Abrams Tank Operations
M1 A1 A2
history WW1 WW2
tanks WW1, WW2, Modern
List of Tanks WW2 M4_Sherman
Production World War 2
Tank Production Panzer 3
Panzer 4 IV
- Panzer VIII WW2 world largest tank
Soviet medium tank IS-2_Soviet_Tank
The M1 Abrams main battle
tank, the US Army's principal combat tank is named after
General Creighton W. Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff
and commander of the Army's 37th Armored Battalion.
||8,48 m (27.82 ft)
||3,64 m (12 ft)
||2.43 m (8 ft)
||67 km/h (42 mph) (road)
48 km/h (30 mph) (off-road)
||M1: 498 km (310 mi)
M1A1: 465 km (288 mi)
M1A2: 391 (243 mi)
|M1: 105mm gun
M1A1 and M1A2:
120-mm smoothbore gun
|.50 caliber machine gun
7.62 mm machine gun
||1119 kW (1500 hp)
The M1 Abrams was designed by the General Dynamics
Corporation and first entered US Army service in 1980. An
improved version of the M1, the M1A1 was introduced in
1985. The M1A1 has an 120mm smoothbore gun developed by
Rheinmetall GmbH of Germany, improved armor and an NBC
protection system. The M1A2 is a further improvement of
the M1A1 with a commander's thermal viewer and weapon
station, position navigation equipment, digital data bus
and a radio interface unit. The army has upgraded older
M1s and A1s to the A2 configuration.
A further upgrade of the A2 called the System Enhancement
Program (SEP) was began in 1999.
In this article, "Abrams" is used to refer to
all variants of the tank, while the specific variants are
referred to as the M1, M1A1, and M1A2.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm some
M1A1s were modified with add-on armor and others were
equipped with mine rollers (Panther II) and mine plows
(Grizzly) for breaching obstacles and clearing
Over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 tanks have been produced.
Reduced capability export variants of the M1 Abrams are
also used by the defence forces of:
Egypt (777 M1A1)
Saudi Arabia (315 M1A2)
Kuwait (218 M1A2)
The Abrams remained untested in combat until the Gulf War
in 1991. A total of 1,848 M1A1s were deployed to Saudi
Arabia. The M1A1 was vastly superior to the Soviet
produced T-72, T-62 and T-55 tanks fielded by the Iraqi
as only 18 M1A1s were taken out of service due to battle
damage. The M1A1 was capable of making kills in excess of
Further combat was seen during 2003 when US forces
invaded Iraq and deposed the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
The campaign saw very similar performance from the tank
with no Abrams crew member being lost to hostile fire
during the battle in Iraq. However, on October 29, 2003,
two soldiers were killed and a third wounded when the
tank was disabled by a land mine, which may have been
combined with other explosives to increase its effect.
This marked the first time deaths resulted from an
assault on the M1 tank.
During the major combat operations in Iraq, Abrams crew
members were lost when one tank with the US Army's 3rd
Infantry Division, and US Marine Corps troops, drove onto
a bridge. The bridge failed, dropping the tank into the
Euphrates River, where one soldier drowned.
No Abrams tank has ever been destroyed as a result of
fire from an enemey tank.
The Abrams is protected by composite armour similar to
the Chobham armour used by British tanks. It may also be
fitted with reactive armour if needed. Fuel and
ammunition are compartmented to protect the crew and
reduce the risk of cooking off if the tank is damaged.
Protection against spalling is provided by a kevlar
The main armament of the M1 variant is the M68A1 105mm
rifling cannon firing a variety of APFSDS, HEAT, and high
The main armament of the M1A1 and M1A2 is the M256 120mm
smoothbore cannon, produced by the Rheinmetall
Corporation of Germany. It fires APFSDS and HEAT rounds.
The Abrams tank has three machine guns:
A .50cal M2 machine gun in front of the commander's
hatch. This gun is on a powered mount and has a 3x
A 7.62mm M240 machine gun in front of the loader's hatch
on a skate mount.
A 7.62mm M240 machine gun in a fixed mount coaxial with
the main armament.
The turret is fitted with two six-barreled smoke grenade
launchers. These can create a thick smoke that blocks
both vision and thermal imaging. The engine can also be
used to create a smokescreen.
The Abrams is equipped with fire control computer that
takes data from a laser rangefinder, a wind sensor, a
tilt sensor, and manually-entered data on the ammunition
type, and computes a firing solution. Either the
commander or gunner can fire the gun.
The M1 Abrams is powered by a 1500 HP Lycoming gas
turbine, and a 4-forward/2-reverse speed transmission,
giving it a top speed of 42 mph (67 km/h on roads, 30 mph
(48 km/h) cross-country. The tank can be fueled by diesel
fuel, any grade of gasoline, kerosene, or JP-1 jet fuel.
The Abrams is so large that the largest US transport
aircraft, the C-5 "Galaxy", can only carry one
at a time. This has caused serious logistical problems
when deploying the tanks for the first Gulf War: the
1,848 tanks used had to be transported by ship.
The Abrams has a crew of four:
A driver in the center front of the hull.
A gun loader seated on the left side of the turret.
A commander seated on the rear right side of the turret.
A gunner seated on the front right side of the turret.
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