OPED Essay: Army Evolves New Abrams Tank Variant for Future War
photo: General Dynamics Land Systems M1A2 SEP V3 Abrams tank
By Warrior Maven Staff
(Washington D.C.) The Army’s recent production investment in the SEPv3 Abrams MBT is a reflection of the service’s confidence in the platform. Such confidence is borne out of the Abrams MBTs long proven capability of providing the lethality and survivability required to secure and dominate the battlefield. Past, present and planned Abrams development programs have demonstrated the MBT platform’s ability to improve upon its best capabilities and add new capabilities required to address emerging threat dynamics.
The first large tank acquisition in decades raises some interesting questions when it comes to what combat will look like in the future. The upgraded Abrams MBT, as the only land warfare platform capable of dominating our adversary’s most lethal threats, must integrate with the much anticipated high-speed, AI-driven, multi-domain combat environment of the future. The Army is already working with major industry weapons developers to concurrently engineer a new generation of faster-lighter weight vehicles that are intended to fight alongside the Abrams MBT. Abrams upgrades are in part designed to bring a new sphere of mission possibilities not typically associated with the main battle tank.
There are some areas where an Abrams might have limitations with things like accessing close-quarter urban areas or crossing bridges, yet the upgraded Abram’s new generation of mapping, sensing and connectivity with overhead surveillance drones, and even growing real-time networking with forward-operating, sensor-enabled dismounted infantry, can help tank crews identify an optimal avenue of approach potentially less encumbered by mobility restrictions. For example, should a bridge or narrow area present restrictions for an Abrams, advanced networking, for location data and mapping might quickly calculate new alternative transport routes. As tracked vehicles, increasingly likely to operate nearby unmanned systems, Abrams tanks can transit over fields, rocky areas and uneven terrain, making it more likely it could find alternative routes in the event that it encounters impediments. Finally, mapping of an area prior to a mission can identify passable routes for the tank.
Abram’s upgraded weapons and target identification systems are now much longer range and engineered with much higher resolution, enabling the tanks to provide fire support to infantry from expanded vantage points. For example, there are many roads, off road terrain or tough-to-transit areas that an Abrams equipped with added access to navigational detail and intelligence data will be able to find and access more quickly.
Current and future upgrades to Abrams insure that the US Army’s MBT will continue to have that deterrent factor on our adversaries. Abrams has continued to evolve, upgrading its best capabilities and adding new ones. When it comes to taking or holding the ground, no one want to end up facing an Abrams MBT. This fact will continue to protect the safety and interests of our country.