The M1 Abrams is known for its stabilized gun and ability to shoot accurately on the move.
In addition to its stability and accuracy, The M1 Abrams is also known for its superior crew protection (including chemical/biological/nuclear), safe stowage of ammunition to prevent explosions, speed and maneuverability on rough ground, and efficient ventilation (tank itself can kick up a lot of dust; current conflicts present threat of chemical/biological/nuclear attacks). It also requires a minimum of maintenance; The M1’s turbine engine (as opposed to diesel) means reliable, fewer parts, lighter weight, and can use a wide range of fuels. The tank has a very low profile with a very shallow turret, making it a smaller target. Its tracks are rubber, and its turret can be rotated 360° in 9 seconds. It can climb obstacles 4 ft high and cross a 9 ft wide ditch.
Weight: 55 Tons, most of which is Chobham armor.
Crew: 4—Commander, gunner, loader and driver.
Armament: 105mm gun (the M1A2 has a 120mm), each shell weighs about 40 lbs.
Armor: The composite armor used in the M1 is Chobham (after Chobham, England, where it was developed) or code-named Burlington. It consists of steel armor and spaced ceramic armor tiles.
Year Field: 1980
Speed: 45 mph, accelerates from rest to 20 mph in 6 seconds, and carries enough fuel to last almost 300 miles without refueling.
Range: 300 miles
Number Produced: Chrysler and General Dynamics built over 2000 M1s between 1980-1985; the last basic M1 was retired from service in 1996. Between 1984-86, General Dynamics built IPM1, 894 of them. These had more armor in front and a bustle rack for storage. Basic M1s were retired from service in 1996, M1s and IPM1s are currently being retired from National Guard service, but many may be converted to current upgrades for use.