History of the M1 Abrams

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The M1 Abrams has been in service since 1980. Since then, it has gone through dozens of upgrades and been the baseline variant of several vehicles.

Development[edit]

An XM1 Abrams, during a demonstration at Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1979.

The first attempt to replace the aging M60 Patton was the MBT-70, developed in partnership with West Germany in the 1960s. The MBT-70 was very ambitious, and had various ideas that ultimately proved unsuccessful. As a result of the imminent failure of this project, the U.S. Army introduced the XM803. This succeeded only in producing an expensive system with capabilities similar to the M60.[1]

Congress canceled the MBT-70 in November and XM803 December 1971, and redistributed the funds to the new XM815 later renamed the XM1 Abrams after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam. Prototypes were delivered in 1976 by Chrysler Defense and General Motors armed with the license-built version of the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun along with a Leopard 2. The Leopard 2 was deemed right away as being too expensive and the General Motors design was labeled as inferior and thus the Chrysler Defense design was selected for development as the M1. In 1979, General Dynamics Land Systems Division purchased Chrysler Defense.

3273 M1 Abrams were produced 1979-85 and first entered US Army service in 1980. It was armed with the license-built version of the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun. An improved model called the M1IP was produced briefly in 1984 and contained small upgrades. The M1IP models were used in the Canadian Army Trophy NATO tank gunnery competition in 1985 and 1987.

About 6000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm smoothbore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor, and a CBRN protection system.

Persian Gulf War[edit]

Abrams move out on a mission during the Persian Gulf War. A Bradley IFV and logistics convoy can be seen in the background.
M1A1 lost to friendly fire during Persian Gulf War.

As the Abrams entered service in the 1980s, they would operate alongside M60A3 within the United States military, and with other NATO tanks in numerous Cold War exercises. These exercises usually took place in Western Europe, especially West Germany, but also in some other countries like South Korea. During such training, Abrams crews honed their skills for use against the men and equipment of the Soviet Union. However, by 1991 the USSR had collapsed and the Abrams would have its trial by fire in the Middle East.

The Abrams remained untested in combat until the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The M1A1 was superior to Iraq's Soviet-era T-55 and T-62 tanks, as well as Iraqi assembled Russian T-72s, and locally-produced copies (Asad Babil tank). The T-72s like most Soviet export designs lacked night vision systems and then-modern rangefinders, though they did have some night fighting tanks with older active infrared systems or floodlights—just not the latest starlight scopes and passive infrared scopes as on the Abrams. Only 23 M1A1s were taken out of service in the Persian Gulf[2] and one of these losses resulted in crew deaths from Iraqi fire. Some others took minor combat damage, with little effect on their operational readiness. Very few Abrams tanks were hit by enemy fire, and there was only one fatality, along with a handful of woundings as a result.

The M1A1 was capable of making kills at ranges in excess of 2,500 meters (8,200 ft). This range was crucial in combat against tanks of Soviet design in Desert Storm, as the effective range of the main gun in the Soviet/Iraqi tanks was less than 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) (Iraqi tanks could not fire anti-tank missiles like their Russian counterparts). This meant Abrams tanks could hit Iraqi tanks before the enemy got in range—a decisive advantage in this kind of combat. In friendly fire incidents, the front armor and fore side turret armor survived direct APFSDS hits from other M1A1s. This was not the case for the side armor of the hull and the rear armor of the turret, as both areas were penetrated at least in two occasions by friendly DU ammunition during the Battle of Norfolk.[3]

Nearly all sources claim that no Abrams tank has ever been destroyed as a result of fire from an enemy tank, but some have certainly taken some damage which required extensive repair. There is at least one account, reported in the following Persian Gulf War's US Official Assessment (scan), of an Abrams being damaged by three kinetic energy piercing rounds. The DoD report indicates that witnesses in the field claimed it was hit by a T-72 Asad Babil. The KE rounds were unable to fully penetrate and stuck in the armor, but because of the external damage it was sent to a maintenance depot. This is the only verified case of an M1A1 put out of action by an Iraqi MBT.[4]

Six other M1A1s were allegedly hit by 125 mm tank fire in the Persian Gulf war official report, but the impacts were largely ineffectual.[5]

On the night of February 26, 1991, four Abrams were disabled in a suspected friendly fire incident by Hellfire missiles fired from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, with the result of some crew members wounded in action.[6] The tanks were part of TF 1-37,[7] attacking a large section of Tawakalna Republican Guard Division, their numbers being B-23, C-12, D-24 and C-66. However, C-12 was definitively hit and penetrated by a friendly DU shot[8] and there is some evidence that another Iraqi T-72 may have scored a single hit on B-23, besides the alleged Hellfire strike (see Iraqi T-72 article).

