Upgraded tank M1A2 SEP v.4 went to the test

Upgraded tank M1A2 SEP v.4 went to the test
Experienced tank M1A2 SEP v.4 and a soldier participating in the tests

In the United States, another project is being developed to modernize the main tank M1 Abrams. As is now known, the M1A2 SEP v.4 or M1A2D project has already reached the stage of testing the first prototype. The prototype arrived at one of the test sites and is now demonstrating its capabilities. Based on the results of its checks, in the foreseeable future, mass serial modernization of the tanks available to the troops will begin.

Tank on trial

The modernization project M1A2 SEP v.4 (System Enhancement Package ver. 4) has been developed over the past few years in order to further improve the existing tank. According to previously disclosed plans, the first prototype was supposed to appear and be tested in FY 2022. At the same time, it was reported that due to various difficulties, the project was slightly behind schedule.

The other day it became known that the first prototype has already been manufactured and handed over to the army for testing. So, on October 6, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army posted several photos from recent training and testing events on its social media page.

Reportedly, the tankers of the 2nd battalion arrived at the Yuma training ground (Arizona) and are now participating in the tests of the upgraded tank M1A2 SEP v.4. They should evaluate the new technique and help to improve it further.

Marking leaves no doubt

The published photos show the Abrams tank in a non-standard configuration with a number of new elements. On the side screens of the machine, the designations “M1A2 SEP v.4” are applied. On other structural elements there are letters "PV05 SEPV4". The tank is shown so far only from two angles - front and right.

The publication with photographs of an experienced MBT was soon deleted. Why the curious pictures got into the public domain, and then were removed, is not specified. However, by the time the publication was deleted, an interesting news and photos managed to disperse in specialized publications and blogs.

New features

Earlier, the Pentagon revealed the main goals of the SEP v.4 project and indicated how the updated tank would differ from previous versions. In general, we are talking about the further development of the ideas embodied in the previous draft SEP v.3. It is planned to replace some of the units and install some new ones.

Published photos of the first upgraded M1A2 SEP v.4 show some of the features of this machine. In particular, it can be assumed that it was rebuilt from a tank of one of the old modifications by installing all the necessary devices. As a result, such an MBT has the required features of SEP v.3 and receives new elements from a promising project.

The hull of the experimental tank retained its former appearance; all changes to the new project affect only the indoor units. The turret is borrowed from the M1A2 SEP v.3 tank without significant changes. It can be distinguished from older units by the improved frontal armor of a slightly different shape.

Several new devices appeared on the tower at once. So, on the front of the side sheets, two rectangular casings with sensors of the AN / VVR-4 laser warning system are symmetrically installed. New sights for the commander and gunner were mounted in the old places. Also replaced the column with meteorological sensors.

It is obvious that the experienced tank received the entire set of new equipment provided for by the modernization project. Most of these innovations are hidden under the armor and have not yet been demonstrated. However, the main contribution to the overall increase in performance should be made precisely by new devices placed in the fighting compartment.

For performance growth

According to the plans of the Pentagon, the existing tanks of old modifications will be upgraded under the M1A2 SEP v.4 project. During the rebuild, they will receive all updates from the previous SEP v.3 package, and with them the instruments from the SEP v.4 project. It is expected that this will significantly improve all the main characteristics of the MBT.

Thanks to the SEP v.3 package, tanks will receive enhanced frontal projection armor and improved bottom protection. It also provides for the installation of dynamic protection ARAT and active Trophy. The auxiliary power unit is transferred to the aft compartment, under the protection of the armor. A system for monitoring the condition of the units has been introduced and other measures have been taken to simplify maintenance and repair.

The M1A2C project provided for updating communications equipment to work in modern troop control loops. The fire control system received a non-contact programmer for working with advanced projectiles. At the same time, sights, a weather station, computers, etc. fundamental changes have not been made.

The new SEP v.4 upgrade offers limited tank upgrades. At the same time, it complements all the measures of the previous project and allows you to improve the main characteristics. So, to improve protection, a radiation warning system has been introduced. Fire capabilities are enhanced by new sights for the commander and gunner. Now devices with a full-color daytime channel, a 3rd generation thermal imager and an improved laser rangefinder are used. Due to the new station, the ability to collect data on weather conditions has been improved. Devices for working with programmable projectiles will be improved. This will allow the full introduction of new types of ammunition with improved characteristics.

At the verification stage

Apparently, the first experimental MBT type M1A2 SEP v.4 received all the necessary updates and components from the last two packages. Accordingly, it should compare favorably with all other "Abrams" and show higher performance. An increase in survivability and protection, firepower and firing efficiency, etc. is expected.

