Thursday, October 6, 2016

GD Takes Shot at Army Mobile Protected Firepower - Defensetech

GD Takes Shot at Army Mobile Protected Firepower - Defensetech: General Dynamics Land Systems rolled out a lightweight tank at AUSA 2016 as a possible answer to the U.S. Army’s search for mobile protected firepower.

With its M1 Abrams turret and streamlined chassis, the gunmetal gray technology demonstrator definitely stood out as one of the most interesting exhibits at this year’s show.

“Five months ago, after listening to the Army for a year trying to talk about mobile protected firepower, we said ‘we really can’t wait any longer,’” Michael Peck, director of business development for General Dynamics Land Systems said at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.

GD Land Systems, the maker of the M1 Abrams tank, took an Abrams turret and reduced the weight from 22 tons to eight tons, Peck said.

Company officials went to Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, and borrowed the lightweight 120mm gun designed originally for the Army’s now defunct Future Combat Systems, Peck said. The FCS gun weighs about half as much as the two-ton 120mm Abrams gun, he said.

When the crew gets in the turret “it looks exactly like an Abrams — the gunner, the loader, everybody is in the same place,” he said.