Military Review

M1A2C tanks have been tested in the harsh climate of Alaska

22

Upgraded M1A2C in Alaska


In 2017, the US Army ordered the serial modernization of existing tanks Abrams on the latest project M1A2 SEP v.3 or M1A2C. In May last year, the first tanks in the new configuration entered service with the combat unit. At the same time, the process of checking and fine-tuning the technique continues to this day. Recently it became known about the completion of the next stage of testing, which took place in the harsh conditions of Alaska.

Past tests


The first experimental M1A2 SEP v.3 tanks appeared in 2015 and, in accordance with the main provisions of the project, were rebuilt from the existing armored vehicles of previous modifications. In the same year, this technique came out for testing, during which the main characteristics were determined and the shortcomings that require attention were identified.

As reported, all or almost all of the test events were carried out at the Yuma Proving Ground in the US. Arizona. There are routes for checking the running characteristics on different terrain and differing landscapes, as well as firing lines for assessing the entire available complex of weapons. The tests were carried out by specialists from the relevant departments of the Ministry of Defense. Servicemen of combat units equipped with "Abrams" were also involved in them.


Fire Tests at CRTC, November 2020

Full-scale field tests took about two years, and according to their results, the M1A2 SEP v.3 / M1A2C was recognized as suitable for serial production and operation in the army. At the end of 2017, a contract was issued for a mass modernization of existing equipment. Subsequently, the necessary lines were launched at three tank repair factories, and in 2020 the first updated tanks were sent to the troops.

In cold conditions


In January last year, several M1A2C tanks were delivered to the Fort Greeley base (Alaska), where the army's Cold Region Test Center is located. Cold Regions Test Center (CRTC) has all the necessary facilities and sites for running, firing and operational tests of military equipment in the subarctic zone.

Northern tests of "Abrams" lasted more than a year and ended this spring. During this time, the equipment has shown its capabilities to work at different times of the year - taking into account the peculiarities of the climate in Alaska. At the same time, the testers tried to identify flaws and cause breakdowns that are impossible in the Arizona desert at the Yuma test site.


Experienced M1A2C with a full complement of new hardware

Sea trials in CRTC were carried out at different times of the year, in a wide range of weather conditions and on different routes. A total of 2 miles have been covered. This made it possible to demonstrate the capabilities of the updated power plant and chassis, as well as other systems.

Firing tests were carried out with the execution of several hundred shots - for a long time and in different conditions. Due to this, we checked the operation of weapons and control systems. In addition, the real operational capabilities of the new auxiliary power unit were established.

Subarctic problems


The purpose of the subarctic tests was to identify deficiencies and problems that cannot be identified in other climates. CRTC coped with this task and found weaknesses in the design of the updated tank. Subsequently, the necessary measures were taken to correct the identified deficiencies.

A certain systemic problem is reported that did not allow firing from the main weapons in the cold. The nature of this problem is not specified. Together with the developers of the project, the necessary work was carried out, after which the tank with the corrections was successfully tested. Thus, the army will receive "Abrams", completely ready for combat work in difficult conditions.


First production M1A2Cs transferred to 3rd Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, US Army, May 2020.

The Pentagon reports that the organization of test firing was difficult and led to the modernization of the CRTC test facility. The available shooting ranges did not allow the M1A2C's armament to be fully tested. In this regard, the specialists of the Center had to independently manufacture and assemble a new mobile target and place it on a new remote site.

The bulk of the tests in Alaska took place last year, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Anti-epidemic measures made it difficult to conduct tests, and also worsened the working conditions of the personnel. So, several specialists from the Yuma test site participated in the events, and quarantine did not allow them to return home on time. However, the testers bravely endured all the hardships and limitations, focusing on work.

Not without natural problems. At one of the test stages, the Delta River overflowed and flooded part of the landfill, after which the water froze. Firing positions, various equipment and even a portable toilet were found in the ice. The tanks could continue to work, but for the support wheeled vehicles, such a landscape turned out to be unacceptable and even dangerous. The activities had to be suspended until the ice melted.

Rearmament started


Thus, in 2015-21. the upgraded tank M1A2C / M1A2 SEP v.3 has passed the entire range of necessary tests in different conditions and confirmed compliance with the required characteristics. The army is already receiving rebuilt tanks, and based on the results of recent measures, it can be confident that there are no technical and operational problems.


One of the new cars

Ongoing modernization work is carried out under a framework contract from December 2017. It stipulates the delivery of 435 M1A2C tanks, converted from the existing M1A1. To date, there are orders for almost 300 armored vehicles, and the first samples have already been transferred to the army. All planned modernization will take several years and will be completed by the middle of the decade.

Three enterprises have been involved in the repair and renovation of armored vehicles. These are the state-owned Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima, as well as two General Dynamics Land Systems plants in Scranton and Tallahassee. The production lines are already up and running and are expected to meet their targets on time, despite the current challenges.

