JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY
DATE: FEBRUARY 24,
Bryan Bender JDW Bureau Chief
The US Army has recommended
a sharp increase in M1 Abrams main
battle tank (MBT) upgrades to sustain the industrial base for
In an armoured systems
modernisation report delivered to Congress
this month, the service says it needs to upgrade more than 2,000
additional General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams MBTs either to the M1A2
variant or the more capable M1A2 System Enhancement Program (SEP).
"Completion of the Abrams
M1A2 SEP and Bradley Fighting Vehicle M2A3
upgrade production programmes in 2005 and 2008 will adversely affect
the industrial base's ability to build new current version heavy
tanks, make significant product improvements on our current tanks
and build future heavy land combat systems", the report says. The
army notes that the Abrams upgrade currently sustains 80% of the
heavy tank industrial base.
"Lima Amy Tank Plant,
Watervliet Arsenal, Anniston Army Depot,
Rock Island Arsenal, the Department of Energy Depleted Uranium
Facility and General Dynamics and United Defense 2nd and 3rd tier
vendors will all be affected by the programme completions." As a
result, overhead costs for other programmes could rise when the
Abrams and Bradley upgrades programmes come to an end.
Therefore, "We recommend
a rebuild of 110 [active component tanks
annually from 2018 to 2025 and a rebuild of 75 [reserve component]
tanks annually from 2004 to 2025," the report says. It does not
identify the cost , noting that the upgrades are "recommended to
the extent it is affordable and in concert with good business
-Bryan Bender JDW Bureau
The US Army is seeking to ...
The US Army is seeking
to upgrade more M1A1 MBTs Photo M
JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY
DATE: APRIL 28,
Christopher F Foss JDW
Land Forces Editor
AUS ordnance manufacturer
has won a deal to build 10,800 rounds of
120mm smoothbore KEW-A1 ammunition for an undisclosed customer,
understood to be Egypt.
The US Army Tank-automotive
& Armaments Command awarded the $31.3
million contract to Primex Technologies.
General Dynamics Land
Systems M1A1 main battle tanks (MBTs) produced
under licence by the Egyptian Tank Plant (Factory 200) will use the
The plant finished assembling
the last of 555 M1A1 MBTs for the
Egyptian Army late last year and the US government announced last
month that another 200 will be built (Jane's Defence Weekly 17
March). A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed
later this year.
The KEW-A1 round, for
which Egypt is the launch customer, will start
being manufactured this year. Final load, assembly and pack will be
undertaken at the US Army Ammunition Plant at Middletown, Iowa; the
projectile will be made at Primex Technologies' Red Lion facility
in Pennsylvania. All rounds will be delivered by 2001.
The KEW-A1 is the US version
of the German Rheinmetall Weapons &
Munitions fourth-generation DM43 armour-piercing fin-stabilised
discarding sabot - tracer (APFSDS-T) projectile which the German
Army type-classified several years ago for its Leopard 2 MBT.
The US Army M829/M829A1/M829A2
APFSDS-T rounds all use a depleted
uranium (DU) penetrator which many countries now find unacceptable
on environmental grounds. The new KEW-A1, a follow-on to the earlier
KEW, features a combustible cartridge case and a steel base case
with an advanced long-rod tungsten penetrator weighing 4kg which has
steel fins and an aluminium sabot. Its muzzle velocity is 1,740m/s,
and according to the manufacturer, it has a significant increase in
armour penetration over the M829 round.
The ETP is now involved
in the co-production of 50 United Defense LP
M88A2 Hercules armoured recovery vehicles. United Defense will
supply hulls and other subsystems and final assembly will take place
It has also been disclosed
that the ETP has begun producing another
122mm self-propelled artillery system. This comprises a T-54/T-55
MBT chassis fitted with a new turret developed by Abu Zaabal
Engineering Industries Company (also known as Factory 100).
The enclosed turret is
armed with a 122mm D-30 artillery system
built by Factory 100 for home and export. It is also used in the SP
122, a joint development with United Defense LP, which fits a D-30
with limited traverse on a modified M109/M992 chassis. The Egyptian
Army has bought 100 SP 122s.
The KEW-A1 being built...
The KEW-A1 being built
for Egypt has an increased armour
penetration over the M829-series rounds.
Primex Technologies' M829-series
rounds pictured are the
M829A1 'Silver Bullet' (1) and the M829A2 (2).
The 120mm Terminator...
The 120mm Terminator (KEW)
(3) is the immediate predecessor
of the KEW-A1. Photos: Primex Technologies
® 1999 Jane's Information