$108 million for battle tanks

The US Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems $108 million for the production of 155 M1A1 tanks through the Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) process.

AIM is a joint effort to refurbish M1A1 main battle tanks involving the US Army Project Manager for Heavy Brigade Combat Team, the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, the Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Alabama, and General Dynamics Land Systems. Under the AIM program, M1A1 Abrams tanks are completely disassembled and overhauled to a like-new, zero-mile condition.

According to General Dynamics, refurbished tanks incur lower operational and support costs and report higher operational readiness rates.

These tanks will be the first M1A1s configured with additional mission-critical technologies to bolster crew situational awareness (SA). The SA package improvements include second-generation Forward-Looking Infrared, Far Target Locate, Blue Force Tracking (BFT)/Force Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2), a tank-infantry phone, a .50 calibre thermal sight, a power distribution box, a rear slave receptacle, an eye-safe laser rangefinder, and driver’s vision enhancement.

This situational awareness package increases the M1A1 Abrams tank’s fighting capability by providing soldiers an electronic graphic of the battlefield with icons for friendly and enemy forces, and increasing the accuracy of the tank commander’s .50 calibre machine gun.

Work will be performed by existing General Dynamics employees in Lima, Ohio, and Eynon, Pennsylvania. These M1A1 tanks are due for delivery to US Army units beginning in July 2007.