In the course of modernization under the SEP v.3 project, the Abrams tank receives a new auxiliary power unit, placed under the armor, as well as modern means of power distribution. Enhanced ballistic and mine protection is envisaged; the means of protection against remotely controlled explosive devices have been introduced.


The main components of the fighting compartment remain in place, but the fire control system receives new devices and the ability to use promising projectiles for various purposes. The tank is equipped with the JTRS communications complex, which ensures full compatibility with modern tactical control systems. Under a separate contract, armored vehicles will receive active protection systems.

For any climate


Modernization of M1A1 tanks under the M1A2C project will extend the service life of outdated equipment and at the same time improve all its characteristics. Thanks to this, armored vehicles of the older modification will not only continue to serve, but will also become the most effective in the existing tank fleet. This will allow you to get the desired combat capabilities in the shortest possible time, without the need to restore the production of tanks from scratch and with the preservation of other equipment that meets current requirements.

During the tests, which lasted several years, all the real indicators and capabilities of the upgraded tank were established. The last stage of the verification took place in the harsh conditions of Alaska and, despite the difficulties encountered, ended with positive results. Thus, the entire US tank fleet, including the manufactured vehicles of the latest modification, will be able to operate effectively in a wide range of climatic conditions.
Author:
Photos used:
US Army, Bmpd.livejournal.com
22 comments
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  1. RealPilot
    RealPilot 13 May 2021 05: 45
    +9
    If we talk about the Arctic, then gas turbine engines feel more confident in it than in the desert.
    They start up much better in the cold than diesel, the sand does not get inside. And the air is denser in the cold.
    Turbines do not like sand, fail and wear out faster.

    Our T-80BVM tanks with a gas turbine installation are also being modernized for the Arctic.
    1. Finches
      Finches 13 May 2021 06: 33
      +2
      Know and match materiel! laughing
    2. Bad_gr
      Bad_gr 13 May 2021 19: 41
      +3
      It is reported about a certain systemic problem that did not allow firing from the main weapon in the cold.
      The weapon is guided using hydraulics, and it is water-based. Of the advantages - not flammable. But at what temperature does it turn into ice, the question is?
      1. Maki Avellevich
        Maki Avellevich 13 May 2021 21: 07
        0
        Quote: Bad_gr
        The weapon is guided using hydraulics, and it is water-based.

        What kind of "water-based"?
        1. Bad_gr
          Bad_gr 13 May 2021 21: 40
          0
          Quote: Maki Avellievich
          What kind of "water-based"?

          What exactly is not clear?
          1. Maki Avellevich
            Maki Avellevich 13 May 2021 22: 06
            0
            Quote: Bad_gr
            Quote: Maki Avellievich
            What kind of "water-based"?

            What exactly is not clear?

            do you think that in the tank a hydraulic pump drives water along the contour?
            1. Bad_gr
              Bad_gr 13 May 2021 23: 36
              0
              Quote: Maki Avellievich
              do you think that in the tank a hydraulic pump drives water along the contour?

              The gun can be driven mechanically, electrically or hydraulically. Mechanics is a manual drive. Hydraulic is when a hydraulic pump, fluid and hydraulic cylinders are involved in the process, with the help of which the implement is raised and lowered. The rotation of the tower is electric, whether it happens with the help of hydraulics, I don't remember. So, in hydraulics, oil is most often used. Abrams has water with additives in the hydraulics of the tool drive.
              Now it's clear ?
              1. Maki Avellevich
                Maki Avellevich 14 May 2021 10: 08
                0
                Quote: Bad_gr
                Abrams has water with additives in the hydraulics of the tool drive.
                Now it's clear ?


                Now it's clear?
                1. Bad_gr
                  Bad_gr 14 May 2021 12: 02
                  0
                  Quote: Maki Avellievich
                  Now it's clear?

                  I published the information that I came across in the descriptions of the Abrams tank. I have no other information on this topic.
                  It would not hurt to explain what photo you posted. If it is related to the topic under discussion, then I would like to know the details.
                  1. Maki Avellevich
                    Maki Avellevich 14 May 2021 15: 57
                    0
                    Quote: Bad_gr
                    It would not hurt to explain what photo you posted. If it is related to the topic under discussion, then I would like to know the details.

                    Glycol is an anti-freeze agent.
                    I thought that if you are talking about water systems and freezing temperatures, then you are also familiar with Glycol.
                    1. Bad_gr
                      Bad_gr 14 May 2021 18: 10
                      0
                      Quote: Maki Avellievich
                      Glycol is an anti-freeze agent.

