It’s been called the most modern battle tank in the world, and now the M1A2 Abrams tank is getting an upgrade. General Dynamics Land Systems, a division of General Dynamics and the makers of Abrams tanks for the U.S. Army, has received two separate orders resulting in a total value of nearly $600 million.
According to a press release from the company, the efforts will “boost the platform’s capabilities and help the Army lead the way into the future.” According to United Press International, the Abrams tanks were first introduced in 1980 and, since then, more than 10,000 have been produced. The M1A2 of today can reach speeds of 42 miles per hour and has a range of 265 miles.
One of the General Dynamics contracts for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command calls for the production of 45 Abrams M1A2 tanks with the System Enhancement Package Version 3. The second contract further modernizes the version 3 package and adds upgrades that will result in a version 4.
The upgrades, which will eventually yield seven prototypes, include improvements to both the Commander’s Primary Sight and the Gunner’s Primary Sight, as well as enhancements to sensors, lethal engagement capabilities, and survivability.
Plants involved in the production include those in Lima and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Tallahassee, Florida; and Anniston, Alabama.