United States Army Fact File Abrams Main Battle Tank (US Army Fact File)

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The report was based on data from U. Army sources and the Congressional record. Abrams move out on a mission during the Gulf War. A Bradley IFV and logistics convoy can be seen in the background. These exercises usually took place in Western Europe, especially West Germany, but also in some other countries like South Korea. During such training, Abrams crews honed their skills for use against the men and equipment of the Soviet Union.

The Abrams remained untested in combat until the Gulf War in A total of 1, M1A1s were deployed to Saudi Arabia. The Ts, like most Soviet export designs, lacked night vision systems and then-modern rangefinders , though they did have some night fighting tanks with older active infrared systems or floodlights—just not the latest starlight scopes and passive infrared scopes as on the Abrams. A total of 23 M1A1s were taken out of service during the war. Some others took minor combat damage, with little effect on their operational readiness.

Very few M1 tanks were hit by enemy fire, and there was only one fatality, along with a handful of damaged Abrams as a result.

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An M1A1 destroyed during the Gulf War. The M1A1 was capable of making kills at ranges in excess of 2. This meant Abrams tanks could hit Iraqi tanks before the enemy got in range—a decisive advantage in this kind of combat. This was not the case for the side armor of the hull and the rear armor of the turret, as both areas were penetrated at least in two occasions by friendly DU ammunition during the Battle of Norfolk.

M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank

The M1A2 was a further improvement of the M1A1 with a commander's independent thermal viewer and weapon station, position navigation equipment, digital data bus and a radio interface unit. Further upgrades included 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 U.

The M1 can be equipped with mine plow and mine roller attachments if needed. The M1 chassis also serves as a basis for the Grizzly combat engineering vehicle and the M Wolverine heavy assault bridge. As of March , approximately 80 Abrams tanks were forced out of action by enemy attacks. Following lessons learned in Desert Storm, the Abrams and many other US combat vehicles used in the conflict were fitted with Combat Identification Panels to reduce friendly fire incidents.

These were fitted on the sides and rear of the turret, with flat panels equipped with a four-cornered 'box' image on either side of the turret front as seen in the image above. Some Abrams were also fitted with a secondary storage bin on the back of the existing bustle rack on the rear of the turret referred to as a bustle rack extension to enable the crew to carry more supplies and personal belongings. Several Abrams irrecoverable due to loss of mobility or other circumstances were destroyed by friendly forces to prevent their capture, usually by other Abrams, who often found them very difficult to destroy despite their firepower.

General Dynamics Land Systems

Some Abrams were disabled by Iraqi infantrymen in ambushes during the invasion. Some troops employed short-range anti-tank rockets and fired at the tracks, rear and top. Other tanks were put out of action when struck in critical places by heavy machine gun rounds. It is intended to improve fighting ability in urban environments. Prototypes were made but the program was canceled. It has been introduced into service. The U. The M1A3 Abrams is in the early design period with the U.

However, the Army anticipates that the Abrams may remain in U. A group of M1A1s enter the Twin Bridges training area prepared for a mock battle in the Republic of Korea during Foal Eagle '98, seen with their factory single green paint scheme. Some units painted their M1s with the older MERDC 4-color paint scheme but the turn-in requirements for these tanks required repainting them to solid green.

Therefore, even though a large number of the base model M1s were camouflaged in the field, few or none exist today. M1s and M1A1s deployed to Desert Storm were hastily painted desert tan. Some, but not all, of these tanks were re-painted to their "authorized" paint scheme. M1A2s built for Middle Eastern countries were painted in desert tan.

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Some M1 series tanks are being painted desert tan for service in Iraq and some are not. Replacement parts roadwheels, armor skirt panels, drive sprockets, etc. These can create a thick smoke that blocks both vision and thermal imaging , and can also be armed with chaff. The engine is also equipped with a smoke generator that is triggered by the driver. When activated, fuel is sprayed on the engine manifold, creating the thick smoke. However, due to change from diesel as a primary fuel to the use of JP-8, this system is disabled on most Abrams today, because JP-8 causes the tanks to catch fire when sprayed on the manifold.

The Abrams is protected by armor based on the British-designed Chobham armor , a further development of the British 'Burlington' armor. Protection against spalling is provided by a Kevlar liner. Beginning in , M1A1 tanks received improved armor packages that incorporated depleted uranium DU mesh in their armor at the front of the turret and the front of the hull.

Armor reinforced in this manner offers significantly increased resistance towards all types of anti-tank weaponry, but at the expense of adding considerable weight to the tank, as depleted uranium is 1. The first M1A1 tanks to receive this upgrade were tanks stationed in Germany, since they were the first line of defense against the Soviet Union. US-based tank battalions participating in Operation Desert Storm received an emergency program to upgrade their tanks with depleted uranium armor immediately before the onset of the campaign.

The strength of the armor is estimated to be about the same as similar western, contemporary main battle tanks such as the Leopard 2. MA1 "Silver Bullet" APFSDS rounds from other M1A1 Abrams were unable to penetrate the front and side armor even at close ranges in friendly fire incidents as well as an incident in which another Abrams tried to destroy an Abrams that got stuck in mud and had to be abandoned. In the chance that the Abrams does suffer damage resulting in a fire in the crew compartment, the tank is equipped with a halon fire-suppression system that automatically engages and extinguishes fires in seconds.


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Fire control system,laser range finder, night vision, thermal sight, NBC protection system, heater, automatic fire extinguishing system. Chobham armour and Uranium plates. Lenght: 9.

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Army Recognition online digital database pictures Army - Military - Defense high resolution pictures. IDEX IDEF IDET ISDEF Partner MSPO DSEI BIDEC The M1 Abrams was followed by the M1A1, with first production example being completed in August and continued until early Delivery was completed by September , after which tank assembly ceased at Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant.

The main features of the M1A1 are new suspension, various transmission modifications, improved armor protection, and the redesigned M1A1 turret gun mount and bustle rack, among others. The M1A1 is the standard main battle tank of the U. Main Variants:. Production began at Chrysler in and continued to at General Dynamics 3, built for the US. General Dynamics has been awarded contracts by the U. Army to supply this variant.

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