The Lowdown: The Army's 'New' M-1A2C Abrams Tank Is Coming.

David Axe

David Axe

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The Lowdown: The Army's 'New' M-1A2C Abrams Tank Is Coming.

Kennedy told Lima News the tank plant’s workforce has grown from around 500 to more than 600 since a hiring spree started in late 2018. He said he expects the workforce to expand to 700 by the end of 2019 and exceed 900 in 2020.

The U.S. Army’s newest tank in the summer of 2019 should enter service with the first large unit to use the type.

(This first appeared last month.)

The Army in late 2017 accepted the very first M-1A2C Abrams tanks. Nearly two years later the service has enough of the new vehicles to equip an entire brigade.

“We’re in the throes of getting that together,” Hank Kennedy, a manager at General Dynamics’ tank plant in Lima Ohio, told Lima News.

The “first brigade is critical because we need to get [them] into the soldiers’ hands so they can get trained on it and everything else,” Kennedy said.

A U.S. Army armored brigade typically operates around 100 tanks. The Army has 16 armored brigades as part of a total force of 58 combat brigades.

The M-1A2C is the latest variant of Abrams to enter production. Congress in 2019 gave the Army $1.5 billion to buy 135 M-1s from General Dynamics, extending a program that began in the 1970s.

The Army’s budget proposal for 2020 asks for 174 new and upgraded tanks.

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