AIM is a joint program to refurbish M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks. M1A1 Abrams tanks are completely disassembled and overhauled to a like-new, "zero-mile, zero-hour" condition. The refurbished M1A1 AIM tanks incur lower operational and support costs and report higher operational readiness rates. AIM is a joint program involving the U.S. Army Project Manager for the Heavy Brigade Combat Team; the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command; the Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Ala.; and General Dynamics Land Systems. The first Abrams Integrated Management M1A1 MBT for the 21st century (AIM XXI) was accepted by the US Army in a joint industry and depot ceremony at the Lima Army Tank Plant in December 1996. This was just six months after General Dynamics Land Systems^was awarded a US$4.1 million firm fixed-price contract to refurbish 18 M1A1 MBTs in a Proof of Principle programme by the US Army in a teaming arrangement with the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD). The AIM XXI programme is designed economically to rebuild and maintain the M1A1 MBT to a 'like new' condition. This will improve fleet readiness and reduce sustainment costs through a Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP). AIM XXI integrates the original equipment manufacturer and depot support of the M1A1 MBT fleet in the areas of vehicle restoration, field support and information management. In August 1998 the US Army awarded General Dynamics a contract worth US$20.7 million to refurbish 45 M1A1 MBTs to the AIM XXI by July 2000. In the AIM XXI programme M1A1 MBTs are completely disassembled at the Anniston Army Depot and overhauled at the Lima Army Tank Plant. In FY 1999 the US Army hopes to refurbish as many as 70 additional M1A1 MBTs and continue the programme in the year 2000 to the year 2005 at upwards of 90 M1A1 MBTs a year.