DML3555 M1A1 AIM

Item No.: 6662

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The M1 series tank is equipped with a 1500 horsepower Lycoming Textron gas turbine engine coupled to an Allison hydrokenetic transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. It's tactical crusing range is approximately 275 miles. Despite it's weight, the M1 can attain a top speed of nearly 45 miles per hour. The main armament is a 120mm smooth bore cannon, which replaced the 105mm gun on the initial M1 version. It has day/night fire on the move capability which is provided by a laser range finder, thermal imaging night sight, optical day sight, and a digital ballistic computer. Both the fuel and ammunition are compartmented to enhance survivability. The hull and turret are protected by advanced armor similar to the Chobam armor developed by the British Ministry of Defense. When required, the Abrams may be fitted with "reactive armor" to thwart armor-defeating munitions.

The M1 Abrams tank, weathered considerable criticism and, in fact, began from the failure of a preceding tank program. The standard tanks in the Army inventory had been various models of the M48 and M60, both surpassed in some respects by new Soviet equipment. The XM803 was the successor to an abortive joint American-German Main Battle Tank-70 project and was intended to modernize the armored force. Concerned about expense, Congress withdrew funding for the XM803 in December 1971, thereby canceling the program, but agreed to leave the remaining surplus of $20 million in Army hands to continue conceptual studies.

For a time, designers considered arming tanks with missiles for long-range engagements. This innovation worked only moderately well in the M60A2 main battle tank and the M551 Sheridan armored reconnaissance vehicle, both of which were armed with the MGM51 Shillelagh gun launcher system. In the late 1960s, however, tank guns were rejuvenated by new technical developments that included a fin-stabilized, very high velocity projectile that used long-rod kinetic energy penetrators. Attention centered on 105-mm. and 120-mm. guns as the main armament of any new tank.

Armored protection was also an issue of tank modernization. The proliferation of antitank missiles that could be launched by dismounted infantry and mounted on helicopters and on all classes of vehicles demonstrated the need for considerable improvement. At the same time, weight was an important consideration because the speed and agility of the tank would be important determinants of its tactical utility. No less important was crew survivability; even if the tank were damaged in battle, it was important that a trained tank crew have a reasonable chance of surviving to man a new vehicle

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  • M1A1 AIM - 1-4CAV "Quarterhorse" 1st Infantry Division, Iraq 2004. - 

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DML3555 M1A1 AIM

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