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Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 06:11 AM GMT+7
The following news article is provided by John “Jack” Legere (USAF Ret.)

1st of 1000 refurbished M1’s received on time & on budget
The U.S. Army just got a new tank. But you wouldn’t know it from the way the ground-combat branch describes the vehicle. On Oct. 4, 2017, the Army’s program office for ground vehicles announced that the service had accepted the first M-1A2SEPV3 “on schedule and on budget.”
The U.S. Army just got a new tank. But you wouldn’t know it from the way the ground-combat branch describes the vehicle. On Oct. 4, 2017, the Army’s program office for ground vehicles announced that the service had accepted the first M-1A2SEPV3 “on schedule and on budget.” General Dynamics Land Systems builds the tank in Lima, Ohio, using existing M-1 hulls as a starting point. The Army asked to buy 56 M-1A2SEPV3 tanks in 2018, against a total requirement for around a thousand of the new vehicles — enough to equip all of the branch’s active-duty tank brigades. At present, a V3 costs around $20 million. The price should drop as the production rate increases. While officially a variant of the nearly four-decade-old M-1 tank, the SEPV3 is, in all the ways that matter, essentially brand new. The preceding variant, the M-1A2SEPV2, entered service in 2007. “Principal improvements are in lethality, survivability and sustainability,” Don Kotchman, a General Dynamics vice president, said in late 2015. The M-1A2SEPV3 boasts improved inertial navigation to achieve what Kotchman described as “better round dispersement” — in other words, improved main-gun accuracy. There’s also a data-link for programmable munitions, making the SEPV3 compatible with new, “smart” cannon rounds that are beginning to enter the Army’s arsenal. The V3 tank also has tougher front and rear armor than the V2 does — plus a built-in jammer for defeating radio-triggered improvised explosive devices. Some of the most important improvements are seemingly the most boring. The V3 comes with a new auxiliary power unit installed underneath the armor. This APU allows a tank crew to power their vehicle’s electronics without turning on the main engine. That way, a tank can quietly and efficiently monitor the battlefield for hours at a time without guzzling a full tank of gas. Kotchman said the power unit makes the new tank a third more fuel-efficient compared to earlier variants. The V3 features a 1,000-amp generator that Kotchman said would be able to power the new digital radios that the Pentagon is developing. To support the radios’ digital datalinks, the V3 has an ethernet architecture and better line-replaceable units — in essence, black boxes for computer motherboards. The V3 does not come with a new engine. The Army decided against replacing the M-1’s gas turbine with a more efficient diesel engine. “Right now, as the Army balances priorities, there doesn’t appear to be interest,” Kotchman said. Likewise, the V3 has the same 70-ton suspension that the V2 does. Kotchman said the SEPV3 is still under 70 tons, but could grow heavier with future upgrades. “We’re looking at future opportunities for potential suspension upgrades,” he said. Even though it shares the engine, suspension, main armament and basic layout of the older M-1A2SEPV2, the V3 is a much harder-hitting and better-defended tank with a new power system and network architecture. Fifty years ago, the Army might have given a vehicle with so many new features a new designation — at the very least, referring to it as the M-1A3. But in recent decades, the military has preferred to downplay many of its technological advancements. Sometimes, the name game represents an effort to avoid Congressional and taxpayer scrutiny. In the early 1990s, the Navy was stinging from its failed effort to develop a brand-new stealth fighter-bomber called the A-12. So when the sailing branch tapped Boeing to supply a new fighter to replace the A through D models of the F/A-18, it insisted on calling the new jet the F/A-18E/F. Never mind that the latter has a larger and aerodynamically-distinct airframe and wing, new engines, a new radar and a greatly improved cockpit compared to the original F/A-18. By the same token, as long as the Army continues to produce new tanks under the M-1 appellation, it can argue to Congress and taxpayers that it’s still using 40-year-old tanks — and needs more money to acquire something new. In fact, the M-1A2SEPV3 is new. Even if it looks like a 40-year-old tank … and shares its name. Source: WIB Land | http://warisboring.com/46306-2 | October 9, 2017
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More M1 news... Abrams M1A1 Tank...Upgrades...Turret & Thermal Sights... Marines' M1A1 Abrams tanks are about to get even more awesome. The improvements to 400 tanks will include a button that will allow the tank commander to move the main gun on a target being tracked by the tank's .50 caliber machine gun, and improved day and thermal sights, said Mike Kreiner, M1A1 project officer for Marine Corps Systems Command. All of the improvements were inspired by feedback from Marine tankers in Iraq, Kreiner told Marine Corps Times. They will be installed between October and December 2017, he said. The M1A1 Abrams tank has a turret and a 120 mm smoothbore main gun operated by the gunner and a .50 caliber machine gun operated by the commander from inside the tank, Kreiner said. Now MARSYSCOM is making it easier for commanders to move the main gun as well. "That allows them to engage targets quicker, specifically when the tank is moving," Kreiner said. "He [the commander] can track a target on the move using his .50 caliber and then press the button and the main gun can come over there." Without these improvements, tank commanders have to visually acquire the target and use an override to move the turret, he said. "It's just difficult to do on the move," Kreiner said. Making it easier for tank commanders to move the turret and main gun can shave precious seconds off the time it takes to acquire a target, depending how far commanders need to traverse the turret, he said. The tank's day and thermal sights are also being improved by adding a color camera and a color display, Kreiner said. The existing camera and display for both sights shows targets in green and black. "We couldn't distinguish blue, red, white, yellow, purple targets, specifically in vehicles," Kreiner said. "Color cues are very important for positive identification. You might have two trucks in a column waiting a checkpoint and one's red and one's green, and they