However, so far we are talking only about the first prototype, recently launched for testing. He just has to go through a full cycle of checks and confirm the design characteristics and capabilities. How successful such a process will be and how soon it will be completed is not yet clear.

Serial tank M1A2 SEP v.3

It was previously stated that testing would begin in FY2022. and will end no later than 2024-25. The delivery of the first batch of serially upgraded tanks was planned for 2025. In general, such terms look realistic. So, the first experimental MBT is already ready and went to the training ground. It was built almost without deviation from the schedule, and this gives reason for optimism.

The SEP v.4 project includes a number of new devices and is notable for a certain complexity. However, this is unlikely to adversely affect the further course of work. Two or three years are allotted for fine-tuning, and this is quite enough. Certain difficulties may arise at the stage of launching mass modernization. However, the experience of previous projects shows that the industry will cope with them and eventually complete the tasks.

Specific plans to upgrade tanks to M1A2D status have not yet been announced. It is likely that at least several hundred older Abrams modifications will be updated under this project. Based on the results of such processes, the active fleet of armored vehicles will include only modern tanks of SEP v.3 and v.4 versions. It will take several years to carry out such work, and all the desired results will be obtained only in the early thirties or later.

Reserve for the future

The current modernization projects of the M1 Abrams MBT are aimed at extending the service life and improving the performance characteristics. Due to this, such equipment will be able to remain in service and maintain the required technical level in the medium and long term. In fact, plans are being drawn up for the development of the Abramsov park for several decades to come.

For now, however, industry and the Pentagon have less distant targets. They will have to test and fine-tune the new version of the tank and organize production. This takes about three years. The current project is not fundamentally complex, but it bears a great responsibility. It is he who will determine the future of the main strike force of the ground forces.
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  1. +12
    10 October 2022 04: 55
    - The Russian military-industrial complex is dying, nothing new in 40 years, penny improvements of the ancient box are passed off as modernization!
    - So this is an American tank?!
    - Oh, yes? This excellent decision will determine the future of America's armored power for decades!
    1. +5
      10 October 2022 05: 53
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      for decades!

      Or maybe hundreds!
    2. 0
      10 October 2022 16: 33
      Am I the only one who noticed that there is no Trophy on the new Abrashka?
      1. 0
        10 October 2022 16: 43
        Quote: PROXOR
        Am I the only one who noticed that there is no Trophy on the new Abrashka?

        KAZ is set if necessary, as well as additional booking for the city. Side at the back of the turret mounts for it.

        1. 0
          10 October 2022 17: 27
          It seems to me that KAZ is just useless for the city. Lots of blind spots. Including the thinnest - the roof. Yes, and with such "ears" in the city to do nothing.
          1. +1
            10 October 2022 17: 33
            Quote from cold wind
            as well as an additional booking for the city.

            I meant TUSK, a special kit for fighting in the city.

            Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK) - “a set of additional equipment and reservations that enhance combat capabilities in urban conditions”, designed for mounting on M1A1 and M1A2 tanks; includes an ARAT dynamic protection system to increase the protection of side projections from cumulative weapons, a thermal imaging sight for turret mounting an M240 loader, guards for protecting the commander and loader when observing from open hatches, remote bottom reservation, a headset for communication with infantry, an additional machine gun M2 on the CSAMM installation (mounted on the mask of the gun), the thermal imaging sight of the commander’s ZPU (for M1A1), the remotely controlled CROWS installation (for M1A2)
    3. -1
      10 October 2022 20: 22
      They have already captured your most advanced tank, which is still being produced and is in service (no, this is not the T-14, it is not being produced because it is very 'expensive') T90M, they have already experimented with the gun of the T90M tank and of course improves their tanks.

