Anniston Army Depot partners to rebuild Saudi tanks
By Jennifer Bacchus, AMCApril 13, 2012
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. (April 12, 2012) -- Anniston Army Depot recently contracted to overhaul 143 M1 Abrams tanks for Saudi Arabia's Royal Saudi Land Forces through a partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems, at Lima Army Tank Plant in Ohio. An additional 129 tanks are awaiting funding.Approximately 326,000 direct labor hours are expected for the installation through this program, according to Michael Epps, a depot program manager. Anniston Army Depot employees will disassemble and sandblast the vehicles, then perform needed repairs to the hulls and turrets."The vehicles coming in for this program are all M1A2 tanks and will be reconfigured through this program to M1A2S, which is the Saudi version of the M1 Abrams tank," said Epps.Epps said the installation will play a key role in refurbishing components for the vehicles by rebuilding the Gunner's Primary Sight assembly, computer control panel, elevating mechanism assembly, gunner's control assembly and other parts for each tank.Once structural repairs are complete, the hulls, turrets and components will be shipped to Lima, where the tank will be assembled by General Dynamics Land Systems.This program extends a partnership between General Dynamics Land Systems and Anniston Army Depot that began in early 2011 when the depot assisted in upgrading 57 M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the M1A2S variant.