M1A2 Abrams Tank - M1-A2

  SLS Strategy Lights Studios - Home of Strategy Games, Simulation Games, Tycoon Games
See Also:
M1 Abrams M1A1 M1A2
M1A1 Abrams Tank
M1A2 Abrams Tank
M1A1 D Abrams Tank
M1 Abrams Tank Variants
M1 A1 Abrams Tank Operations
M1 A1 A2 Abrams Career
Army General Abrams
M1 Abrams TUSK
M1A2 Abrams SEP

See Also:
Tank history WW1 WW2
List of tanks WW1, WW2, Modern
US Army List of Tanks WW2 M4_Sherman
US Tank Production World War 2
WW2 German Tank Production Panzer 3 III
Panzer 4 IV Pz4
Tiger 1
King Tiger 2
Maus (Tank) - Panzer VIII WW2 world largest tank
Matilda Infantry Tank
T-34 T34 Soviet medium tank IS-2_Soviet_Tank
T-35 Soviet Heavy Tank,
T-55 Tank,
T-62 Soviet Medium Tank,
T80 Main Battle Tank,
T-90 Main Battle Tank
T-72 Tank
M60 Patton
M1 Abrams M1A1 M1A2

Download Guns Girls Lawyers Spies Free Standard Edition (size: 6.2Mb)

M1A2 Abrams Tank M1-A2

The mission of the M1A2 Abrams tank is to close with and destroy enemy forces using firepower, maneuver, and shock effect. The M1A2 is being fielded to armor battalions and cavalry squadrons of the heavy force. In lieu of new production, the Army is upgrading approximately 1,000 older M1 tanks to the M1A2 configuration. During the Army’s current M1A2 procurement program about 1,000 older, less capable M1 series tanks will be upgraded to the M1A2 configuration and fielded to the active forces. There is currently no plan to field the M1A2 to the ARNG. The Army has procured 62 new tanks in the A2 configuration and as of early 1997 completed the conversion of 368 older M1s to M1A2s. An additional 580 M1s are being upgraded to A2s under a five-year contract awarded in FY 1996, with a total of 998 M1 upgrades planned. In FY 1999, the Army will begin upgrading M1s to the M1A2 System Enhancement Program (SEP) configuration. This sensor also will be added to older M1A2s starting in FY 2001. When the SEP enters production, the Army will have a total of 627 M1A2s, all of which will eventually be converted to the SEP configuration.

Further M1A2 improvements, called the System Enhancement Program (SEP), are underway to enhance the tank's digital command and control capabilities and to to improve the tank’s fightability and lethality. The M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package), is the digital battlefield centerpiece for Army XXI. It is the heavy force vehicle that will lead Armor into the next century and transition the close combat mission to the Future Combat System (FCS). The M1A2 SEP is an improved version of the M1A2. It contains numerous improvements in command and control, lethality and reliability. M1-A2 SEP is in final operational testing, and scheduled to start fielding in 2000. M1A2 SEP tanks are scheduled to begin fielding in 3QFY00. The M1A2 System Enhanced Program (SEP) is an upgrade to the computer core that is the essence of the M1A2 tank. The SEP upgrade includes improved processors, color and high resolution flat panel displays, increased memory capacity, user friendly Soldier Machine Interface (SMI) and an open operating system that will allow for future growth. Major improvements include the integration of the Second Generation Forward Looking Infared (2nd Gen FLIR) sight, the Under Armor Auxiliary Power Unit (UAAPU) and a Thermal Management System (TMS).

