Before the advent of machines, war elephants were the most dominant force on the battlefield. Anyone who had these freaks of nature was certain to have a good chance at victory. Fast forward several centuries later, and now, similar importance resides with battle tanks. These mean machines are built like a fortress and can inflict serious damage on anything on their path.
The M1 Abrams is a behemoth among tanks as it is one of the world’s heaviest military vehicles in its category. Over the years, it has consistently become heavier due to several significant upgrades. Although the increasing weight doesn’t directly affect the tank’s potency, it poses issues for transportation.
The heavily-armored and dangerously-equipped main battle tank is a brute force in battle. It’s a seasoned veteran of multiple wars spanning decades in Africa and Asia. Here’s a clip that shows the M1 Abrams in action.
Origins and history
The M1 Abrams got the green flag after the MBT-70 tank, which was intended to replace the M60, got the axe. Its development began in the ’70s, and it entered service with U.S. Army in 1980. Moreover, the battle tank was designed by Chrysler Defense (General Dynamics Land Systems) with the aim of modernizing the American fleet. Also, it takes its name from Creighton Abrams, a former U.S. Army General.
In the past, the M1 Abrams has played a role in the Persian Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and Yemen War. Through these real-world experiences, the manufacturer identified various points of improvement in the original battle tank. Eventually, these pointers gave birth to the latest M1A2 variant.
M1 Abrams features and availability
Weighing in at almost 62 metric tonnes (68 tons), M1 Abrams ranks high among the heaviest tanks on the planet. Its latest M1A2 model can move at the maximum speed of 67kmph (42mph), courtesy of its Honeywell AGT1500 engine. Additionally, it has a fuel capacity of 1.9l (504.4 gallons) and offers a maximum range of 426km (265mi). Moreover, the tank comes with high-hardness-steel torsion bar suspension and rotary shock absorbers that allow it to travel comparatively smoother across difficult terrains.
The main battle tank features composite armor protection and packs a range of offensive weapons. These include a 120mm smoothbore gun, a 12.7mm M2HB heavy machines gun, and two 7.62mm M240 machine guns. Also, it can house up to 4 people: a commander, a driver, a loader, and a gunner.
Besides the U.S. Army, different M1 Abrams variants are available at the disposal of Taiwan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia, Poland, Kuwait, and Iraq. As of today, more than 12K M1 Abrams battle tanks have been manufactured.
What do you think of the M1 Abrams’s power? Tell us in the comments below. While you are here, make sure to read about the annual tank sports event that takes place in Russia.