The M1 Tank is the choice of the US Army. It was named for Creighton Williams Abrams. The development work on the tank started in the 1970’s followed by the first production in 1978. General Dynamics (once know as Chrysler Defense) undertook the production project and the first M1 tank was put to use in 1980 by the US Army.
There have been upgrades to the original M1 design that make it more efficient in the ever changing world of defense. Some of the modifications included better amour, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons system. There is also a nuclear protection system as well. The upgrades to the M1A2 with added thermal viewer, additional navigation, and communication equipment were significant. The US Army continues to strive to make improvements on this massive weapon. One such improvement is a design simply adding a combat identification panel in order to reduce “Friendly Fire”. This was done specifically in 2003 during the Iraq war.
The main weapons on board the M1A2 tank are 120mm M256 smooth bore cannons. They also have a 12.7mm.50 calibre M2 machine gun and two 7.62mm M240 medium machine guns. The crew on board also carry shoulder fired anti-tank rockets.
Used to protect the outside structure of the tank is an armour referred to as “Chobham Armour” which is made up of ceramic tiles and steel plating. The name comes from the research center where the armour was made. It protects against explosive ammunition. The tank also has a Kevlar liner to add more protection against specialized penetrators.
There were 1841 units deployed to Saudi Arabia. Only 23 units were lost due to enemy fire, friendly fire and internal fires. There were no deaths that occurred in the tanks in Operation Desert Storm and the tank also saw action in 2003 with no recorded deaths of crew members in that conflict.
The tank has always been a major part of war. The fascination with the size and power of a tank causes people to stop and stare when they see them coming. Even though they can only travel at 42 miles per hour they are still able to attack at a tremendous force and range of 289 miles. The monster weapon is manned by a crew of four and weighs 67.7 tons and is 8 feet tall. How does it get so much power? It has a AGT-1500 multi-fuel turbine (jet) engine manufactured by Honeywell. Also helping in the power category is the Allison DDA X-1100 3B transmission. This tank is probably the most popular tank by sight since it was used both in the Gulf and Iraq wars.
The M1 tanks are the tank of choice for many of the reasons listed above. The goal of defeating the enemy while protecting the troops has proven to be the case with these weapons. Next time you see this tank, remember no crew lives have been lost using these tanks.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe