will be the foundational variant for all future incremental upgrades. In addition to having improved survivability, the Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant. Improvements focus on increasing the electrical power margin, Vehicle Health Management Systems, integrated counter-improvised explosive device protection, a new Auxiliary Power Unit enabling silent watch, embedded training, and an Ammunition Data Link. It is the most reliable Abrams tank ever produced, minimizes the Army’s logistic footprint, and leads the Army in enterprise-level connectivity to maintenance and supply systems.
M1A2 SEP version 4 (SEPv4): The most lethal Abrams tank is now in development, featuring the third generation (3GEN) FLIR the cornerstone technology that will provide tank crews the ability to identify enemy targets farther than ever before. The 3GEN FLIR will be an upgrade to both sights and will be common with other combat platforms. With the upgrade, the Abrams will integrate a color camera, Eye-safe Laser Range Finder, and a cross-platform laser pointer to facilitate multi-domain battle into the commander’s sight. In addition to a lethality upgrade, the M1A2 SEPv4 will include full-embedded training to maximize crew proficiency of the system. This program began early enough to onboard any technology the Army deems critical to the future battlefield to include artificial intelligence, autonomy, APS, or advanced sensors.
BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER
Provides the lethality, survivability, and fightability necessary to defeat advanced threats well into the future. The Abrams tank is the Army’s primary ground combat system.
- Combat weight (tons): M1A1 SA – 67.6; M1A2 SEPv2 – 71.2; M1A2 SEPv3 – 73.6
- Speed: 42 mph, 30 mph x-country
- M1A1 SA: 120 mm/40 rounds
- M1A2 SEPv2: 120 mm/42 rounds
- Machine guns: .50 caliber – 900 rounds; 7.62 mm – 11,400 rounds
– Start of M1A2 SEPv3 Production
– Start of M1A2 SEPv4 Development program
– M1A2 SEPv3 First Unit Equipped
– First Brigade APS-Trophy delivery
- FY19-FY23: M1A2 SEPv4 Development program continues