The U.S. Army is looking to equip the next-generation Abrams main battle tanks with advanced battlefield sensors.
As part of the upgrade program Abrams fleet, the new version of US-made tanks, called the M1A2D, will equip with advanced sensors and combat systems.
According to the Army’s source, the cornerstone technology of most modern Abrams M1A2D (formerly SEPv4) tank is the third generation (3GEN) FLIR, which will provide tank crews much greater lethality.
The 3GEN FLIR will be an upgrade to both sights and will be common with other combat platforms.
The 3GEN FLIR or 3GF will provide common components that will be integrated into vehicle sights for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in order to provide a common picture across all host vehicles. Common components include high-definition dual-band (mid-wave infrared and long-wave infrared) focal plane array, Dewar Cooler Bench (DCB), optics, and electronics needed to convert thermal radiation into video images. 3GF will replace 2GF sights.
With the upgrade, the Abrams will integrate a color camera, Eye-safe Laser Range Finder and a cross-platform laser pointer to facilitate multidomain battle in to the commander’s sight.
In addition to a lethality upgrade, the M1A2D will include full-embedded training to maximize crew proficiency of the system. This program began early enough to on-board any technology the Army deems critical to the future battlefield to include artificial intelligence, autonomy, APS or advanced sensors.
According to Army Recognition, General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a $310.6 million contract modification in August 2017 for the development of seven prototype M1A2D tanks and testing. The new M1A2D configuration will include sensor, lethality, and survivability upgrades. M1A2D production is set to begin in FY23, with fielding taking place by FY25.