Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: General Dynamics Awarded $19 Million For Saudi Tank Work

Defense News: DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: General Dynamics Awarded $19 Million For Saudi Tank Work
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources General Dynamics
(NSI News Source Info) STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. - December 7, 2010: General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), was awarded an additional $19 million to convert 15 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s M1A1 tanks into the M1A2S model. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command on behalf of the Royal Saudi Land Forces.

The M1A2S vehicles will possess defined capabilities that increase lethality while limiting obsolescence. The work will be performed by current employees at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2012.

This contract is an addition to a $58 million contract awarded in 2008, and modified in 2009, for General Dynamics to design, develop, convert, implement and test a hybrid configuration of the M1A1, M1A2 and M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) tank variants for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The 2009 award of $17.6 million was for the purchase of long lead materials for the 15-tank conversion.

In June 2006, Saudi Arabia requested the foreign military sale of 58 M1A1 tanks and the upgrade of these and the 315 M1A2 already in the Saudi inventory to M1A2S configuration. The upgrade involves rebuilding to a 'like new' condition, similar to the US Army Abrams Integrated Management Program (AIM).

The main armament is the 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, developed by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Germany. The 120mm gun fires the following ammunition: the M865 TPCSDS-T and M831 TP-T training rounds, the M8300 HEAT-MP-T and the M829 APFSDS-T which includes a depleted uranium penetrator. Textron Systems provides the Cadillac Gage gun turret drive stabilisation system.

The commander has a 12.7mm Browning M2 machine gun and the loader has a 7.62mm M240 machine gun. A 7.62mm M240 machine gun is also mounted coaxially on the right hand side of the main armament.

The M1A1 tank incorporates steel-encased depleted uranium armour. Armour bulkheads separate the crew compartment from the fuel tanks.

The top panels of the tank are designed to blow outwards in the event of penetration by a HEAT projectile. The tank is protected against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare.

One L8A1 six-barrelled smoke grenade discharger is fitted on each side of the turret. A smoke screen can also be laid by an engine-operated system.

In August 2006, General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a contract to produce 505 tank urban survivability kits (TUSK) for the US Army Abrams tanks. TUSK includes add-on reactive armour tiles, loader's armour gun shield (LAGS), tank infantry phone (TIP), Raytheon loader's thermal weapon sight with Rockwell Collins head-mounted display and BAE Systems thermal driver's rear-view camera (DRVC). TUSK entered service on M1A1 / M1A2 tanks in late 2007 and has been deployed to Iraq.

More information about General Dynamics is available online at www.generaldynamics.com.


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