Tanks D-24 and C-66 took some casualties as well[9] Only B-23 became a permanent loss. The DoD's damage assessments state that B-23 was the only M1 with signs of a Hellfire missile found nearby.[10]

Also during the Persian Gulf war, three Abrams of the US 24th Infantry Division were left behind the enemy lines after a swift attack on Talil airfield, south of Nasiriyah, on February 27. One of them was hit by enemy fire, the two other embedded in mud. The tanks were destroyed by U.S. forces in order to prevent any trophy-claim by the Iraqi Army.[11]

No. Identification Number Type of Weapon Date and place Description of damage Casualties
1. Bumper B-31[12][13][14]

TF 1-5 CAV

Mine February 19

Ruqi Pocket

Tracks/Engine None
2. Unknown number[15]

1st Brigade, 2nd Armored Division

Mine February 24

Southern Kuwait

Tracks, One M1 tank struck a mine in the breach and lost some road wheels. No one in the tank was injured, and the tank was back in action within a day. None
3. Bumper K-42[16]

2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment

Struck by DPICM artillery February 26

73 Easting

Loader machine-gun and left fuel cell destroyed 1 WIA
4. Bumper B-66[17]

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

Three DU kinetic energy rounds, after being hit by an Iraqi RPG February 26

Norfolk line

Penetration in the hull,

below the turret Ammunition blown-up

1 KIA, 3 WIAs
5. Bumper B-22[17]

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

One DU kinetic energy round February 26

Norfolk line

Front slope hit

with no internal damage

1 WIA
6. Bumper A-14[17]

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

One DU kinetic energy round February 26

Norfolk line

One hit in the left side of the hull. Extensive damage by fire 3 WIAs
7. Bumper A-31[17]

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

Splinters of one DU kinetic energy penetrator February 26

Norfolk line

Hit in the rear left hull None
8. Bumper A-33[17]

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

Two DU rounds, after being hit by TOW missile February 26

Norfolk line

Double penetration of the hull 3 WIAs
9. Bumper D-24[17]

TF 1-37, 1st Armored Division

Small caliber shaped charge February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Impact on NBC exhausts, compartment penetrated 2 WIAs
10. Bumper B-23[17][18] TF 1-37, 1st Armored Division Large caliber shaped charge, then hit by an unknown round, likely a KE (non-DU) February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Two hits, one on the rear grills, another penetrated both sides of the hull. Catastrophic damage by fire 1 WIA
11. Bumper C-12[17]

TF 1-37, 1st Armored Division

One DU kinetic energy penetrator, then hit by anti-tank missile February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

KE round achieved a double penetration of the hull. The anti-tank missile set the storage area of the turret on fire None
12. Bumper C-66[17]

TF 1-37, 1st Armored Division

Two small shaped charges February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Small penetration of the left rear side of the hull. Impact on the turret defeated by armor 3 WIAs
13. Bumper C-12[19]

TF 4-8th CAV, 3rd Armored Division

73 mm shell
from a BMP-1
February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Minor damage to sponson box and .50 machine-gun 1 WIA
14. Bumper B-24[20]

TF 4-8th CAV, 3rd Armored Division

Enemy indirect fire February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Damaged to sponson box and duffle bags None
15. Bumper C-24[21]

TF 4-8th CAV, 3rd Armored Division

Friendly DPICM February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Storage area shredded by shrapnel

Main gun punctured

None
16. Unknown number

197th Brigade, 24 Infantry Division

Crippled by enemy fire, then destroyed by DU rounds February 27

Assault on Tallil airfield

Ammunition blown-up None
17. Unknown number

197th Brigade, 24 Infantry Division

Stuck in mud, then destroyed by DU rounds February 27

Assault on Tallil airfield

Ammunition blown-up None
18. Unknown number

197th Brigade, 24 Infantry Division

Stuck in mud, then destroyed by DU rounds February 27

Assault on Tallil airfield

Ammunition blown-up None
19. Bumper HQ66[22][23]

Commander tank, TF 4-64 Armor, 24 Infantry Division

Two conventional KE or HEAT rounds from a 100 mm gun February 27

South-west of Basra

120 mm gunner's primary sight (GPS) damaged and fuel-cell punctured. Sight replaced next morning. Tank continued in combat. None
20. Unknown number

Turret number:5840U

Hull number:D10060[24]

Three conventional KE rounds from an Iraqi T-72[25] Unknown date/location Two partial penetrations on the rear turret right side (possible fire in the storage area). Cosmetic damage on the turret front DU left armor plate. None
21. Bumper A-22[26]

2nd Platoon, A Company, TF 4-64, 24 Infantry Division

Secondary explosions from an Iraqi T-72[27] March 2

Rumeilah Oilfields

Storage area devastated by fire.

