The m1a2 is a version of the m1 Abrams (m1a) United States battle tank. It was manufactured in 1980 to provide heavy armored superiority on the battlefield. This heavily armored and highly mobile tank was designed for armored ground warfare. It was named after former United States Army Chief of Staff and Commander General Creighton Abrams. Each version of the m1a (the m1a1 and m1a2) has included enhanced protection and electronics. The m1a was first revised in 1986 with the development of the m1a1 and then in 1992 when production of the m1a2 began. Since its production, the m1a and later m1a2 has been used in wars such as the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), the war in Afghanistan(Operation Enduring Freedom) and the Iraq War(Operation Iraqi Freedom).

A Detailed Description

The m1a initially had a height of 7.79ft (2.37m), and also weighed 61.4 short tons. It carried an armament measuring 105mm. Its top speed was 45 miles per hour. The m1a1 had a height of 8ft and weighed 67.6 tons. At its fastest, the m1a1 could travel at 41.5 miles per hour. Its main armament measured 120mm. The most current development, the m1a2 , has a height of 8ft and weighs 68.4 tons. Like its predecessor, its main armament is also 120 mm. All versions of the m1 Abram could were 12 feet wide and had a length of 32.04 feet with a 1500 horse power turbo engine. They could also only hold a crew of four. Since all m1 Abrams are equipped with a main gun, it is perfect for destroying enemies using horse power and shock effect. The main armament of later versions of the m1a (the m1a1 and m1a2) is a M256 smoothbore gun. Secondary armaments included a .50 cal (12.7mm ) M2HB machine gun and a 7.62mm M240 machine gun. The .50 Cal (12.7mm) M2HB machine gun is located in the commander’s hatch on a powered mount; the 7.62mm M240 machine gun can be found in the loader’s hatch on a skate mount. Another M240 machine gun may also be placed on a coaxial mount to the right of the main armament and may be fired through the same control system. Some of these machine guns have also been equipped with night vision scopes for low visibility engagements. These powerful weapons make the m1a suitable for defense in attacks against large forces with heavy armor on a highly lethal battlefield. In the case of emergencies such as a fire, the m1a has a halon fire suppression system which automatically extinguishes fires. The m1a is also equipped with a nuclear biological and chemical protection system. This system aids in increasing the rate of survival in a contaminated environment. The m1a1 also had far target designation capability. It was capable of hitting a target more than 8,200ft away. In addition to these features, the m1a2 modernization program included a commander’s independent thermal viewer, improved weapons station, fire control systems and position navigation equipment and an embedded diagnostic system. Further M1a2 improvements under the Systems Enhancement Program include an improvement in the tank’s digital command, control capabilities and general defense abilities.

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