Back in 2014, long before the Russian T-14 Armata main battle tank was unveiled to the public, the US Department of Defense awarded General Dynamics with a contract to build 12 advanced main battle tanks with digital vetronics. Dubbed the M1A2 SEP Version 2, the tank, according to Military and Aerospace Electronics, “is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced and most survivable digital tank available worldwide. The networked tank has an electronic backbone, improved processors, high-resolution color displays, increased memory capacity, a day and night forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sighting system, auxiliary power, a tank-infantry phone, and an open architecture designed to accommodate future upgrades without redesigns.”
Its not clear how the upgraded M1A2 SEP V2 will fair against Russia’s new battle tank in a one-on-one slugfest, or whether the Abrams has the ability to defeat other armed threats on the battlefield, particularly from air-launched heliborne assets. This electronics-based upgrade could serve as a short-term solution before the Armata gets fielded en masse, further extending the life-cycle of several thousand battle tanks that have seen service throughout the world with a number of armies.