GDLS wins $4.6B contract for next Abrams tanks

By Ethan Sterenfeld / December 21, 2020 at 12:18 PM

General Dynamics Land Systems has won a $4.6 billion contract to build Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tanks through 2028, the Army announced Dec. 18.

The fixed-price-incentive contract was awarded after General Dynamics was the only bidder to produce the newest generation of the Army's main battle tank, according to the contract announcement.

General Dynamics Land Systems -- known as Chrysler Defense before being bought in 1982 -- has produced the Abrams since the tank entered production in the late 1970s.

General Dynamics delivered the first production models of the SEPv3, the newest version of the Army's main battle tank, in 2017.

The Army made a conditional materiel release decision in February on the SEPv3 tanks that have been delivered, Ashley John, an Army spokeswoman, wrote in a statement to Inside Defense earlier this month. The tanks are scheduled for full materiel release in Oct. 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed testing and fielding for the Abrams SEPv3, according to John. The program did not have to make any changes beyond providing personal protective equipment.

Separately, Honeywell International won a $1.1 billion contract modification to perform work on the Automotive Gas Turbine 1500 engines that power the Abrams. The estimated completion date is Sep. 30, 2025, according to the Army's Dec. 17 contract announcement.

Work locations and the exact amounts of funding for both contracts will be determined with each order, according to the Army.