Armor: November 15, 2000

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Honeywell and General Electric have won the contract to provide new engines for the M1 battle tank. While it had been expected that the existing AGT-1500 gas turbine engine would be replaced by a more fuel efficient diesel, the Honeywell-GE offer was for another gas turbine engine (although this one uses 35% less fuel than the AGT-1500). This will reduce the logistical tail of the Abrams fleet (which uses entirely too much fuel), while preserving the incredibly rapid acceleration that gas turbines offer. (The Abrams is the best-accelerating tank in history due to the use of a gas turbine engine, which reaches full speed much more quickly. It has the same operating range as other tanks since the smaller gas turbine engine leaves room for a larger fuel tank. The problem is in the number of trucks it takes to refuel an entire division of Abrams tanks.) The Army plans to buy 2,845 engines to replace the older AGT-1500s in M1s. In order to reduce the logistical requirements even more, the same engine will be used (with a different transmission) in the Crusader howitzer. The Army expects to buy 755 of these howitzers. Honeywell-GE will deliver 13 prototype LV-100 engines for tests; a final production decision will come in 2002. Deliveries will stretch from FY2004 through FY2012.--Stephen V Cole

 


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