US media reported that the US Army has completed testing of their latest M1A2 SEPv3 tank in icy weather conditions
The test results show that the main battle tank M1A2 SEPv3 (also known as M1A2C) is perfectly adapted to the extremely cold temperatures in the sub-arctic region of Alaska. However, can this tank really reach distant battlefields? This is still an unsolved problem; due to the heavy weight of the M1A2 SEPv3 tank version.
Reports say that the M1A2 SEPv3 is actually too heavy for trucks, rescue vehicles and tank support vehicles. The increased weight of the M1A2 SEPv3 limited the tank’s tactical transport capabilities. The M1A1 is an improved version of the M1 Abrams tank, first put into service with the US Army in 1980.
The first M1 tank was fitted with a 105mm L7 gun, with a combat weight of about 60 tons. Later improved versions added thicker armor and replaced the 105 mm gun with a 120 mm smoothbore gun. These improvements also make the M1 Abram tank heavier and heavier.
The M1A2SEPv3 is the heaviest tank in the Abrams family. it has a thicker armor, the latest electronics and a better auxiliary engine, but its weight is close to 74 tons. With additional armor, active protection system, and minesweeping equipment, the weight of the M1A2SEPv3 will increase to 92 tons, which is too heavy.
The U.S. Army transported at least one M1A2SEPv3 by rail to Alaska, for 17-month icy testing that ended in early May this year. According to the US Army, M1A2SEPv3 has made a distance of more than 3,000 km in harsh subarctic climate conditions. It fired hundreds of rounds at extremely low temperatures; while testing the auxiliary engine and many other systems.
In combat, the rescue vehicle will pull the damaged M1A2SEPv3 to the rear for maintenance. Engineers’ self-propelled ferries are used to help the M1A2SEPv3 cross narrow rivers. But the problem is that the current logistics vehicles cannot handle the payload of M1A2SEPv3.
Undoubtedly, the M1 tank family is already very heavy and will become heavier, which will certainly affect its maneuverability in transport and combat. The problem of increasing weight does not stop, in fact, the next generation M1A2SEPv4 tank, is expected to be in the US Army in 2025. This version continues to add many new technologies, and maybe even heavier than SEPv3.