The M1A1/A2 Abrams is the main battle tank in the United States Army and Marine Corps arsenal.Named after General Creighton Abrams, former Chief of Staff and Commander of the 37th Armored Regiment, the M1 Abrams was first deployed in 1980. Saudi Arabia and Egypt also use the M1 Abrams as their nations main battle tank. The M1 Abrams was used in conflict for the first time during the first Gulf War when 1848 were deployed to fight in the deserts of Iraq.
The M1 Abrams was designed to replace the M48A5 as well as the M60 Patton, which entered service in 1978. In the same year the first M1 Abrams was produced by General Dynamics Land Systems. In 1980 the M1 Abrams entered service alongside the M60 Patton and both tanks remained in service for a decade. Designed by Chrysler Defense (later became part of General Dynamics Land Systems), the Abrams main battle tank has currently 3 variants: the initial M1 Abrams fitted with the M68A1 105 mm rifled tank gun , the M1A1 Abrams that has the M256 120 mm smooth bore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG (Germany) for the Leopard 2 tank and the M1A2 Abrams, an improved version of the M1A1 equipped with a commander’s independent thermal viewer and weapon system, digital data bus and a radio interface unit. Further upgrades include depleted uranium armor for all variants, a system overhaul that returns all A1s to like-new condition (M1A1 AIM), a digital enhancement package for the A1 (M1A1D), a commonality program to standardize parts between the US Army and the Marine Corps (M1A1HC) and an electronic upgrade for the A2 (M1A2 SEP).
The Abrams is protected by Chobham armor, a type of composite armor formed by multiple layers of steel and ceramics. It may also be fitted with reactive armor if needed.In addition to the advanced armor, some Abrams, most notably M1A1s of the US Marine Corps, are equipped with a Missile Countermeasure Device that can detect and jam the guidance systems of laser-guided anti-tank guided missiles.
Over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 were produced.3,273 M1 tanks were produced for the US Army. 4,796 M1A1 tanks were built for the US Army, 221 for the US Marines and 555 co-produced with Egypt. Egypt has ordered a further 200 M1A1 tanks with production to continue to 2005. 77 M1A2 tanks have been built for the US Army, 315 for Saudi Arabia and 218 for Kuwait. For the M1A2 Upgrade Program, over 600 M1 Abrams tanks are being upgraded to M1A2 configuration.Nearly all sources claim that no Abrams tank has ever been destroyed as a result of fire from an enemy tank, but some have certainly taken some damage which required extensive repair.
Crew 4 (driver, commander, gunner, loader)
Length With Gun Forward 387in
Turret Height 93.5in
Ground Clearance 19in
Ground Pressure 15.4psi
Maximum Governed Speed 42mph
Cross Country Speed 30mph
Speed, 10% Slope 17mph
Speed, 60% slope 4.1mph
Acceleration 0mph to 20mph in 7.2 seconds
Range 265 miles cruising
Vertical Obstacle Crossing 42in
Main Armament 120mm smooth bore cannon, M256
Coaxial Weapon 7.62mm machine gun, M240
Loader’s Weapon 7.62mm machine gun, M240, on skate mount
Commander’s Weapon 0.5-calibre machine gun, M2, on powered rotary platform
NBC Protection 200 SCFM, clean cooled air
Propulsion Gas turbine engine, 1,500hp
Transmission Hydrokinetic transmission (4 forward gear, 2 reverse gears)
Power-to-Weight Ratio 21.6hp/t