The U.S. Army newest version of the M1A main battle tank, the M1A2C (SEP v.3) arrive to 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment motorpool. The GREYWOLF brigade is the first brigade in the Army to receive the upgraded tanks. The M1A2 SEP v3 would be almost unrecognizable to the tankers who served on its earliest incarnation. The upgrades also include survivability enhancements including Next Evolution and advanced armor and reduction in vulnerability to Improvised explosive device (IED) threats. The Greywolf Brigade shared video of their newly received M1A2 tanks in Systems Engineering Plan version 3 or SEP v3. It is the latest version of America’s sole main battle tank.
The new main battle tank version could boast of improved fire control electronics mean the M1A2C SEP v3’s gun can shoot faster and more accurately; the engine, drivetrain, and tracks have been updated for higher performance and to support the platform’s weight increase; it may even sport hubcaps and road arms manufactured by way of 3D printing. The U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command placed an order worth $92.2m with General Dynamics Land Systems to upgrade its M1A2 SEPV2 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPV3 configuration in December 2015. General Dynamics Land Systems received a $714m delivery order from the US Army to upgrade additional 174 M1A1 MBTs to M1A2 SEPv3 standard in January 2019.
The main gun fitted on the MBT is a M256 120mm smoothbore cannon, which can fire M829A4 advanced kinetic energy and advanced multi-purpose (AMP) rounds to defend armoured vehicles, personnel and low-flying aircraft. The tank features a low-profile (LP) common remotely operated weapon system (CROWS) installed with a 12.7mm machine gun. A 7.62mm M240 machine gun is also mounted coaxially with the main gun. The tank is fitted with improved forward-looking infrared (IFLIR) to detect targets. The IFLIR employs long and mid-wave infrared technology to enhance target acquisition, identification and engagement compared to the existing second-generation FLIR.
The hull and turret integrate a new armour package for superior protection against threats from improvised explosive device (IEDs). The tank can be hinged with reactive armour and slat armour. The CREW Duke V3 counter remote-controlled IED (RCIED) electronic warfare system protects the crew from road-side bombs and IED attacks. Either side of the turret is fitted with M250 six-barrelled smoke grenade dischargers. A smokescreen can also be laid by an engine-operated system. The M1A2 SEP v3 will be equipped Trophy active protection system (APS) that eliminates enemy threats, such as rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles.