Modernization of MBT M1 Abrams in 2019-2020 financial years: work and plans


M1A2C Main Tank with SEP v.3 Service Pack


One of the most important US Army programs at the moment is the modernization of existing tanks Abrams on several new projects. The other day, new details of this project and ongoing work were published. They were introduced by the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation, DOT & E in a 2019 report. On January 30, this document was presented to Congress.

Completed work


According to the report, December 28, 2018, i.e. At the beginning of FY 2019, DOT & E approved an updated version of the test program for the promising M1A2 SEP v.3 / M1A2C tank. Some stages of the already launched program underwent adjustment, which was necessary for a more complete study of the capabilities and potential of the modernized MBT.

On April 22 at the Fort Hood base, short military tests of updated equipment started. The 1st Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division received several M1A2C tanks and carried out inspections according to the approved plan. The equipment was tested in offensive and defensive training battles. Each stage of these tests lasted up to a day. May 11 events were completed.

Last fiscal year, the tank was tested for survivability. Three tanks of the serial batch were shelled and detonated using various weapons and ammunition. DOT & E writes about 20 such tests, but their results are not specified.

Near future


The main task for the first quarters of fiscal 2020 called the completion of tests to determine and increase the survivability of a modernized tank. They are a direct continuation of the measures already taken, but have different goals and are focused on specific elements of the tank.


In the 4th quarter of 2019 launched a new stage of the test shelling. This time, attention was paid to the ammunition storage compartments and their combat survivability. During the tests, the resistance of the compartments to various influences was checked, including defeat anti-tank ammunition. The results of such tests will clarify the general operational capabilities of the tank.

The completion of the shelling tests was planned for the 1st quarter of 2020 FY After that, in the 2nd quarter, the army and the director of operational testing and evaluation will publish a new report that reflects all the identified features of MBT M1A2 SEP v.3. For the 3rd quarter of the current fiscal year, it is planned to issue new documents defining the further mass production of updated tanks.

Ratings and recommendations


DOT & E notes that the project M1A2 SEP v.3 did not have special requirements in terms of protection and survivability. For all new modifications of the Abrams MBT, the 1994 Operational Requirements document, drawn up taking into account the characteristics of the M1A2 tank, remains relevant.

Under such conditions, DOT & E continues to collect and analyze data from all tests, including to determine the level of protection and survivability. They will be used in further evaluation of the project as a whole, as well as in determining final conclusions and recommendations.

Based on the results of the work of the last fiscal year, DOT & E issued three recommendations to the Ministry of Defense. The first defines a common approach to future upgrades of the M1A2 tanks. The requirements for such projects should most accurately reflect current and future operational problems and challenges. The second recommendation addresses ongoing work. It is necessary to complete the current tests in accordance with the approved plan. Finally, the army should study all available reports on the M1A2C in order to form a general idea of ​​the ways for the further development of armored vehicles.

Not only SEP v.3


Current plans to upgrade Abrams MBTs are not limited to SEP v.3. In particular, one of the measures to increase the survivability of such equipment on the battlefield should be a complex of active defense (KAZ). Work in this direction continues and give noticeable results.


Tank M1A2 SEP v.2 with KAZ Trophy

The DOT & E report recalls that back in FY 2017 several tanks of the army and marine corps received the KAZ Trophy manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael. Equipment with such equipment was tested at the training grounds and even took part in NATO exercises, showing their capabilities. In the future, new events were held, continuing to date.

According to the report, in FY 2019 The U.S. Army performed and completed the second phase of the KAZ Trophy test. These events were held at the Fort Bliss base in the fall and winter of 2018. The complex was tested using the M1A1 and M1A2 SEP v.2 tanks, as well as using the layout. During the tests, the ability of Trophy to detect and hit flying threats in different conditions, including in the presence of various hindrances.

As part of the tests, 62 launches of various anti-tank weapons were carried out. Against real tanks, rocket-propelled grenades with inert equipment were used; guided missiles fired on the layout. In addition, one launch of full-fledged ammunition for MBT from KAZ took place.

DOT & E is currently preparing a report on these tests. He will be presented to the command soon. Also, preparations are underway for the third phase of testing. This time, KAZ Trophy plans to test on the latest tank M1A2C.

Recent trials were successful, and the army announces quite serious plans for KAZ. At the end of the current financial year, a new order will appear on the purchase and deployment of such equipment. It will include the modernization of all M1A2 tanks in four Armored Brigade Combat Team units. The outlook for Trophy in the context of M1A2 SEP v.3 has not yet been determined.