The 2nd Generation Forward Looking InfraRed sighting system (2nd Gen FLIR) will replace the existing Thermal Image System (TIS) and the Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer. The incorporation of 2nd Gen FLIR into the M1A2 tank will require replacement of all 1st Gen FLIR components. From the warfighter perspective, this is one of the key improvements on the SEP. The 2nd Gen FLIR is a fully integrated engagement-sighting system designed to provide the gunner and tank commander with significantly improved day and night target acquisition and engagement capability. This system allows 70% better acquisition, 45% quicker firing and greater accuracy. In addition, a gain of 30% greater range for target acquisition and identification will increase lethality and lessen fratricide. The Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV) provides a hunter killer capability. The 2nd GEN FLIR is a variable power sighting system ranging from 3 or 6 power (wide field of view) for target acquisition and 13, 25 or 50 power (narrow field of view) for engaging targets at appropriate range.

The M1-A2 UAAPU consist of a turbine engine, a generator, and a hydraulic pump. The generator is capable of producing 6 Kilowatts of electrical power at 214 Amps, 28 vdc, and the hydraulic pump is capable of delivering 10 Kilowatts of hydraulic power. The UAAPU can meet the electrical and hydraulic power to operate all electronic and hydraulic components used during mounted surveilance operations and charge the tank's main batteries. The UAAPU will reduce Operational and Support cost by utilizing the same fuel as the tank at a reduced rate of 3-5 gallons per operational hour. The UAAPU is mounted on the left rear sponson fuel cell area and weighs 510 pounds.

Another improvement in the M1A2 SEP is the Thermal Management System (TMS) which keeps the temperature within the crew compartment under 95 degrees and the touch temperature of electronic units under 125 degrees during extreme conditions. By reducing the temperature in the crew compartment for the crew and electronic units, this increases the operational capability for both soldiers and the vehicle. The TMS consists of an Air Handling Unit (AHU) and a Vapor Compression System Unit (VCSU) capable of providing 7.5 Kilowatts of cooling capacity for the crew and Line Repairable Units (LRUs). The AHU is mounted in the turret bustle and the VCSU is mounted forward of the Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS). The TMS uses enviromentally friendly R134a refrigerant and propylene glycol/water mixture to maintain the LRU touch temperature at less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The TMS is mounted in the left side of turret bussel and weighs 384 pounds.

The Army requires that all systems operate in the Army Common Operating Environment (ACOE) to improve combined arms operations. Digitization and information dominance across the entire Army for tactical elements is accomplished using Force XXI Battle Command for Brigade and Below (FBCB2) software. In Abrams, FBCB2 software is hosted on a separate card that enables situational awareness across the entire spectrum of tactical operation. It improves message flow, through 34 joint variable message formats, reports ranging from contact reports to logistic roll ups, as well as automatically providing vehicle location to friendly systems. The SEP allows for digital data dissemination with improved ability to optimize information based operations and maintain a relevant common picture while executing Force XXI full dimensional operation. This enhancement increases capability to control the battlefield tempo while improving lethality and survivability. Finally to ensure crew proficiency is maintained, each Armor Battalion is fielded an improved Advanced Gunnery Training System (AGTS) with state-of-the-art graphics.

Changes to the M1A2 ( M1-A2 ) Abrams Tank contained in the System Enhancement Program (SEP) and "M1A2 Tank FY 2000" configuration are intended to improve lethality, survivability, mobility, sustainability and provide increased situational awareness and command & control enhancements necessary to provide information superiority to the dominant maneuver force. The Abrams Tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle are two central components of the dominant maneuver digital force.

Additional weight reduction, embedded battle command, survivability enhancement, signature management, safety improvement, and product upgrade modifications to the M1A2 will comprise the "M1A2 Tank FY 2000" configuration fielded to units of the digital division beginning in FY 2000.

The M1A2 IOT&E was conducted from September-December 1993 at Fort Hood, TX and consisted of a gunnery phase and a maneuver phase. The Director determined that the test was adequate, the M1A2 was operationally effective, but not operationally suitable and unsafe. That assessment was based on poor availability and reliability of the tank, instances of the uncommanded tube and turret movement, inadvertent .50 caliber machine gun firing, and hot surfaces which caused contact burns.