                      Pure glycol freezes at -13 ° C. Water with glycol - up to -70 ° C, depending on the proportions and composition. And the water in this composition is no less than glycol. That is, my words ".. water-based" and "... water with additives" - here to the place. I don’t understand what you disagree with?
                      1. Maki Avellevich
                        Maki Avellevich 14 May 2021 20: 23
                        0
                        Quote: Bad_gr
                        Pure glycol freezes at -13 ° C. Water with glycol - up to -70 ° С

                        ... The weapon is guided using hydraulics, and it is water-based. Of the advantages - not flammable. But at what temperature does it turn into ice, the question is?

                        You yourself have now answered your own question. The glycol prevents the media from freezing in the hydraulic circuit. hi
                      2. Bad_gr
                        Bad_gr 14 May 2021 21: 20
                        0
                        Quote: Maki Avellievich
                        The glycol prevents the media from freezing in the hydraulic circuit.

                        I understand it. But the fluid for cooling the engine and the fluid used for aiming the gun probably have different requirements for properties. And if the Abrams tank was tested and was adopted with a specific composition of fluid in the hydraulics, and then it turned out that it freezes at a temperature typical for the Arctic, then this is hardly solved by adding something to the fluid. The property of a liquid will vary with its density, degree of expansion at different temperatures, etc. and the characteristics of the gun guidance will surely change. It can be solved, but it takes time.
                        By the way, if their requirements for gunpowder did not change, then their specifications for gunpowder had temperatures from -30 ° C (we have from -50 ° C) and higher, it seems, to + 50 ° C. How their cannon (and all small arms) will fire at lower temperatures, again, is a question.
                        Correct me if I am mistaken.
                      3. Maki Avellevich
                        Maki Avellevich 14 May 2021 21: 50
                        0
                        I won't say anything about gunpowder, because I don't understand anything in this matter.
                        As for hydraulics, the problem is fairly easy to fix.
  • Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 13 May 2021 06: 05
    +1
    The tanks could continue to work, but for the support wheeled vehicles, such a landscape turned out to be unacceptable and even dangerous.
    What are the tanks without support and how long they will be able to "continue to work" I think it is clear.
  • Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 13 May 2021 06: 40
    -12%
    ... At one of the test stages, the Delta River overflowed and flooded part of the landfill, after which the water froze. Firing positions, various equipment and even a portable toilet were found in the ice. The tanks could continue to work, but for the support wheeled vehicles, such a landscape turned out to be unacceptable and even dangerous. The activities had to be suspended until the ice melted.

    Well stupid !!!! The Yankees are not even aware of the presence of winter tires. Although, why would they need winter tires in warm California and New York?
  • Usher
    Usher 13 May 2021 09: 19
    -4
    The tanks could continue to work, but for the support wheeled vehicles, such a landscape turned out to be unacceptable and even dangerous.
    And many want a wheeled tank. A wheeled combat vehicle in off-road conditions is nonsense. Okay armored personnel carriers (it's relatively light), but tanks and heavy infantry fighting vehicles? And what was there to experience then? In Alaska, the climate is not so harsh.
    1. Lt. Air Force stock
      Lt. Air Force stock 13 May 2021 10: 24
      0
      Quote: Usher
      And many want a wheeled tank. A wheeled combat vehicle in off-road conditions is nonsense. Okay armored personnel carriers (it's relatively light), but tanks and heavy infantry fighting vehicles? And what was there to experience then? In Alaska, the climate is not so harsh.

      A tank with such tracks with rubber inserts will not go far through the mud either, but on solid ground and asphalt the resource of the tracks is decent.
    2. Kot_Kuzya
      Kot_Kuzya 13 May 2021 14: 49
      0
      Quote: Usher
      In Alaska, the climate is not so harsh.

      By the standards of Siberia, yes, it is not so cold there, but the climate of the southern part of Alaska is comparable to the climate of the European part of Russia. For example, in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, where half of the state's population lives, the average January temperature is -8, that is, there winter is comparable to winters in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Fairbanks, located in the center of the state, the average January temperature is -23, which is also not particularly cold by the standards of Russia, this is not Yakutia, not Evenkia, not Taimyr or Kolyma, where the average January temperature is -35 ...- 50 degrees. Fairbanks climate is comparable to the climate of Surgut and Nizhnevartovsk.
  • tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 13 May 2021 15: 00
    0
    In the photo there are abrashki, temperature - 23. He has lived in Murmansk for almost forty years.
  • Alf
    Alf 13 May 2021 18: 20
    +2
    An indecent question-and with whom the Americans are going to fight in the conditions of SUCH winter? Moreover, on such a scale that we are talking about the massive use of tanks? Are they not aiming at the Russian North? Somehow, another country with such a climate does not come to mind ...
    1. alsoclean
      alsoclean 13 May 2021 22: 08
      0
      Quote: Alf
      An indecent question-and with whom the Americans are going to fight in the conditions of SUCH winter? Moreover, on such a scale that we are talking about the massive use of tanks? Are they not aiming at the Russian North? Somehow, another country with such a climate does not come to mind ...

      Well, what are you ... They set up to fight with Canada ... That's where the "evil dug in" laughing