News 2022

The M1 Abrams SEPv3 tank is being tested during the Hammer 22 exercise in Finland

The M1 Abrams tank of the US Army was intended for the war in Western Europe against the Soviet Union. The tank was never intended to fight in sandy conditions, but proved more than capable of operating in the deserts of Iraq in 1991 and 2003. More recently, the US main battle tank has proven that it can even handle snow and ice.

M1A2 system upgrade package version 3 M1 Abrams

Although the M1 Abrams first entered service over 40 years ago, the tanks deployed in Finland are significantly more advanced. These include the M1A2 System Improvement Pack Version 3 or SEPv3, which was developed by General Dynamics Land Systems Inc.

The Army has sought to equip its tanks with Second and Third Generation Weapon and Sensor System Enhancement Packages, or SEPs (System Enhanced Packages), as part of an effort to keep 1980s tanks up to par with modern technology.

A defense contractor was awarded a $4.62 million fixed price contract to produce advanced main battle tanks. Approximately 2,100 SEPv3 tanks will be deployed as part of the Army's Abrams Modernization Program in accordance with the US Department of Defense budget estimate for fiscal year 2021 (FY21). Deliveries of the M1A2C formerly SEPv3 configuration began in October 2017 as part of a $92.2 million contract awarded to General Dynamics in December 2015 to convert the first six tanks to the new standard.

The M1A2C configuration has an ammunition data link; improved ammunition; improved advanced infrared system; a low-profile conventional remote-controlled weapon system; new auxiliary power unit; and a new vehicle health management system designed to reduce maintenance costs. In October 2016, the US Army also announced plans to procure one Trophy brigade active protection system kit for tanks stationed in Europe.

Future Improvements - M1A2 SEPV4 ABRAMS

In the coming years, an even more advanced Abrams could be deployed in Finland or neighboring Sweden. The Army has continued to develop the SEPv4 version of the Abrams MBT, also known as the M1A2D, with a goal of "full availability" by the middle of this decade.
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