FOT&E #1 was conducted in September-October 1995 in conjunction with the New Equipment Training for two battalion sized units. Despite assurances from the Army that all corrective actions were applied, numerous instances of uncommanded tube and turret movement, Commander's Independent Display (CID) lockup and contact burns continued during FOT&E #1. The follow-on test was placed on hold and the Army "deadlined" the two battalions of M1A2 tanks at Fort Hood for safety reasons. The PM isolated 30 "root causes" of the safety problems and completed hardware and software upgrades in June 1996 which were assessed in FOT&E #2.

The M1A2 TEMP was approved during 2QFY98. This TEMP includes a coordinated plan for FOT&E #3 of the M1A2 in conjunction with the IOT&E of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle in FY99 at Fort Hood, TX. This combined operational test will consist of 16 force-on-force battles between a Bradley Fighting Vehicle System-A3/M1A2 SEP combined arms team and M1A1/ Bradley-ODS combined arms team. Additionally, it will serve as the operational test for the 2d Generation FLIR. This approach implements the Secretary of Defense theme of combining testing in order to save resources and ensure a more realistic operational environment.

The Army and DOT&E completed vulnerability assessment efforts and concluded that the "M1A2 ( M1-A2 ) Tank FY 2000" is a significant change from the original M1A2 design and will require a system-level survivability evaluation. This evaluation will rely on full-up system level testing of two systems, component and sub-system level testing, modeling and simulation, existing data, and previous testing to assess susceptibility and vulnerability of the "M1A2 Tank FY 2000" and its crew to the expected threat and to assess battle damage repair capabilities.

The M1A2 Abrams Tank with the corrective actions applied by the Program Manager during FY96 is assessed to be operationally effective and suitable. The availability, reliability, fuel consumption, and safety problems observed in previous testing have been corrected. FOT&E #2 was adequately conducted in accordance with approved test plans and the Abrams TEMP. There were no observed instances of the uncommanded tube and turret movement, inadvertent .50 caliber machine gun firing, and hot surfaces which caused contact burns in previous testing.

The largest area of technical risk to the program is the development of the Embedded Battle Command software which is intended to provide friendly and enemy situational awareness and shared command & control information throughout the combined arms team. This software is being developed as a Horizontal Technology Insertion program and will be provided to the weapon systems and C2 nodes of the combined arms team in FY00. This development schedule is high risk and could adversely impact the M1A2 ( M1-A2 ) schedule
M1A1 being offloaded from a LCAC

The main armament of the M1A1 and M1A2 ( M1-A2 ) is the M256 120 mm smoothbore gun, designed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany and manufactured under license in the US by General Dynamics Land Systems Division in their plant in Lima, Ohio. It fires depleted uranium armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding-sabot long-rod penetrator (APFSDS) rounds like the M829A2 and high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shaped charge rounds such as the M830, the latest version of which (M830A2) incorporates a sophisticated multi-mode electronic sensing fuse which allows it to be used effectively against both armored vehicles and personnel, or even (at least in theory) low-flying aircraft.

The new M1028 120 mm anti-personnel canister cartridge has been brought into service early for use in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It contains 1,150 ten-millimetre tungsten shot projectiles which spread from the muzzle to produce a shotgun effect lethal out to 500 m. The tungsten balls can be used to clear enemy dismounts, break up hasty ambush sites in urban areas, clear defiles, stop infantry attacks and counter-attacks, and support friendly infantry assaults by providing cover-by-fire.

In addition to this the new MRM-KE (Mid-Range-Munition Kinetic Energy) is also in development. Essentially a cannon-fired guided round, it has a range of roughly 12 km and uses a KE warhead which is rocket assisted in its final phase of flight.