say, 'Hey, you need to target that green truck.' Well, they couldn't distinguish that." Both the day and thermal sights will also be able to see much further than they can now, he said. When asked if the M1A1 Abrams improvements are meant to counter the latest Russian tanks, Kreiner said categorically "they were not." "This requirement was not based on any specific threats," he said. Source: Marine Corps Time, Jeff Schogol, August 26, 2016 And yet another article... Abrams M1A1 Tank Update...Upgrades...Armor & Programmable Ammo... The Marines Corps is upgrading its M1A1 tanks so that gunners can program when 120 mm main gun rounds detonate. “It puts several ammunition capabilities into a single round,” said Lt. Col. Mark Braithwaite. “Given the logistics challenges of carrying multiple types of unique rounds for unique applications, having a round that can handle more than one type of target is particularly advantageous.” Some Marine tanks already have a version of the system, and all of the Corps’ roughly 400 tanks will get newer ammunition data links in 2020, said Braithwaite, team lead for tank systems at Marine Corps Systems Command. Using a console, gunners can program Multi-Purpose High Explosive rounds to detonate on impact, explode after a delay or airburst, he said. That way, one type of tank round can be used against enemy armor or infantry, depending on when it explodes. “The airburst is specifically an anti-infantry capability,” Braithwaite said. The Army’s tank fleet includes variants of the M1A2 Abrams tank, which has been produced since 2005, but the Marine Corps has no plans to acquire the newer tanks, he said. Corps officials are committed to making sure the M1A1 is still relevant on the battlefield. Toward that end, the Corps will begin adding new front and side armor to all of its M1A1 tanks starting in fiscal 2019, said Braithwaite, who could not discuss what the new armor’s capabilities are or what types of threats it is designed to defeat. Unlike recent upgrades to the Marines’ tanks, the new armor was not inspired by experiences in Iraq, he said. It is expected to take about 15 years to add the armor to the Corps’ tanks because the armor is best added when tanks are completely rebuilt at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, he said. “Fifteen years is not set in stone because there are a lot of contributing factors to that,” Braithwaite said. “The modification is going to be applied as we rebuild tanks, and those numbers can change based on funding how many tanks we do per year.” Source: Marine Corps Times, Jeff Schogol, October 26, 2017
NOV 03, 2017 - 05:14 AM
These are, for all intents and purposes, new tanks. If you completely strip a machine down and inspect it to insure that all wearable elements are within initial specifications (and replace them if they aren't) then the rebuilt machine is indistinguishable from a newly manufactured one. If you replace or add components to account for technology improvements it can be as capable as a new machine. This "zero time rebuild" is feasible with just about any machine, from aircraft to tanks, to machine tools, to toasters. The limiting aspect isn't technology but the cost. It's often cheaper to buy new than refurbish. KL
NOV 03, 2017 - 11:39 AM
I see both points of view, an upgraded T 72 is still a T 72. With all the military cutbacks in the past it seems there is little interest in spending the money on developing a new tank. So the only option is to upgrade the vehicles we already have. There is an off setting advantage. If war was to break out tomorrow we have thousands of tanks available. If you were building new tanks it would take a long time to acquire enough and the attrition would overwhelm production rates putting us back to referbrishing the M1whatever. I kinda like the thought of a low intensity conflict M1 and a high intensity conflict version. Their modifications would be different based on the threat.
NOV 03, 2017 - 01:23 PM
I think there may come a time when the M1 would need a new armored turret shell. There's only so much one can do within the confines of the turret shape, and only so much one can tack onto an existing turret. Modern MBTs these days have 360-cameras, GPS, SATCOM, A/C, active protection, laser warning, top-attack sensing radar, countermeasures, stealth shaping, anti-IR coatings, ERA, jammers, remote weapons, CITV, etc. The M1A1 and M1A2 SEPV4 still can't have all these features without a new turret. The USMC M1A1s would benefit more from the TUSK version by adding M2HBs on the gun barrel and CROWS II RWS at the TC station for added remote firepower. With that in mind, I think the Mobile Protected Firepower would be a huge advantage for both the USMC and US Army in that it could give added (light to medium) firepower in remote deployed locations ASAP such as Embassy evacuations and support, SOF patrols, base security, convoy escort, armored force, etc. The odd thing is that the MPF concept really doesn't have to be that hard. One can mount a 90mm turret onto the M1117 ASV...which we have...if the US Army wants to upgun really fast. The MPF concept can be a whole new "light tank" that takes years to field while the 90mm M1117 something separate all together as COTS ready to build and buy now.
NOV 04, 2017 - 07:11 AM
Considering that the US Army is fielding a battalion set of M1A2 (CITV, remote weapons, ERA [when fitted for TUSK2], jammers [DUKE], count measures) with Trophy APS from next year, it seems as though a lot of the capabilities you list have been taken care of, at least in the short term. Not bad for a tank with its design roots in the 1970s.
NOV 04, 2017 - 11:29 AM
Sounds like some cool stuff. It's still my favorite model to build. By the way I was under the impression we were modelers !! Now we think we're "arm chair engineers" and armchair procurement specialists " ?
NOV 30, 2017 - 12:55 PM
Some of us are less “armchair” than others...
NOV 30, 2017 - 06:14 PM
...we are those who are also interested in anything military on a 1/1 scale...who are military and wish to share the information when found...who are engineers...who are civilian military specialist...military experts in their field, mechanical or otherwise...are professional military technologist...who are active duty, reservist, or retired...etc., etc., etc., and oh yea...who happen to be modelers!
DEC 01, 2017 - 02:48 AM
Research has started on the "Next Generation Combat Vehicle" (NGCV). Let's hope it produces something compared to the FCS and Ground Combat Vehicle programs that were cancelled.
DEC 01, 2017 - 06:06 AM
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