Ammunition blown-up.

1 WIA

Interwar upgrades[edit]

The M1A2 is a further improvement of the M1A1 with a commander's independent thermal viewer and weapon station, position navigation equipment, digital data bus and a radio interface unit. The M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package) added digital maps, FBCB2 (Force XXI Battlefield Command Brigade and Below) capabilities, and an improved cooling system to maintain crew compartment temperature with the addition of multiple computer systems to the M1A2 tank.

Further upgrades include depleted uranium armor for all variants, a system overhaul that returns all A1s to like-new condition (M1A1 AIM), a digital enhancement package for the A1 (M1A1D), a commonality program to standardize parts between the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps (M1A1HC) and an electronic upgrade for the A2 (M1A2 SEP).

During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and for Bosnia, some M1A1s were modified with armor upgrades. The M1 can be equipped with mine plow and mine roller attachments if needed. The M1 chassis also serves as a basis for the Grizzly combat engineering vehicle and the M104 Wolverine heavy assault bridge.

Over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 tanks have been produced at a cost of US$2.35–$4.30 million per unit, depending on the variant.

Iraq War[edit]

M1A1 Abrams pose for a photo under the "Hands of Victory" in Ceremony Square, Baghdad, Iraq.
US Marine Corps M1A1 on a live fire exercise in Iraq, 2003
A destroyed USMC M1A1 Abrams rests in front of a Fedayeen camp just outside of Jaman Al Juburi, Iraq in April 2003.
M1A1 conducts reconnaissance in Iraq in September 2004.

Further combat was seen during 2003 when US forces invaded Iraq and deposed the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. As of March 2005, approximately 80 Abrams tanks shipped back to the United States for repair due to fire from enemy attacks.[28] Nevertheless, the campaign saw very similar performance from the tank with no Abrams crew member being lost to hostile fire during the invasion of Iraq, although several tank crew members were later killed by snipers and roadside bombs during the occupation that followed. Abandoned Abrams were purposely destroyed by friendly fire to prevent recovery of vehicle or technology. Damages by 25 mm AP-DU, anti-armor RPG fire and 12.7 mm rounds was encountered. But on no occasion did anti-tank guided weapons or anti-tank mines strike the US MBTs.[29]

The most lopsided achievement of the M1A2s was the destruction of seven Lion of Babylon tanks in a point-blank skirmish (less than 50 yards (46 m)) near Mahmoudiyah, about 18 miles (29 km) south of Baghdad, with no losses for the American side.[30] However, on October 29, 2003, two soldiers were killed and a third wounded when their tank was disabled by an anti-tank mine, which was combined with other explosives (500 kg (1,100 lb), including several 155 mm rounds) to increase its effect. The massive explosion beneath the tank knocked off the turret. This marked the first time deaths resulted from a hostile-fire assault on the M1 tank from enemy forces. Following lessons learned in Desert Storm, the Abrams and many other US combat vehicles used in the conflict were fitted with Combat Identification Panels to reduce friendly fire incidents. These were fitted on the sides and rear of the turret, with flat panels equipped with a four-cornered 'box' image on either side of the turret front (these can be seen in the below image, similar flat panels also being employed on British Challenger 2 tanks serving in the conflict). In addition to the Abrams' already heavy armament, some crews were also issued M136 AT4 shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons under the assumption that they might have to engage heavy armor in tight urban areas where the main gun couldn't be brought to bear. Some Abrams were also fitted with a secondary storage bin on the back of the existing bustle rack on the rear of the turret referred to as a bustle rack extension to enable the crew to carry more supplies and personal belongings.

During the major combat operations in Iraq, Abrams crew members were lost when one tank of the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division, and US Marine Corps troops, drove onto a bridge. The bridge collapsed, dropping the tank into the Euphrates River,[31] where four Marines drowned.[not in citation given]

During an early attack on Baghdad, one M1A1 was disabled by a recoilless rifle round that had penetrated the rear engine housing, and punctured a hole in the right rear fuel cell, causing fuel to leak onto the hot turbine engine. After repeated attempts to extinguish the fire, the decision was made to destroy or remove any sensitive equipment. Oil and .50 caliber rounds were scattered in the interior, the ammunition doors were opened and several thermite grenades ignited inside. Another M1 then fired a HEAT round in order to ensure the destruction of the disabled tank. The tank was completely disabled but still intact. Later, an AGM-65 Maverick and two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles were fired into the tank to finish its destruction. Remarkably, the tank still appeared to be intact from the exterior.[32]

On November 27, 2004, an Abrams tank was badly damaged from the detonation of an extremely powerful improvised explosive device (IED). The IED consisted of three M109A6 155 mm shells, with a total explosive weight of 34.5 kg (76 lb), that detonated next to the tank. The tank's driver received lethal injuries from shrapnel. The other three crew members were able to escape.

