WASHINGTON — The United States will have its own light tank and this is the proposal of General Dynamics Land Systems [GDLS], which in the final managed to beat BAE Systems. The information was confirmed by several news agencies in the United States, and the decision on who would be the new light tank of the US Army was made last week on Thursday [June 22nd].
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BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that at the beginning of March it made an assumption that GDLS will be the final winner in the MPF program. The MPF is a Pentagon program that needs to fill a gap in the combat capability and armaments of the US military, namely the lack of light tanks. This fact is called the “presence of an operational defect”.
Currently, the US Army does not have a combat vehicle that is much more mobile, protected, and attacking than the main Abrams A1M1 or Abrams A1M2 battle tank, but offers almost the same characteristics as it. It is the light tank that needs to fill these gaps.
About GDLS light tank
One of the main key benefits for GDLS to win the $ 1.14 billion contract is the lightweight chassis built on the Austro-Spanish armored vehicle platform ASCOD, which for the US market was developed under the Griffin name [Griffin II for GDLS light tank]. Even during the tests, attention was paid to this fact, finding that the GDLS tank is much lighter, faster, and more mobile than the chassis of BAE Systems, which is the M8 Buford.
The new US Army light tank will be equipped with a 105mm XM35 gun. Griffin II will operate the state-of-art GDLS turret as well as the latest version of the fire control system [FCS], also developed by GDLS and already integrated into the Abrams versions SEPv3 and the next SEPv4, which are under development.
Combat weight of the GDLS light tank will be around 38 tones and four man crew. The vehicle will be Air transport by 2 RORO on C17. GDLS light tank will be powered by one MTU DD MT881 V8 [Germany], Allison 3040 MX transmission which is hydromechanical type, 4 forward and 2 reverse gears and 28.9 hp/ton (aprox) power-to-weight ratio. Its suspension could be horstman hydro-pneumatic, in-arm type, steel double pin detachable rubber pads track, and six pair wheels per side.
In addition to the 105mm cannon, the tank will be equipped with 7.62mm M240 coaxial weapon, 12.7mm M2 commander;s weapon, Raytheon gunner’s primary sight, two-axis stabilized, day/night – thermal, LRF and commander’s independent tactical viewer [CITV] Safran PASEO, two-axis stabilized, day/night – thermal, LRF, hunter-killer.
About ASCOD / Griffin
The Austro-Spanish platform ASCOD [Griffin] is gaining more and more popularity in the industry of heavily armored combat vehicles. Griffin III, for example, was developed to participate in the US Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle [OMFV] program. Unlike the Griffin II weapon system, the Griffin III weapon system is made up of a 50 mm XM913 main gun. The chassis is also as light as the light tank version, and has an integrated IMI Systems ’Iron Fist Active Protection System [APS] as well as AeroVironment’s Switchblade loitering ammunition system.
The new light tank for the US Army should start mass production in 2025. However, the United States will receive ready-made light tanks next year, as the prototypes produced for the competition will be converted to combat-compatible versions. A total of 504 tanks needed to increase the US military’s combat capability are due to leave the assembly line, according to the Pentagon’s initial planning. There will be an export version at a later stage of the tank’s development.
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