The Army is now performing concept modeling and early design work for a new mobile, lethal, high-tech future lightweight tank platform.
Although initial requirements for the future tank have yet to emerge, Army developers explained that the next-generation platform will use advanced sensors and light-weight composite armor materials able to achieve equal or greater protection at much lighter weight. Developers plan to build in side and underbody protection from the ground up for the new platform. Army developers said certain immediate changes and manufacturing techniques could easily save at least 20-percent of the weight of a current 72-ton Abrams.
The Army is now performing concept modeling and early design work for a new mobile, lethal, high-tech future lightweight tank platform able to detect and destroy a wider range of targets from farther distances, cross bridges, incinerate drones with lasers and destroy incoming enemy artillery fire – all for the 2030s and beyond.
The new vehicle, now emerging purely in the concept phase, is based upon the reality that the current M1A2 SEP Abrams main battle tank can only be upgraded to a certain limited extent, senior Army officials explained.
The Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, is now immersed in the development of design concepts for various super high-tech tank platforms, Army and industry developers said.
The extensive conceptual work, simulation and design modeling will be needed before there is any opportunity to “bend metal” and produce a new tank.
“We’ve used concept modeling,” a senior Army official told Warrior.
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The new tank will emerge after the Army first fields its M1A2 SEP v4 upgraded Abrams tank in the 2020s, a more lethal Abrams variant with 3rd Generation Forward Looking Infrared Sensors for greater targeting range and resolution and more lethal Advanced Multi-Purpose, or AMP ammunition combining many rounds into a single 120mm round.