For engineering parts


M1A1 / A2 tanks are also involved in a new project created in the interests of engineering units. Joint Assault Bridge (JAB) is being developed for the army and the KMP, built on the MBT M1A1 chassis with units from M1A2. He has already gone to the test, but their results remain unsatisfactory.


Experienced JAB Bridge Stacker

In April 2019, the next tests of the experienced JAB were held at the Fort Bliss base. Significant shortcomings were identified, which took time to fix. Q1 2020 FY A new phase of testing has begun to test recent changes. In the absence of new difficulties, the testing of the experimental JAB will be completed in the 2nd-3rd quarter of the current financial year.

Due to continuing problems, DOT & E recommends continuing work and fine-tuning the design. After that, it will be possible to collect the necessary data and give a full assessment of the project with relevant recommendations.

Conservation and development


The new DOT & E report clearly shows how the US Army is going to develop its armored vehicles. Tanks of the M1 Abrams family of several modifications play a leading role, and to maintain this state of affairs, modernization projects are being implemented - both complex and affecting only individual elements. In addition, the Abrams tank is used as a platform for new types of specialized equipment.

According to the latest report, in the last fiscal year, the Pentagon and contractors did enough to launch production and develop new types of equipment. No less responsible work was planned for FY2020 Its 2nd quarter is already approaching the end, and this means that soon new messages about the development and modernization of existing main battle tanks should appear.
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  1. Aaron Zawi 6 February 2020 07: 09 New
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    They thoroughly approach the matter.
  2. rocket757 6 February 2020 08: 02 New
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    Ratings and recommendations

    They weigh the tank with everything! It becomes fundamentally better from this .... events will show, or maybe not. In general, then nonsense.
  3. 501Legion 6 February 2020 08: 43 New
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    Fat Kaak Hippopotamus
  4. Private-K 6 February 2020 08: 55 New
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    M1A2 SEP v.2 weighed 65 tons. Allegedly.
    For M1A2 SEP v.3, a weight of 67 tons is indicated. Allegedly doubly. For:
    - voluminous containers with DZ are hung along the entire length of the hull sides
    - to the tower in the ammunition area - also
    - additional overhead containers on the forehead of the tower
    - reinforcement of the bottom, etc.
    - additional remote control with a machine gun, etc.
    IMHO - 70 tons runs guaranteed.
    Everything looks menacing, even creepy and ... gracefully.
    Of course, old Abrams is still that bull (like the general himself by whose name), but somehow too much ...
    1. maidan.izrailovich 7 February 2020 05: 08 New
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      IMHO - 70 tons runs guaranteed.

      All tank builders in the West follow the same path. Modernization as a result of which the mass flies up to heaven.
      Although history shows that this is a dead end. The Germans in the years of the 2nd World War, constantly increasing mass as a result, "gave birth" to the "Mouse". Which could move with difficulty.
  5. Yrec 6 February 2020 09: 23 New
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    I wonder how much Abrash will weigh after the upgrade? Far beyond 70 tons? He will have nothing to do on the European theater. They will not keep weak soils, bridges of secondary roads - also, cultivated fields (70-80% of all lands) only after summer drying, will not cross the ford river. All this dramatically reduces his ability to operational maneuver, you have to break through layered PT lines instead of getting around them.
  6. honest people 6 February 2020 10: 39 New
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    Abrams and not so badly coped with RPG
    1. Nastia makarova 6 February 2020 12: 24 New
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      maybe RPG with abrams?))))
    2. Usher 6 February 2020 13: 18 New
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      Quote: honest people
      Abrams and not so badly coped with RPG

      Well, it depends on which RPG? RPG RPG discord)
    3. Bad_gr 6 February 2020 20: 02 New
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      Quote: honest people
      Abrams and not so badly coped with RPG

      A selection of not numerous videos where Abrams does not burn after hitting an RPG grenade.
    4. maidan.izrailovich 7 February 2020 05: 18 New
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      Abrams and not so badly coped with RPG

  7. smaug78 6 February 2020 13: 13 New
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    Quote: Nastia Makarova
    maybe RPG with abrams?))))

