While most pieces of military equipment within the U.S. armed forces have been replaced over time by newer and more advanced technologies, the Army’s M1-Abrams Main Battle Tank (MT) is the exception. For nearly four decades, the U.S. military has fielded the Abrams family of tanks, upgrading each successive armored vehicle with the latest capabilities and technologies. More recently, the tank’s manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems is striving to develop yet another more advanced and innovative Abrams family variant – AbramsX.
In 2022, a demonstration was revealed at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium. The latest iteration of the formidable tank is expected to blow competitors out of the water.
Introducing the Abrams family of MBTs
The U.S. Army has used subsequent variants of the Abrams main battle tank since 1980. Developed by Chrysler Defense (currently General Dynamics Land Systems), the M1A1 Abrams was built to replace the outdated and aging M60 Patton.
Over the years, as the threat level changed, the Abrams underwent several major modifications. Due to its excellent track record in combat operations, the Army always stuck with the Abrams model.
Most recently, the SepV4 is the latest Abrams variant to reach the testing phase. According to the Army, the new technologies incorporated in the tank’s 4th iteration will enable crews to identify enemy targets more quickly than ever before. Additionally, the new Abrams “will integrate a color camera, Eye-safe Laser Range Finder, and a cross-platform laser pointer to facilitate multi-domain battle into the commander’s sight.
In addition to a lethality upgrade, the M1A2 SEPv4 will include full-embedded training to maximize crew proficiency of the system. This program began early enough to onboard any technology the Army deems critical to the future battlefield to include artificial intelligence, autonomy, APS, or advanced sensors.”
The AbramsX is next level
Although the M1A2 Sepv4 Abrams is brand new, the Army is looking ahead to its eventual replacement. The release of the AbramsX variant is expected to sport even more cutting-edge improvements, including a hybrid electric drive – a propulsion system capable of enhancing fuel efficiency will ensure greater survivability with lower thermal and acoustic signatures.
In other words, this type of engine will let tank crew operate weapons and sensors without giving off easily detectable signatures.
Size-wise, the AbramsX will have a smaller frame, making it more mobile than its heftier predecessors. Its hybrid electric engine also makes the tank 50 percent more fuel efficient, according to General Dynamics. While the AbramsX will retain a 120mm cannon as its primary armament, its gun is expected to be replaced with the lighter XM360.
The new tank also sports a Kongsberg RS6 remote-controlled weapon station comprised of an XM914 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 coaxial machine gun.
It makes sense that the Army is continuing to build on the foundation of the Abrams main battle tank.
The armored vehicle has been operationally successful and easily adaptable to newer technologies over the years. The AbramsX will undoubtedly play a part in the Army’s quest for dominance on the battlefield.
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Author Expertise and Experience
Maya Carlin is a Senior Editor with 19FortyFive. She is also an analyst with the Center for Security Policy and a former Anna Sobol Levy Fellow at IDC Herzliya in Israel. She has by-lines in many publications, including The National Interest, Jerusalem Post, and Times of Israel.