M1 A1 Abrams Tank Operations

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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
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
ISU-152
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


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M1 A1 Abrams Tank Operations

An improved version of the M1, the M1 A1, was introduced in 1985. The M1A1 has the M256 120 mm smoothbore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor, and an NBC protection system.

Over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 tanks have been produced at a cost of $2,350,000-4,300,000 per unit, depending on the variant.

The Abrams remained untested in combat until the Gulf War in 1991. A total of 1,848 M1 A1s were deployed to Saudi Arabia. The M1 A1 was superior to Iraq's Soviet-era T-55 and T-62 tanks, as well as Iraqi assembled Russian T-72s which lack night vision and any modern range finders, and locally-produced copies (Asad Babil tank). Only 18 M1 A1s were taken out of service due to battle damage and none of these losses resulted in crew casualties. The only tank-casualties as result of enemy fire was a tank-leader who was outside his tank during the explosion of a T-72. The M1 A1 was capable of making kills at ranges in excess of 4000 m. In friendly fire incidents the front armor and side turret armor survived direct APFSDS hits from other M1 A1s.

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.

During the major combat operations in Iraq, Abrams crew members were lost when one tank of the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division, and US Marine Corps troops, drove onto a bridge. The bridge failed, dropping the tank into the Euphrates River, where one Marine drowned.

On April 5, 2003 a disabled and abandoned M1A1 was destroyed in Baghdad, it took: One Thermite grenade, one DU sabot round, and two Maverick missiles, of the later type, with tandem double warhead.


No 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. The damage was enough to send the tank to a maintenance depot (see the article about the Iraqi T-72s for photos and details). Also during Operation Desert Storm, four Abrams were disabled in a suspected friendly fire incident by Hellfire missiles fired from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. A number of them were disabled by Iraqi infantrymen in ambushes employing short-range antitank rockets, such as the Russian RPG-7, during the 2003 invasion. Another one was put out of action when heavy machine gun rounds struck fuel stowed in an external rack, starting a fire that spread to the engine.
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Type: Main battle tank
Place of origin: United States
Specifications
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,
RHA
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)

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

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