    RPG will cope with any tank, the main thing is to get where you need to)))
  8. 5-9
    5-9 6 February 2020 14: 56 New
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    I understand that for Trophy there is not enough sparkling for food. This is a replacement for the APU (weight), Trophy itself (weight), because Trophy is only against ATGMs, not OBPS, then the system is primarily anti-Poirish, and they like to frolic in buildings, then the NDZ kit needs to be hung ... total in total minceaunted 70 tons ..... in general, only for those coatings that in the photo, and dissect.
    And so - rather modest development, plans to saw off the meter, throw out the monstrous gas turbine engine and put the MTU diesel engine back in 55 tons - they stole it .... but without this, the armor resistance is not increased normally - the chassis is already strewed. Ruchechki-bows ... the reserve of modernization has been exhausted .... this also concerns the M256, the crowbar M829A3-A4 has taken all the place both in the sleeve and in the chamber ...
  9. L-39NG 6 February 2020 16: 27 New
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    Ryushechki kill the New T-90? Or the old, beaten on all sides by ARMATU? I have no more questions.
  10. honest people 6 February 2020 18: 22 New
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    Quote: Nastia Makarova
    maybe RPG with abrams?))))

    You need to scream louder!
    1. Dima_Anlim 6 February 2020 23: 19 New
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      Yes, there are many videos where the Abrams withstand hits from ATGMs and RPGs. For the nose and antero-lateral part of it are perfectly protected. They were knocked out mainly by getting into the engine compartment or in the rear of the tower - all the more there is a combat unit.
  11. Dima_Anlim 6 February 2020 23: 13 New
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    On modern tanks, God knows how many optical and other equipment, radars, sensors, mechanisms and instruments are hung on the tower — it’s enough to fire such a tank from the same Shilka or heavy machine gun and this whole mountain of equipment will be disabled. Not to mention a decent landmine hitting the tower. Or is everyone there so sure that KAZ will bring everything down with everything? The fighting proves the opposite. KAZ will save only from a single launch ATGM and no more.
    1. God save the king 7 February 2020 14: 49 New
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      it’s enough to shell such a tank from the same Shilka
      that's for sure, only the tank has a much greater chance of being the first to discover this "shilka", the first to destroy it, and at the same time survive in case of failure. But the crew of the shilka is forced to expose themselves to mortal danger for the sake of only one chance to withdraw the sight of the tank (which modern MBTs have two). The odds are completely unequal, to say the least.
  12. honest people 7 February 2020 05: 24 New
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    Quote: maidan.izrailovich
    Abrams and not so badly coped with RPG


    Exactly RPG laughing
    1. maidan.izrailovich 7 February 2020 11: 14 New
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      honest people
      Exactly RPG laughing

      Then here's an article with VO.
      -To deactivate the tank (talking about Abrams), it is enough from a single RPG shot at the side of the hull.
      https://topwar.ru/772-tank-abrams-legenda-i-realnost.html
  13. Zabvo 7 February 2020 10: 52 New
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    And what do we have there, T72b3? It's funny to compare. A very protected tank is made even more protected, it’s sad for us to say that. With KAZ all our RPGs are counted by 0 multiplied, as are the birds.
  14. honest people 7 February 2020 14: 57 New
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    Quote: maidan.izrailovich
    https://topwar.ru/772-tank-abrams-legenda-i-realnost.html

    Use your eyes to study and not other people's tales ury patriots laughing
    PG-7VL tandem shot at the hull
    1. Operator 7 February 2020 15: 32 New
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      At 25 seconds, the ammunition in the combat compartment of Abrashi detonated so well - so much for the "tales of the patriots" bully
  15. honest people 7 February 2020 15: 39 New
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    Quote: Operator
    At 25 seconds, the ammunition in the combat compartment of Abrashi detonated so well - so much for the "tales of the patriots" bully

    Use the technique of auto-suggestion good
    there are more effective methods
  16. honest people 7 February 2020 15: 52 New
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    Quote: Operator
    At 25 seconds, the ammunition in the combat compartment of Abrashi detonated so well - so much for the "tales of the patriots" bully

    This is detonation
    1. Operator 7 February 2020 15: 56 New
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      The crew of Abrashi was quite enough of the detonation that occurred in the BO from one RPG-7 shot at the side.
  17. honest people 7 February 2020 16: 06 New
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    Quote: Operator
    The crew of Abrashi was quite enough of the detonation that occurred in the BO from one RPG-7 shot at the side.

    Do not understate they would have had enough detonation a meter from the tank! laughing
  18. daveduff 15 February 2020 23: 36 New
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    Here, somehow it is sharply felt sometimes how Western authors are childishly writing. Not a single digit, not a single characteristic. Sensation, as if reading the same thing in a circle ...