This is coolbert:
As is germane to some previous blog entries the latest version of the American Abrams tank now described with the suffix SA. SA = Situational Awareness.
Extracted from the Strategy Page article:
"Armor: M1 Versus T-90 In North Africa"
"The M1A1SA is a special model of the M1 that was developed based on 2003-2008 U.S. experience in Iraq. . . . the U.S. Army also developed an inexpensive (under a million dollars per tank) 'reset' process that refurbished and upgraded war weary M-1 tanks to M-1A1SA models. What the crews particularly liked about these SA (Situational Awareness) models was the many new sensors that gave the crew a better sense of what was going on outside"
"The new equipment included . . . a phone box mounted on the side, for the infantry to use to talk to the crew . . . a GPS powered 'Far Target Locate' function, which enables him to accurately locate and hit targets up to 8,000 meters away."
Phone box only installed as an afterthought based on the experience of combined operations in Iraq.
The Far Target Locate function allowing the tank to operate as an indirect fire weapon? High-explosive fragmentation rounds not available for the M1 tank in any version negating such a capability? That 8,000 meters is about five miles and beyond the normal direct line-of-sight!
See previous blog entry the topic of which was those perceived deficiencies of the Abrams M1 as compared to the previous American M-60 MBT [main battle tank]: