Anniston reaches milestone in upgrade of new M1 variant
October 17, 2008
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala.--Workers assembled the first vehicle here Oct. 6 in a new overhaul and upgrade program that began this summer with partner General Dynamics Land Systems.
The M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 2 is the latest, most highly configured version of the Army's main battle tank and is one of three models in the M1 family of vehicles. It's the fire control system software that sets it apart from the other versions, said program manager Gary Geier.
TACOM LCMC partnered with GDLS to have the work performed at Anniston, and the machinists, mechanics and welders here have been working on the M1A2 SEP V2 since August when the first battle damaged vehicles assigned to this program were inducted into the production line.
The depot is the Department of Defense's Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for tracked vehicles and has been repairing M1 tanks since 1978. Anniston currently overhauls the following M1 variants: M1A1; Abrams Integrated Management, or AIM; and the latest Abrams, the M1A2 SEP V2.
A list of other tracked vehicles repaired here includes the M88 FOV and M113 in partnership with BAE Systems; the Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle, or FAASV; the Paladin; and the M9 ACE.
The repair and upgrade cycle time for the latest M1 version is 78 days; however, because of its intricate electronics and fire control system, the production schedule was slightly delayed during the preliminary production efforts, said Geier.
"Due to configuration and software concerns in the beginning, TACOM, GDLS and the depot conducted the necessary research and made improvements in the process so that the exact configurations could be installed," said Geier. "We're on track with providing the Soldier the finest armored weapon system in the world."
The depot plans to obtain a roll-over stand for the repair of the battle damaged hulls used in the inventory for the new SEP V2 program. The stand, said Geier, will aid depot welders in the event the belly of the hull has sustained damage from a roadside bomb.