Armor: September 25, 1999


Raytheon and Alliant have received contracts to develop 120mm TERM shells
for the M1A1/2 tank. The TERM (Tank Extended Range Munition) round can fly
farther than any other tank shell, then seek its own target and destroy it
with a chemical energy warhead.--Stephen V Cole

Uralvagonzavod, the Russian factory that built the bulk of the 30,000 T-72s in service around the world, is scrambling to gain the lion's share of the upgrade market. The Russians are focusing on such things as a new 1,000hp engine (replacing the original 800hp version), the Shtora defensive systems, and other advanced features. Analysts expect Russia to lose the fight, since it cannot provide an upgrade package that will meet NATO standards. The biggest hurdle is the 125mm gun, since NATO insists on the 120mm smoothbore for ammunition interchangeability reasons. Russian claims that the 125mm weapon is just as effective and easier to maintain have fallen on deaf ears.--Stephen V Cole

Turkey has narrowed its choices for 1,000 new tanks to the US M1A2 Abrams, the Ukrainian T-84, the German Leopard-2, the Italian Ariete, and the French Leclerc. Israel, Russia, and other bidders were dismissed.--Stephen V Cole


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