      The question is, why did the Russian Federation not have time to acquire at least 1 Western tank (approximately Turkish Leopard) from the Syrian conflict in order to study the cannon approximately ???
      1. 0
        29 November 2022 18: 41
        Because, apart from Merkava, neither Abrams, nor Leopard, nor Leclerc appeared on the battlefield. They are very good at milking the budgets of their states, but they are fighting against their armed forces.
      2. 0
        17 December 2022 16: 06
        Actually, there is a Leopard and Abrams was also dragged from Iraq.
        You should visit the Research Institute of Armored Vehicles in their laboratory. What is not there. And our Abrams even tried penetration with a new projectile or ATGM. From 6.3 km, it burned right through the frontal armor in the area of ​​​​the tower. There was a post about a year ago. Not for nothing they, the Americans, changed the profile of the windshield. For sure, they were forced to add additional protection.
        Well, I wonder how much weight was added to the already 70 tons ?. Because of this weight and dimensions, the whole of Europe is remodeling small automobile bridges, where it strengthens for more weight and where it is forced to increase the passage under them, that is, a new bridge is practically being built (the main version). So the appendage is indirect in price to the Abrams and budget losses, not compensated by anything, don’t worry, mom.
        Well, cross-country ability and maneuverability with such a weight - in the fields of Ukraine from Amrams in spring and autumn
        only the towers will stick out, that is, the tanks will turn into short-term firing points.
    4. +1
      29 November 2022 18: 33
      An ultra-modern land dreadnought from the mid-30s of the last century. A piece of shit is taken, an air conditioner is installed, stuffed with millions of electronics. But the tactical characteristics are below the plinth. And, - most importantly, do not let them into the theater of operations: God forbid the technology falls into the hands of Russian experts.
      PS: I would like to see this miracle of technology in the Ukrainian black soil
  2. 0
    10 October 2022 07: 19
    So the Yankees are sawing a replacement for Abrams. Rolled out a prototype recently. With an uninhabited tower (but still healthy as a birdhouse).
    1. 0
      10 October 2022 07: 23
      Quote: demiurg
      So the Yankees are sawing a replacement for Abrams. Rolled out a prototype recently. With an uninhabited tower (but still healthy as a birdhouse).

      Rather, just another modernization of Abrams. Looks almost 1 in 1 like the current one
  3. -5
    10 October 2022 07: 28
    And what has changed in reality in a garden house weighing 70 tons, with side armor thinner than that of the T-34, which is easily stitched by the Khrushchev-era RPG-7, the EPG is such that the tank can be seen from space.
    1. +5
      10 October 2022 08: 16
      Quote: Lepsik
      And what has changed in reality in a garden house weighing 70 tons

      It got more expensive..
      1. -1
        5 December 2022 12: 31
        Azim77, you are absolutely right! The more expensive the better for the military-industrial complex in the USA! And no one is going to fight on these tanks in Europe against Russia or in Asia against China! Nothing personal sir, it's just business. That the Yankees' military budget is slowly growing. When will the $1 trillion budget come? This is how much budget dough can be cut? Russian oligarchs will salivate with envy!
    2. +3
      10 October 2022 20: 36
      Comrade Lepsik, what state of health do you have to say that? let's see the statistics, how many people from the Abrams crew died in battle (about 100x tanks took part in the battle) and how many crew members of your praised and unparalleled (on paper) burned out?

      As long as in Russia you continue to deny problems with armored vehicles, and do not take measures to fix them, this sad statistic will not end.

      And your 'experts' who adopted the T72B3 tank into service as "ready, modernized, corresponding to modern requirements" should all be shot.

      I wrote about it once already, I won't do it again. Look here:

      Huge gaps between remote sensing modules in the frontal projection of the tower. (Saved money)
      Incomplete coverage of the roof of the tower with remote sensing. Please note that the zone that is covered from the remote sensing modules is exactly where the gun bolt is located. Nobody thought about protecting the crew! Here's a real shame.

      Then the question arises why Javelin, Nlaw (in Top down attack mode) and TOW B2 are such 'successful' models of Western weapons.
      No, they are not successful, it's just that the T72b3 tank does not have adequate protection against such systems.

      They saw how the crews welded all sorts of gratings and other pieces of iron upstairs tower, no one even formed them that, for example, Javelin flies in top down mode at about an angle of 40-60 degrees and this grille does not help, not only for its location, but also for the fact that the ammunition still creates huge pressure inside the tank turret, and because of this, the crew dies (the thickness of the T72 tower is 30mm maximum 20 minimum).

      In general, all Slavic peoples have such problems: we always look at the failures of others, and do not look at ourselves and how we can fix our problems.

      Leave the Abramsakh and the Leopards and fix your tanks first so that the guys don’t die on the outskirts ...
      1. -2
        11 October 2022 04: 49
        brother, thanks for your comment. your world-famous Bulgarian tank-building school, of course, creates better tanks
  4. +10
    10 October 2022 08: 24
    Minor update aimed at improving situational awareness.
    For those who don’t understand what was changed from the article, here is the list (auto-translation):

