The U.S. Army is set to receive the initial prototypes of the updated M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks by the end of September with plans to deploy the vehicles by fiscal 2020, Tanks and Purpose reported Friday.
Tanks and Purpose cited a Scout Warrior report on the announcement of the Army’s program executive office for ground combat systems regarding the prototypes’ delivery.
General Dynamics’ land systems business updated the battle tank’s weapons, electronic systems and protection components as part of the System Enhancement Package Version 3.
The M1A2 SEP v3 upgrade includes the installation of an M256 120mm gun that comes with airburst, delay and detonate settings for rounds, updated network systems, 7.62 mm M240 machine guns, M250 smoke grenade dischargers and a new ammunition datalink, according to a report by Army Recognition.
The SEP v3 tank also has an electronic warfare package designed to counter remote-controlled improvised explosive devices and an armor package that works to protect the vehicle from multiple IED detonations.
The announcement came a month after General Dynamics received a potential $270.2 million contract to install and integrate SEP v2 legacy and SEP v3 unique component sets into the Army’s combat tanks and another $310.6 million contract to design and incorporate engineering changes into SEP v3 vehicles.