M1: Main Battle Tank
Main gun: 105mm M68 rifled gun (M1, M1IP)
Ammunition Stowage: 25 ready/22+8 stowed
Default Ammunition: 15/18 M735 APFSDS, 10/12 M456A2 HEAT
Coaxial machine gun: 7.62mm M240
Ammunition Stowage: 4000 ready/8000 stowed
Default Ammunition: 4000/8000 7.62mm NATO
AAMG: M2 caliber .50 HMG
Ammunition Stowage: 100 ready/900 stowed
Default Ammunition: 100/900 0.50 cal M2 AP-T
Grenade Dischargers: Grenades
Ammunition Stowage: 2 ready/2 stowed
Default Ammunition: 2/2 Smoke
Frontal Turret Armor: 350mm-420mm vs KE, 630mm-830mm vs HEAT
Frontal Hull Armor: 400mm-780mm vs KE, 400mmm-1500mm vs HEAT
Combat Weight: 55.7 tonnes
Length: 7.93m (Hull)
Engine Power: 1,500 hp Avco Lycoming AGT-1500 gas turbine
Top Speed: 72kph
Developed as a successor to the failed MBT-70 project, the M1 Abrams, named after General Creighton Abrams, is a third-generation main battle tank that entered U.S. service in 1980. Basic armament consists of a fully stabilized 105mm M68A1 rifled tank gun (a domestic gun based on the 105mm T254 which could interchange ammunition and barrels with the British Royal Ordnance L7, and uses the L7's asymmetrical bore evacuator, but has a different breech ring and breech and supports much higher chamber pressures than the L7) backed by a coaxial 7.62mm M240 machine-gun, a second M240 at the loader's station, and a .50 cal M2HB machine-gun usable by the vehicle commander from under-armor. The Fire Control System involves a 16bit digital ballistic computer, Nd:YAG [Neodymium: Yttrium Aluminum Garnet] laser rangefinder, static cant sensor, muzzle reference system, and wind sensor. Manual ballistic inputs such as ammunition and air temperature, along with atmospheric pressure help increase first round hit probability. Sighting systems include both day (3-10x magnification day channel and 8x fixed magnification auxiliary telescope) and thermal imaging (also 3-10x) allowing for engagements under day, night, and adverse (weather/dust/smoke) conditions.
Motive power is provided by a, then revolutionary, multi-fuel Avco Lycoming (now Honeywell) AGT-1500 gas turbine coupled with an Allison X1100-3B cross-drive transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse speeds offering a high power-to-weight ratio, no smoke, and low noise at the expense of high fuel consumption when idling, and a large thermal signature.
Protection for the M1 is a spaced composite (NERA) array based off British-designed Chobham armor. Considered comparable in armor protection to the Leopard 2, for the M1 this is true versus HEAT projectiles, but the fitted armor package under-performs versus Sabot. Later updates to the M1 series, such as the M1IP and M1A1, would address this issue. Regardless, the M1's composite armor, combined with an automatic Halon fire-extinguishing system, fire-resistant hydraulic fluid (FRH), and compartmentalized ammunition stowage allows the vehicle a high crew survivability rate and excellent fightback ability when damaged.
Produced from 1979 to 1985, most base M1s were withdrawn from active-duty service by 1988, but continued in U.S. National Guard service well into the 1990s.
Please visit the M1A1(HA) page for detailed information on the M1's crew positions since both tanks are functionally identical.
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