Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army is getting its first full brigade of souped-up Abrams tanks sooner than expected
After a year and a half since the Army took delivery on the first of its souped-up new version of the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Pentagon's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio is ramping up to deliver the service's first full brigade of upgraded warhorses to bring the pain downrange.
The Lima News reports that the first full batch of M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks (also known as the M1A2C) — likely around 87 for an Armored Brigade Combat Team — will be ready "sometime this summer," according to JSMC plant manager Hank Kennedy said.
"We're in the throes of getting that together," Kennedy told The Lima. "[The] first brigade is critical because we need to get (them) into the soldiers' hands so they can get trained on it and everything else."
Outfitted with system survivability enhancements and a new power system, the SEPv3 enhancements include improved main gun accuracy with "smart cannon" munitions programmable over data link and reinforced armor bolstered by a built-in jammer to counter radio-triggered improvised explosive devices.
As of February 2019, the SEPv3 upgrade also includes the Israeli-developed Trophy HV hard-kill active protection systems that uses radar to detect incoming missiles and rockets then fires tiny projectiles to intercept them.
The Army accepted the first of about a half-dozen initial production versions of the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams back in October 2017. The following year, General Dynamics Land Systems secured an Army contract upgrade 100 Abrams tanks into the new SEPv3 configuration.
"The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 is the first in a series of new or significantly improved vehicles that we will be delivering to the Army's ABCTs," Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said when the first prototypes rolled off the assembly line back in 2017. "It is a great step forward in reliability, sustainability, protection, and onboard power which positions the Abrams tank and our ABCTs for the future."
Don't get too comfortable, though: the Army is already eyeing SEPv4 (or M1A2D) upgrades for testing by 2021, including "new laser rangefinder technology, color cameras, integrated on-board networks, new slip-rings, advanced meteorological sensors, ammunition data links, laser warning receivers and a far more lethal, multi-purpose 120mm tank round," as Bassett told Warrior Maven back in 2016.
Which lucky soldiers will get to operate the first of the Army's upgraded Abrams tanks remains to be seen.
SEE ALSO: We Salute The Soldiers Who Named Their Tank 'Chuck Norris' After The Actor Hung Out With Them
WATCH NEXT: Army Tank Crews Crush Cars
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Saudi ambassador to the United States visited a U.S. naval air station in Florida on Thursday to extend her condolences for a shooting attack by a Saudi Air Force officer that killed three people last week, the Saudi embassy said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A retired Navy SEAL running for Congress wore a U.S. Navy dress white uniform at a recent campaign event, Business Insider has learned.
Republican candidate Floyd McLendon of Texas spoke to an audience at his campaign kick-off event in November, wearing the Navy uniform adorned with numerous medals — including what appeared to be the Navy SEAL Trident, the insignia reserved for members of the elite community like McLendon.
The inaugural event in Dallas was held in the 30th congressional district, a different district than the one McLendon is running in. Political strategists in Texas described the venue's location as highly unusual for a House candidate.
The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.