General Dynamics tests diesel engined Abrams for Turkish tank competitionhttp://defence-data.com/storypic/abramsturk.jpg [not image]
13 April 2000
General Dynamics Land Systems has completed testing of its prototype diesel-powered M1A2 Abrams tank at Aberdeen Test Centre in Maryland. General Dynamics is developing diesel power propulsion to comply with Turkish requirements contained in the Request for Proposals for their Main Battle Tank competition. The Turkish Army is evaluating the German Leopard II, the French Leclerc and the Ukrainian T-84 for their 1,000 tank requirement.
Last year, in preparation for the Turkish competition, General Dynamics mated a System Enhancement Package (SEP) turret to the Europack automotive test rig creating the prototype diesel- powered M1A2 (SEP) tank. The Europack is an MTU-883 1,500 horsepower diesel engine with an HSWL 295TM transmission. Engineering development of the General Dynamics AVDS 1790 1,500 horsepower diesel engine and Allison X7050 transmission on the tank started in 1999 and continues this year.
Engineering work included the integration of a new engine exhaust system; air flow to the Nuclear, Chemical, Biological overpressure protection system; electrical and hydraulic power to the tank turret; and software to control the automotive systems and tuning of the tank's fire control.
The prototype diesel-powered tank contains the new SEP, standard on the U.S. Army M1A2 (SEP) tank since September 1999. The SEP improves the M1A2's digital command and control capabilities, adds a second generation forward looking infrared system to the gunner and commander thermal sights, provides environmental cooling for electronics components and the crew compartment, and adds a computer mass memory unit, colour maps and displays.
Testing included 300 miles of reliability, availability and maintainability evaluations on five test courses and firing 70 main gun rounds at stationary and moving targets by General Dynamics and Department of Defense engineers.
The company said the testing validated successful integration of the diesel-powered chassis with the tank's System Enhancement Package turret. "The tank moves as well as the standard turbine-powered tank with no difference in target detection, identification or main gun accuracy. The testing confirms that the tank's performance is not changed by the diesel engine and that it has a significantly lower operating cost, " said a company statement.