Tank Terror: Why the U.S. Army’s ‘New’ M1 Abrams Tank Is A Monster on the Battlefield

Russia and China won’t like this one bit. 

Tank Terror: Why the U.S. Army’s ‘New’ M1 Abrams Tank Is A Monster on the Battlefield

(Washington, D.C.) Should a mechanized column of heavily armored Russian vehicles launch an aggressive, forward-leaning assault into Eastern Europe 10 years from now, complete with air and artillery support – – just what kinds of specific armored vehicles would best position a US/NATO response?

Such a scenario, however likely, incorporates some of the complexities now informing current Army thinking. How much can current platforms, such as the 1980s-era Abrams tank, be upgraded and maintained such that they can provide the requisite force, protection and firepower to meet such a contingency? — Both now and 15 years from now? To what extent would the Army’s emerging fleet of Next-Generation Combat Vehicles be better equipped to respond?

The Army’s most pressing priority, senior leaders explain, is to be ready for war “now” — “today” — and in the immediate future.

“One of our biggest challenges is to continue to upgrade our current platforms for anything we may go to war with today at the same time making sure we put the proper investments into our future abilities – so we are ready for the fight after next,” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Systems, told Warrior Maven in an interview a few months ago.

The thinking is characterized by two intertwined, yet distinct trajectories; future planning is dominated by a need for lighter-weight, expeditionary armored vehicles protected by long-range sensors, advanced fires and Active Protection Systems; the Army has already integrated an APS system called Trophy onto its Abrams vehicles. In this mix of technologies, survivability rests upon the prospect of lightweight armor composites, APS, long range fires, sensors and air defenses. more

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