    1. Improved main gunner's sight (GPS) with third generation infrared sensor (FLIR), improved laser rangefinder and full color video camera.
    2. Upgraded Commander's Primary Sight (CPS) with third generation FLIR system and full color video camera, as well as laser pointer and rangefinder.
    3. Lethality improvements, including the addition of a digital data link that can interface with the new Army XM1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) reprogrammable projectile for the tank's 120mm main gun.
    4.New airborne weather sensor that can collect various types of data to improve accuracy.
    5. Modernized communication systems, data exchange and on-board diagnostics.
    1. +10
      10 October 2022 09: 57
      10 times more information than Cyril.
  5. +2
    10 October 2022 09: 07
    All this is about the fact that modern tank building has reached some kind of ultimate level. Without a doubt, this industry has room to develop, but modern technologies do not yet allow mass production of new products, because it is very expensive (for example, our Armata). So it remains to endlessly modernize the available "outdated" samples. So we (thanks to the Soviet Motherland), even though we have Armata, the Americans still have a dead end.
    1. -2
      10 October 2022 09: 40
      Quote: South Ukrainian
      All this is about the fact that modern tank building has reached some kind of ultimate level. Without a doubt, this industry has room to grow.

      Where is the question? There are no solutions that qualitatively strengthen the tank and are not achieved by upgrading the current ones.
      Quote: South Ukrainian
      So we (thanks to the Soviet Motherland), even though we have Armata,

      The USSR has nothing to do with it at all, the tank was created entirely in the Russian Federation. True, it is not clear why it is fundamentally better than the T-90M, everything that is on the Armata can be implemented on the T-72/80/90. The only thing that is good is that the crew is in the capsule, but this is also a minus, nevertheless, the electronic remote control can fail. The T-90 has the main advantage of the price and the fact that it is in the series, I think that it is necessary to modernize the T-90M, add KAZ, improve situational awareness and bring it to the level of T-72/80/90A.

      In the meantime, we have obsolete tanks in the army, this needs to be urgently changed.
      T-72B3 / 80BVM / 90A is equal to M1A1 of 1984 release
      T-90M is equal to M1A2 produced in 1992.
      Quote: South Ukrainian
      the Americans, while a dead end.

      They do not need to invent something, their tanks are superior to ours and Chinese. Although General Dynamic rolled out the new AbramsX tank, I am skeptical about this concept, it is possible to bring the M1A2 to its level.
      1. +2
        10 October 2022 10: 18
        Quote from cold wind
        The USSR has nothing to do with it at all, the tank was created entirely in the Russian Federation.

        Well, yes, because tank building did not exist in the USSR. Tanks in Russia began to be designed and built in 1991.
      2. -2
        10 October 2022 10: 21
        Quote from cold wind
        They don’t need to invent something, their tanks are superior to ours and Chinese

        And in what, interestingly, are they superior to ours? They probably weigh more, well, and a crew of 4 people.
    2. 0
      10 October 2022 15: 00
      Re-read the Strugatsky brothers, it says about nuclear and unmanned tanks. If so, then it's a joke. But this is the question of where the engineering research of future designers of future tanks could strive.
    3. 0
      18 November 2022 14: 51
      there are no armors in our army. They have only been in parades and exhibitions for more than 10 years. And in the army, mainly T-72s, BMP-1,2s, motorized leagues, and just recently, T-62s were pulled out of naphthalene. But they did not help defend Kherson.
  6. 0
    10 October 2022 10: 38
    Quote: Vladimir_2U
    Russian military-industrial complex at death

    Quote: Vladimir_2U
    This excellent decision will determine the future of America's armored power for decades!

    Neighing of course from this laughing
  7. -2
    10 October 2022 12: 49
    Archaic and overloaded, vulnerable to its own, mass-produced infantry anti-tank weapons, a classic anachronism of the "tank-anti-tank" system, which is already completely unquoted in the 21st century.
    Well, let them hold out further, he will ride for 50 years if the engine is changed. Will it cope with the tasks?
  8. ASM
    10 October 2022 18: 53
    Those. an even heavier kit will be hung on a heavy car? And what tasks can this monster perform? It’s not like he’s on the bridge, he won’t be able to drive up to it.
  9. 0
    11 October 2022 02: 39
    Only the last paragraph could be left out of the article. As for the modification itself, it would be nice to run it in with the "Drill". To evaluate the progress of defense against a blow from the top.
  10. -1
    12 October 2022 19: 50
    Another prodigy weighing 75 tons. soon it will weigh like a fascist "Mouse". Modernize pieces that way 20 out of 7 thousand pieces, but stink, sorry PR for the whole world.
  11. Lad
    12 October 2022 21: 28
    They, if they want, will produce both 20 and 200 and 2000. Unlike ...
  12. ASM
    13 October 2022 18: 44
    And what are his weight and size characteristics? Abrams is heavy in the base, and the body kit is the same. decently weighs, and in breadth considerable. Or is the kit transported separately and mounted before the battle? And if the redeployment is to remove everything again, transport it, re-attach it? Somehow this is irrational.
    1. 0
      27 November 2022 21: 57
      You answered your own question ... most likely 60t+