How the US Army is Redefining the Main Battle Tank

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The army’s future main battle tank will have to control unmanned platforms, network target data with stealth combat aircraft, destroy enemy vehicles with precision-guided munitions and process huge amounts of data in seconds.

A new fuel-efficient sixty-ton Hybrid-Electric Main Battle Tank, equipped with next-generation munitions and an unmanned turret, has burst onto the scene as a “demonstrator” offering for the The American army. The AbramsX, recently unveiled by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) at the Association of the US Army’s annual symposium, comes just as the military moves forward with analysis regarding the future of heavy armor.

The AbramsX demonstrator blends key elements of battle-tested heavy armor with potentially game-changing innovations designed to propel Abrams’ tactical and combat capabilities into the future.

The emergence of the new GDLS Abrams variant aligns closely with the Army’s ongoing analysis and experimentation of how best to adapt technology, unmanned systems, maneuver formations, and heavy mechanized platforms highly resilient to a new threat environment. Although there are still many questions, one thing is clear: the Army welcomes innovation.

“It is too early to tell what the future of the army battle tank will be. What I can tell you is that… we are looking to the future – what investments do we need to make, what is the art of the possible now? And I think, like [Army Futures Command] continues to experiment through the next generation combat vehicle [cross-functional team]we’re going to start extracting some lessons learned,” Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo told the national interest in an interview.

While the military is often careful not to take a specific position on particular industry offerings like the AbramsX, the service is intensely committed to the kinds of innovation presented by the AbramsX.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the national interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Picture: Reuters.

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