Up to $280M to GDLS for American M1A2 SEP Tank Upgrade Kits
General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI received the full delivery order amount of $134.7 million as part of a firm-fixed-price contract for Abrams M1A2 SEP (system enhancement package) retrofits to 60 existing M1A2 Abrams tanks, along with total package fielding material for initial fielding. The M1A2 SEP is the latest, most technologically advanced Abrams variant, and the contract also includes a $145 million option to upgrade 60 more M1A2s.
So, what’s the difference between an M1A2 and an M1A2 SEP?
The M1A2 SEP is builds on the digitized M1A2 platform with an improved armor package of third generation steel-encased depleted uranium armor, a new command and control system, second-generation FLIR thermal sights that include a Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV) for “hunter-killer” operation, the Under Armor Auxiliary Power Unit (UAAPU) and a Thermal Management System (TMS – i.e. air conditioning for crew & electronics). The M1A2 SEP also features enhanced electronics like color maps and displays, improved networked communications, high-density computer memory and increased microprocessing speed, a user friendly Soldier Machine Interface (SMI) and an open operating system that will allow for future growth.
Troops in Iraq and elsewhere are also clamoring for a phoneset on the outside of the tank that will let them talk to the vehicle crew. This was common as far back as World War 2, and its lack is hampering coordination on the modern battlefield – especially in urban areas. A General Dynamics representative noted that future M1A2 Abrams TUSK (Tank Urban Survivability Kit) vehicles will have this feature, but the SEP tanks will not.
Work on this SEP upgrade contract will be performed in Lima, OH (75%), Tallahassee, FL (10%), Anniston, AL (9%), Scranton, PA (3%), and Sterling Heights, MI (3%). Delivery of the first 60 vehicles is slated to begin in November 2007 and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2008. Delivery of the 60 option vehicles would begin in November 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on Feb. 1, 2006 by the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-06-G-0006). See also GD release.