The US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, is presently involved in the development of design concepts for various super high-tech tank platforms.
The TARDEC in charge of the necessary design and simulation modeling, and conceptual work, is overseeing the project. US Army is currently engaged in designing and modeling for a lightweight tank with the capability to use laser weapons to destroy drones, neutralizes artillery fire, cross bridges, and detect and neutralize long-range targets, Sputnik News reported today.
The tanks are still in the concept phase, but projected to enter service in the 2030s. The Army officials explained that a new tank is required as the current main battle tank, the M1A2 SEP Abrams, can only be upgraded to a limited extent.
Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, told Scout Warrior, "We’ve used concept modeling. We are assuming, if we are going to evolve it, it is because there is something we can't do in the current vehicle." Before a new vehicle can be deployed, the Army must field its upgraded M1A2 SEP v4 Abrams tank in the 2020s.
The Abrams variant is equipped with more lethal Advanced Multi-Purpose ammunition (AMP), integrating many rounds into one 120mm round, and third-generation Forward Looking Infrared Sensors (FLIR) designed for better resolution and increased range.
Basset described FLIR in November 2016 as a combination of mid-wave and long-wave sensors that allow for better target identification at long ranges and better resolution at shorter ranges. The upgrade will adapt to different environments better than previous variants.
"You do not have to manually put meteorological variables into the fire control system. It will detect the density of the air, relative humidity and wind speed and integrate it directly into the platform," he said.
The four tank rounds currently in use will be replaced by the AMP round. The Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank (MPAT) round, M830A1, and the M830, and High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) round are currently in service.
Testing for the SEP v4 variant will commence in 2021, and will include color cameras, new slip-rings, new laser-rangefinder technology, integrated onboard networks, laser-warning receivers, advanced meteorological sensors and ammunition data links.