TUSK - Tank Urban Survival Kit for M1
Abrams M1A2

   
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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TUSK - Tank Urban Survival Kit for M1A2

The Tank Urban Survival Kit, or TUSK, is a series of improvements to the M1 Abrams intended to improve fighting ability in urban environments. Historically, urban and other close battlefields have been the worst place for tanks to fight—a tank's front armor is much stronger than that on the sides, top, or rear, and in an urban environment, attacks can come from any direction, and attackers can get close enough to reliably hit weak points in the tank's armor, or get sufficient elevation to hit the top armor square on.

Armor upgrades for Abrams M1 A2 include reactive armor on the sides of the tank and slat armor (similar to that on the Stryker) on the rear to protect against rocket-propelled grenades and other shaped charge warheads.

Reactive armour is a type of vehicle armour that reacts in some way to the impact of a weapon to reduce the damage done to the vehicle being protected. It is most effective in protecting against shaped charges and long rod penetrators. The most common type is explosive reactive armour (ERA), but variants include self-limiting explosive reactive armour (SLERA), non-energetic reactive armour (NERA), non-explosive reactive armour (NxRA), and electric reactive armour. Unlike ERA and SLERA, NERA and NxRA modules can withstand multiple hits, but a second hit in exactly the same location will still penetrate.


A gun shield and a thermal sight system are added to the loader's top-mounted M240B 7.62 mm machine gun, and a Kongsberg Gruppen Remote Weapon Turret carrying a .50 caliber machine gun (again similar to that used on the Stryker) is in place of the tank commander's original .50 caliber machine gun mount, wherein the commander had to expose himself to fire the weapon manually. An exterior telephone allows supporting infantry to communicate with the tank commander.


The TUSK system is a field-installable kit that allows tanks to be upgraded without needing to be recalled to a maintenance depot.


While the reactive armor may not be needed in most situations in maneuver warfare, items like the rear slat armor, loader's gun shield, infantry phone (which has already seen use on Marine Corps Abrams M1A1s as early as 2003), and Kongsberg Remote Weapons Station for the .50 caliber machine gun will be added to the entire M1A2 fleet over time.

In addition to this, a Transparent Armor Gun Shield may also be implemented.

Model M1 IPM1 M1A1 M1A2 SEP
Length 32.04 ft (9.77 m) 32.04 ft (9.77 m) 32.04 ft (9.77 m) 32.04 ft (9.77 m) 32.04 ft (9.77 m)
Width 12 ft (3.66 m) 12 ft (3.66 m) 12 ft (3.66 m) 12 ft (3.66 m) 12 ft (3.66 m)
Height 7.79 ft (2.37 m) 7.79 ft (2.37 m) 8.0 ft (2.44 m) 8.0 ft (2.44 m) 8.0 ft (2.44 m)
Top speed 45 mph (72 km/h) 45 mph (72 km/h) 41.5 mph (67 km/h) 41.5 mph (67 km/h) 42 mph (68 km/h)
Range 498 km (310 mi) 465 km (288 mi) 391 km (243 mi)    
Weight 55.7 tonnes 62.8 tonnes 57.0 tonnes 67.6 tonnes 63.0 tonnes
Main armament 105 mm M68 rifled tank gun 105 mm 120 mm M256 smoothbore tank gun 120 mm 120 mm
Crew 4 4 4 4 4


Standard Armor

The Abrams M1 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 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 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.

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