The M1 Abrams is the main battle tank made in the United States; it is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 Abrams is a well designed, heavily armed and highly mobile tank weighing in at 70 tons, and is one of the heaviest tanks in service made for modern ground warfare. It also features a very powerful gast turbine engine and the most sophisticated composite armor on the market. One of its key safety features include separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety.
The first attempt to replace the outdated M60 series of tanks was the MBT 70 developed in partnership with the West German tank builders. Like many weapons built in 1960s the MBT 70 was a very ambitious project with the additions of gun launched missile system, kneeling suspension, a driver housed in the turret, and various other ideas ...view middle of the document...
The further developmental work and imporvement of the M1 and M1A1 series of tanks introduced the M1A2 and M1A2 SEP. Such improvements made the M1 Abram a fully operational tank of the 21 cetntury with a commander's independent thermal viewer and weapon station, position navigation equipment, digital data bus and a radio interface unit. The M1A2 SEP; System Enhancement Package added digital maps, FBCB2 (Force XXI Battlefield Command Brigade and Below) capabilities, and an enhanced cooling system to uphold crew compartment temperature with the addition of multiple computer systems to the M1A2 tank.
The Abrams is protected by British designed Chobham Armor a further development of the â€œBurlingtonâ€ armor. Chobham is a composite armor formed by spacing multiple layers of various alloys of steel, ceramics, plastic composites, and kevlar, giving an estimated maximum (frontal turret) 1320-1620 millimeters versus HEAT rounds and 940â€“960 mm versus kinetic energy penetrators. It may also be fitted with reactive armor over the track skirts if needed (as in the Tank Urban Survival Kit) and Slat armor over the rear of the tank and rear fuel cells to protect against anti tank missiles.
The M1 Abrams series of tanks is powered by a 1500hp gas turbine making it the fastest and most mobile tank in the world. Honeywell 1500 AGT 1500 originally produced by Lycoming. It has a six speed; four forward and two reverse, Allison X-1100-3B hydro-kinetic automatic transmission. The M1 Abram is one of the fastest production tanks travelling at speeds close to 45mph on paved surfaces and 30mph cross country. The tank can be fueled with diesel fuel, kerosene, any grade of motor gasoline, JP-4 jet fuel, or JP-8 jet fuel.
Although the M1 Abrams series of tanks was developed as an answer to much contemporary Soviet Tanks it has proven itself as the most powerful, maneuverable and most modern tank, conveying to the rest of the world in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Mountains of Afghanistan as a standalone Tank of the 21st century. It is employed by United States, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Kuwait and some by Egypt.