Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: M1A2S
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The United States of America M1 Abrams tank was designed to provide heavy armor superiority on the battlefield destroying enemy forces using mobility and firepower. Initially the US Army and the German agreed to develop a new heavy tank in the 1970s but the joint program split into the German Leopard 2 and the US M1 Abrams. It was deployed in the early 1980s replacing the aging M60 Patton main battle tank (MBT) within the US Army and within the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in the 1990s. It has been exported to the Armies of Egypt (M1A1), Saudi Arabia (M1A1 and M1A2), Kuwait (M1A2), Australia (M1A1) and recently Iraq (M1A1). Roughly 10,000 M1 Abrams main battle tanks were produced for the US Army, the USMC, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
In addition to its heavy armor, the M1 Abrams tank features Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection and a 1,500-hp AGT-1500 gas engine which allows high mobility on road and off road. The M1 Abrams 105mm or 120mm stabilized cannon can open fire moving or stationary, at night, in adverse weather against moving and stationary targets with a high probability of kill using depleted uranium penetration ammunition and its advanced ballistic computers, as well as its sensor package housed on the turret. The frontal part of the turret is protected using depleted uranium plates which are more resistant than steel. Export Abrams are not provided with the depleted uranium armor.
The M1A2 Abrams main battle tank features a M256 120mm smooth bore gun 42 rounds, two M240 7.62mm machine guns and a M2 12.7mm machine gun which provides a short range air defense capability against helicopters and low flying aircraft. The first M1A2 was fielded within the US Army in 1996. The US Army M1A2s are remanufactured and upgraded M1 Abrams main battle tanks. This model retains mobility and increases firepower compared to previous M1 tank. The M1A2 provides the Abrams with improvements in lethality, survivability, and fightability required to defeat advanced threats. The A2 includes a commander's independent thermal viewer (CITV), an improved weapon station, fire control system, and increased armor. The US Army has a requirement to upgrade older M1 to the M1A2 configuration. The first US Army M1A2-equipped unit was ready for the active duty in 1998. The M1A2 was exported to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The US Army's M1A2s were upgraded to the SEP v2 standard and the Saudi Arabia's tanks are being upgraded to the M1A2S standard.
The General Dynamics M1A1/M1A2 Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK) consists of Loader's Armor Gun Shield (LAGS), a Tank Infantry Phone (TIP), Abrams Reactive Armor Tiles (ARAT), a Remote Thermal Sight (RTS) and a Power Distribution Box (PDB). This add-on crew enhanced survivability kit was ordered by the US Army for the first time in late August 2006 as a rapid response to the threat posed by insurgents to heavyweight tanks in Iraq. The order was valued at $45 million for production and installation of 505 tank kits.
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