Tank contracts for GD

The US Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, two contracts worth $359 million for Abrams main battle tank work.


The US Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, two contracts totalling $359m for Abrams main battle tank work.



The first contract, worth $339m for the production of 350 M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) tanks, includes an option for 50 additional tanks that would increase the value to $40m if exercised. The second contract, worth $20m, is for production of loader’s thermal weapon sights for M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks.



These contracts follow a $380m army contract announced by General Dynamics earlier this week to upgrade 180 Abrams tanks with the M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP). The total potential value of all three tank-related contract awards is more than $800m.



The AIM process is a joint effort to refurbish M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and involves the US Army Project Manager for Heavy Brigade Combat Team, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, Anniston (Alabama) Army Depot and General Dynamics Land Systems. Under the AIM process, M1A1 Abrams tanks are completely disassembled and overhauled to a like-new condition. Refurbished tanks are said to incur lower operational and support costs and report higher operational readiness rates.



The M1A1 AIM tanks will be 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 with an electronic graphic of the battlefield with icons for friendly and enemy forces, and provides a tank commander’s thermal sight for the .50 calibre machine gun.



The AIM work will be performed by General Dynamics employees in Lima, Ohio; Sterling Heights, Michigan; and Scranton, Pennsylvania. The tanks are scheduled for delivery to the Army beginning in July 2008 and continuing through October to 2010.



Deliveries for the second contract, for loader’s thermal weapon sights for M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks, are scheduled to be completed by May 2008. Work will be performed by existing General Dynamics employees in Sterling Heights.