About the next generation Abrams “Abrams X” New “Abrams X”



A more detailed CG of ‘Next Generation Abrams’, which was released in June by General Dynamics Ground Systems Division (GDLS) as a teaser (a movie…), was released.

This new system, named Abrams X, is said to be on display at the annual general meeting of the U.S. Army Association to be held on October 10th. It is a prototype that shows how much technology can be applied to a tank, not something that will be produced and deployed as it is. There are a lot of changes from Abrams, and especially the turret seems to be just a new build, but since it’s a technology demonstration vehicle, you have to think that that degree of change is natural. It’s not like it’s going to be mass-produced anyway… .

However, since the technology and systems applied here are highly likely to be applied to the current next-generation Abrams improvement, that is, the M1A2 SEP(V)4, it is undoubtedly a vehicle to keep an eye on.

Judging by the information released by the CG and GDLS sides that have been released so far, several things are clearly visible.


There are three hatches on the car. Guessing, with just one of them riding, it might be possible to get into a fight somehow? (GDLS)
There are three hatches on the car. Guessing, with just one of them riding, it might be possible to get into a fight somehow? (GDLS)

1. The turret is unmanned.

The turret is an unmanned turret like the T-14 Armata. The crew is estimated to have three people, and in fact three seats and a hatch are visible on the hull.

But there is an interesting part. The two sights visible above the turret are the same, one for the commander and one for the gunner. This means that both the gunner and commander can aim the main gun and monitor the surroundings 360 degrees. Perhaps it is a system that can fight even with only two crew members. If the console is structured so that even the driver can share the turret control and sight video, it may be possible to engage in some way with just one person – of course, situational awareness and response agility will be reduced in many ways compared to three people, but in any case, it If you see a target, turn the turret and shoot… It’s a story that “it can be done as you wish” (everyone, we may see Rambo 3 become a reality…).

2. Enhanced MUM-T ability.

By increasing the linkage with the unmanned combat system, the MUM-T ability is strengthened, and the blabla… Since this is a very common repertoire, detailed explanations are omitted. It’s not a world where you can’t survive (whether on the battlefield or in a budget fight) if you don’t get involved with drones, isn’t it?

The gunner's sight and the commander's sight are the same. The RWS in the middle of the turret is a large guy with a level that is not strange even if it is used as the main weapon for any armored vehicle. (GDLS)
The gunner’s sight and the commander’s sight are the same. The RWS in the middle of the turret is a large guy with a level that is not strange even if it is used as the main weapon for any armored vehicle. (GDLS)

3. Strengthen defense capabilities.

Defense is an active defense, starting with a trophy. However, there is another point worth noting. RWS on top of the turret.

As is the case with the French-German joint EMBT unveiled at Eurosatori this year, this is not just an RWS with a machine gun on the turret, but a 7.62mm machine gun and a 30mm machine gun together, and a large RWS close to the main armament of an armored vehicle. Even 30mm is a relatively compact chain gun (30x113mm similar to the one on the Apache), but it is different from the existing machine gun class.

Putting this on has some implications. First, the firing of the main gun was greatly reduced at targets that would be encountered more frequently than tanks on the front line, such as infantry, light armored vehicles, and defensive positions. In addition, if it is a 30mm chain gun, it may exert its power as a means of defense against drones in conjunction with intelligent aerial explosives. However, as it is, the secondary weapon system of the tank feels a bit ‘over’, but since it is a technology demonstration vehicle, you may think, “I didn’t know what you would like, so I put them all together eh.”

XM360 and XM360E1 planned as an improved version. (US ARMY)
XM360 and XM360E1 planned as an improved version. (US ARMY)

4. The main gun is 120mm.

The main gun was 120 mm, and the caliber did not change. However, the gun is not the M256 series used in the M1A2, but the XM360 main gun developed for the MCS (Mounted Combat System), which was originally developed and canceled by the United States in the 2000s and 2010s.

The XM360 is 952 kg lighter than the M256, but has the same power as the M256. This is because the same ammunition can be fired at the same speed (44 caliber with the same barrel length). In addition, the chamber pressure is set higher, so there is more room for further improvement. The US military is thinking of adding this gun to the improvement of the M1A2, but GDLS tried it in the Abrams X.

The reason GLDS wrote this isn’t just because it’s new. First of all, it is because the basic design itself assumed connection with the automatic loading device, and also because the data input function for the fuse was included with the use of intelligent shells in mind from the beginning.

Looking at this, I think that the US military’s focus on the next-generation tank’s main guns is more on improving ammunition rather than increasing the caliber and caliber.

5. Hybrid!

Abrams X is said to have introduced the latest hybrid propulsion system. I don’t know yet whether this is a mixture of direct drive and electric propulsion by the engine like a hybrid car, or if the engine only runs the generator and drives only the motor like a diesel electric locomotive (most of the diesel locomotives that are commonly referred to these days), but anyway. There is no doubt that it is a hybrid method that includes a motor.

Cummins ACE (Cummins)
Cummins ACE (Cummins)

The engine used is an advanced combat engine (ACE) newly developed by Cummins. It comes in three versions, 3-cylinder, 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder, with outputs of 750, 1,000 and 1,500 horsepower, respectively – 1,500 horsepower for only 6 cylinders! In a word, it is a compact yet powerful engine, and it is said that the fuel efficiency has been improved by 13% compared to the existing same-output engine and the output to volume ratio is improved by 50%. GDLS is claiming that the overall fuel efficiency of the tank itself has improved by 50% thanks to the application of the hybrid driving system.

However, being a hybrid system has several meanings. The US Army is also seriously considering the transition to electric power (in addition to reducing fuel consumption + reducing CO2 emissions), and the tank itself has significantly increased power consumption. In fact, the GDLS side can stay on standby for a long time (= with electronic devices turned on) thanks to the increased power reserve thanks to the introduction of the hybrid system. said to be possible

It won’t come out like this

As mentioned earlier, the Abrams X is a product that ‘shows what it can do’, not something ‘delivers to the military like this’. However, it can serve as a barometer for how future tank development will proceed. It is similar to Germany’s KF-51 or German-French joint venture EMBT, which was unveiled in June of this year. Although the actual situation has not yet been released, the contents inferred from the images and information that have been released so far are roughly as follows.

The article is in Korean

Tags: generation Abrams Abrams Abrams

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