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    Models built from 1972 to present

M1 from Tamiya M1A1 - Tamiya 35156
It was realized during the mid 1960's that the U.S. Military would need a new tank to replace the M-60's and M-48's then in service. Replacement of these existing tanks was estimated to be in the early 1980's and a project was initiated and named MBT-70, Main Battle Tank 70, After extensive research this project and another call XP-803 were cancelled, and in February 1972, under the direction of General Creighton W. Abrams, a main Battle Tank Task Force was formed, consisting of armored corps experts and engineers. In January 1973 their final study results were approved and bid requests were sent to General Motors and Chrysler Corporation in June of 73. In November 1976, Chrysler was named a contract winner, and was issued a request of 11 test tanks. The first tank was unveiled to the public on February 3, 1978, and in early 1979 all eleven tanks had been delivered to various posts around the USA for testing. Production began in February 1980, and it was officially named, and christened by the widow of the late General Abrams.M1A1 image 10The M1 tank is a complete change in design from the current line of tanks. It is no longer the bulky shaped, massive appearing vehicle so familiar to historians. The new turret is very angular and squat, yet has a very roomy interior, and was designed to mount the 105mm or larger gun. Although much still remains classified about this vehicle, it is assumed that it utilizes spaced armor for protection against hollow charges. Three of the four crewmen are located in the turret. Commander, gunner and loader, with the driver located in the center forward part of the hull.
The Abrams hull is totally different from the M-48 and M-60 hulls. Sides and rear are vertical, with only the front angled to deflect A-T shots. There are no rounded surfaces except for the front fenders, and attached to each side are six armor skirts to protect the suspension system and hull. Each of these plates are hinged at the top to allow upward movement for working on the roadwheels etc. Perhaps the biggest change in the M-1 is the choice of power-plant.
M1A1 image 19 After considerable thought on the subject, the 1500hp Avco-Lycoming AGT Turbine Engine was selected. Although there have been teething problems with this new engine, it is felt that it will provide a much longer service life, lower maintenance, choice of gas, diesel or jet fuels and approximately 1200 hours between overhaul. It has remarkable performance figures and can accelerate the 59 ton M1 from 0 - 20 mph in 6.1 seconds and sustain a 44 mph on hard surfaced and 35 mph on cross country roads. It has approximately three times the durability of existing diesel engines, starts easily, which means in can be shut down to conserve fuel and reduce engine wear.
The M-1 uses a laser rangefinder, rather than the usual optical system. In conjunction with the laser unit, a day-night sight and ballistics computer requires that the gunner only sight the target, activate the laser to obtain range, then press the firing switch. The computer will take the wind readings, barrel wear, adjust for elevation and selects the best moment for firing. Estimates on first hit capability is 90%. It also maintains a backup manual sighting system. With production started, and the first shipments made to overseas theatres, the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks are sure to become familiar to all involved with military history and modeling.
(From Tamiya Manual)


M1 Abrams front view M1 side view
M1 Abrams Rear view M1 top view
Specification :
Country of Origin : USA
Crew : 4
Armament : 1x105mm, 1x7.62mm MG (coaxial), 1x7.62 mm MG(AA), 1x12.7mm MG(AA), 2x6 smoke dischargers
Ammunition : 55 x 105mm, 1,000 x 12.7mm, 11,400 x 7.62mm
Engine : Textron Lycoming AGT 1500 Gas turbine developing 1,500hp at 3,000rpm

Length gun forwards : 9.766m
Length hull : 7.918m
Width : 3.653m
Height over turret roof : 2.375m
Power-to-weight ratio : 27hp/tonne
Maximum road speed : 72.421km/hr
Fuel capacity : 1,907 lit.
Vertical obstacle : 1.244m
Trench : 2.743m
Armor : Classified
NBC system : Yes
Height overall : 2.885m
Ground Clearance : 0.482m
Weight, combat : 54,545kg
Ground Pressure : -
Maximum road range : 498 km
Fording : -
Gradient : 60%
Side slope : 40%
Armor type : Laminate/steel
Night Vision Equipment : Yes

M1A1 iamge 13 M1A1 image 4 M1A1 iamge 12
M1A1 iamge 11 M1A1 image 14
M1A1 image 16 M1A1 image 17 M1A1 image 18

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one35th - Last updated on  :  Sunday, April 05, 2009