Secondary armament

The Abrams tank has three machine guns:

1. A .50 cal. (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun in front of the commander's hatch. On the M1, M1IP and M1A1, this gun is on a powered mount and can be fired using a 3 magnification sight known as the CWS, while the vehicle is buttoned up. On the M1A2, M1A2SEP, the M2 is on a flex mount. With the forthcoming TUSK addon kit the M2, or a Mk 19 grenade launcher, can be mounted on the CROWS remote weapons platform. CROWS is similar to the RWS [(Remote Weapons System)] used on the Stryker family of vehicles.
2. A 7.62 mm (.30 caliber) M240C machine gun in front of the loader's hatch on a skate mount.
3. A 7.62 mm M240C machine gun in a coaxial mount. The coaxial MG is aimed and fired with the computer fire control system used for the main gun.

The turret is fitted with two six-barreled smoke grenade launchers. 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.

Further combat was seen during 2003 when US forces invaded Iraq and deposed the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The campaign saw very similar performance from the tank with no Abrams crew member being lost to hostile fire during the battle in Iraq. However, on October 29, 2003, two soldiers were killed and a third wounded when their tank was disabled by an anti-tank mine, which may have been combined with other explosives to increase its effect. This marked the first time deaths resulted from a hostile-fire assault on the M1 tank.

On November 27, 2004 an Abrams M1A2 tank was badly damaged and its driver killed from shrapnel wounds when an extremely powerful improvised explosive device (IED) consisting of three M109A6 155 mm shells with a total explosive weight of 34.5 kg detonated next to the tank. The other three crew members were able to escape, a testament to the armor of the M1A2.

On December 25, 2005 another M1A2 was disabled by a roadside bomb that left the tank burning near central Baghdad, The driver was not able to escape the fire and had to be left inside for over two hours.

On June 4, 2006 two soldiers died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their M1A2 ( M1-A2 ) .

No M1A2 Abrams tank has ever been destroyed as a result of fire from an enemy tank, but there is at least one account, reported in the Gulf War's US Official Assessment, of an Abrams being damaged by three conventional kinetic energy penetrators from a T-72.

Type: Main battle tank ( M1-A2 )
Place of origin: United States
Weight: 63.0 tonnes (69.5 short tons)
Length: 7.92 m (26 ft)
Width: 3.64 m (12 ft)
Height: 2.43 m (8 ft)
Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Armour: Chobham,
Primary armament: 120 mm M256 Smooth Bore Tank Gun
Secondary armament: 1 .50 (12.7 mm) M2 BMG machine gun,
2 M240 7.62 mm machine guns (1 pintle, 1 coaxial)
Engine: AGT-1500 turbine engine,
Renk HSWL 354 transmission
1500 hp (1119 kW)
Power/weight: 24 hp/tonne
Suspension: torsion bar
Operational range: 465 km (288 mi)
Speed: Road: 72 km/h (45 mph)
Off-road: 48 km/h (30 mph)

Standard Armor

The Abrams is protected by Chobham armour, a type of composite armor formed by multiple layers of steel and ceramics. It may also be fitted with reactive armor if needed (as in the Urban Survival Kit). Fuel and ammunition are in armored compartments with blow-off covers to reduce the risk of and protect the crew from the risk of the tank's own ammunition cooking off if the tank is damaged. Protection against spalling is provided by a Kevlar liner. Beginning in 1988, M1A1 ( M1-A2 ) 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 thus reinforced offers significantly increased resistance towards all types of anti-tank weaponry, but at the expense of adding considerable weight to the tank. 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 tankers participating in Operation Desert Storm received an emergency program to upgrade their tanks with depleted uranium armor immediately before the onset of the campaign. M1A2 tanks uniformly incorporate depleted uranium armor, and all M1A1 ( M1-A2 ) tanks in active service have been upgraded to this standard as well. The strength of the armor is estimated to be about the same as similar Western, contemporary main battle tanks such as the Leopard 2. The M1A2/M1A1 can survive multiple hits from the most powerful tank munitions (including 120 mm depleted uranium APFSDS) and anti-tank missiles[citation needed]. In the Persian Gulf War, Abrams tanks survived multiple hits at relatively close ranges from Iraqi T-72's and ATGM's

Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

SLS Strategy Lights Studios
www.battle-fleet.com www.tankopoly.com