A new, mysterious version of the US M1 Abrams main battle tank was unveiled during the opening ceremony of the Justice Eagle 19 military drills at Smardan Training Area, Romania on May 29th, Defense Blog reported.
The new M1 Abrams main battle tank appears to have a new armor package on its turret. According to unnamed military experts, the new armor is a Trophy Active Protection System, which protects the tank from anti-tank guided missiles and infantry anti-tank rockets.
Furthermore, according to the said experts, the mysterious version of the M1 Abrams tank is called the M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 tank, or M1A2 SEPv3.
Unnamed army officials said that the new M1 Abrams main battle tank was the most technologically advanced digital tank in the world with superior firepower, protection and mobility.
“Improvements focus on power, management, counter-IED systems and improved, embedded training, and an ammunition data link. It is the most reliable Abrams tank ever produced, will decrease the Army’s logistic burden, and leads the Army in Enterprise-level connectivity to maintenance and supply systems,” Defense blog noted.
The SEPv3 M1A2 main battle tank is 9.7m-long, 3.7m-wide and 2.4m-high, and is manned by a crew of four, including a driver, a commander, a loader and a gunner.
In a video dated October 11th, 2017, Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems said: “These vehicles are not just about assuring our allies, or deterring or coercing potential adversaries. They are about compelling our enemies and winning the multi-domain battle.” He spoke of plans to equip a tank brigade with the Trophy active protection system by Leonardo DRS and RAFAEL.
Presenting at the Army’s annual convention and exhibition in 2017, Col. Glenn Dean, the Project Manager of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Combat Ground Systems, was quoted several years ago saying the Trophy APS “exceeded expectations.”
“Unlike prior APS tests…we were shooting actual threats at actual vehicles. I’m happy to say I kept trying to kill an Abrams tank about 48 times and failed every time,” Dean said.
Additional information on the Trophy APS was released in March 2018, it is the world’s first and only fully operational “Active Protection and Hostile Fire Detection System for Armored Vehicles,” said Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. This cutting-edge technology will provide M1 Abrams tanks with 360-degree security from all threats, as advanced algorithms are continually detecting, locating, and neutralizing anti-tank threats on the battlefield.
According Rafael Advanced Defense Systems the Trophy system has been tested, has qualified, and is already in production for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The system debuted in 2009 and had proven to work exceptionally well in the Gaza Strip and other hot spots around Israel.
The APS neutralizes a wide variety of anti-armor threats, from RPGs to modern ATGMs. It has a very high kill probability of the projectile and reduces any risk of residual penetration. It engages only threats that pose a danger, it has an “extremely low false alarm rate.” Minimizes any collateral damage by kinetic, non-explosive intercept. It calculates and reports the shooter’s location to the crew. It can neutralize threats fired from very short distances and from more than one direction simultaneously. Finally, the protection zones can be user defined allowing for more safety and flexibility.
The Army awarded Rafael Advanced Defense Systems a contract worth $193 million in June 2018, to shield its M1 Abrams main battle tanks with APS.
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