On December 25, 2005, another U.S. Army M1A1 was disabled by an explosively formed penetrator IED. The IED penetrated through a road wheel, and hit the fuel tank, which left the tank burning near central Baghdad. One crew member, SPC Sergio Gudino, died in the attack.

On June 4, 2006, two of the four soldiers in an Abrams crew were killed in Baghdad when an IED detonated near their M1A2.

Some Abrams were disabled by Iraqi infantrymen in ambushes employing short-range antitank rockets, such as the Russian RPG-7, during the 2003 invasion. Although the RPG-7 is unable to penetrate the front and sides, the rear and top are vulnerable to this weapon. Frequently the rockets were fired at the tank tracks. Another was put out of action in an incident when fuel stowed in an external rack was struck by heavy machine gun rounds. This started a fire that spread to the engine.[29][33]

There have also been a number of Abrams crewmen killed by sniper fire during times when they were exposed through the turret hatches of their tanks. Some of these attacks were filmed by insurgents for propaganda purposes and spread via the Internet. One of these videos shows a large IED detonating beneath an Abrams and nearly flipping the vehicle, though it landed back on its treads and appeared to have suffered no serious damage as it was still mobile and traversing the turret following the attack. In another video, this one filmed by U.S. Army soldiers, an Abrams was attempting to crush an abandoned vehicle by running over it when a hidden IED inside the vehicle detonated directly beneath the tank, the Abrams again seeming to suffer no significant damage.[34] This video has been removed due to the account on Youtube.com being removed/deleted.

It was reported that 28 Iraqi Army Abrams had been damaged in fighting with militants, five of them suffering full armour penetration when hit by ATGMs, in the period between 1 January and the end of May 2014.[35]

Because of the Abrams vulnerability the Tank Urban Survival Kit, or TUSK, will be issued to some M1 Abrams. It is intended to improve fighting ability in urban environments.

Afghanistan[edit]

Operating tanks in Afghanistan can be difficult due to the terrain, although Canada and Denmark have deployed tanks to Afghanistan that have been specifically upgraded to fight in the tough Afghan environment. The U.S. sent 16 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 115 Marines to southern Afghanistan to support operations in the Helmand and Kandahar provinces in late 2010.[36][37]

Future[edit]

The tracked M8 Armored Gun System was conceived as a possible supplement for the Abrams in U.S. service for low-intensity conflict in the early 90's. Prototypes were made but the program was canceled. The 8-wheeled M1128 Mobile Gun System was designed to supplement the Abrams in U.S. service for low-intensity conflict. It has been introduced into service and, though mobile, it has proven to be quite vulnerable.

The U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems' XM1202 Mounted Combat System was to replace the Abrams in U.S. service and was in late stages of development when funding for the program was cut from the DoD's budget.

In September 2009, the Army Times[38] and Marine Corps Times[39] published reports that US Army researchers have begun the process of designing a version of the Abrams that will carry the M1A3 label. According to the reports, the Army is seeking to reduce the weight of the vehicle to approximately 60 tons from its current operational weight of roughly 75 tons. Additionally, the M1A3 may incorporate a new generation of advanced networking capabilities and enhanced armor protection. Other improvements are to include a lighter 120 mm gun, added road wheels with improved suspension, a more durable track, lighter armor, long-range precision armaments, and infrared camera and laser detectors. A new internal computer system is also planned, with current cabling replaced by fiber-optic cables that can reduce weight by two tons.[40] The Army currently aims to build prototypes by 2014 and to begin to field the first combat-ready M1A3s by 2017.

The developing Ground Combat Vehicle seeks to generate a family of combat vehicles that could permanently replace the M1 as well as many other U.S. army vehicles. The Army anticipates that the Abrams may remain in service until 2050.[citation needed]

Production[edit]

The military planned to close the M1 Abrams factory in Ohio from 2013 to 2016 to save over US$1 billion. In 2017 the plant would reopen to upgrade existing tanks. The downside to the three-year plant closing is the loss of the skilled human capital required to build the M1. These types of job skills must be learned on the job as the building is too unique to offer any type of educational program in a trade school environment.[41]

By 16 August 2013, details emerged on how $181 million Congress had allocated for the Abrams would be spent: $114 million would upgrade 12 tanks, $26 million would buy 48 transmissions, and $41 million would buy 86 Block II second-generation forward-looking infrared sensors. The buy is to mitigate Abrams FLIR industrial base risks, and sustain development and production capability. Congress and General Dynamics had been criticized for redirecting money to keep production lines open. A report in July 2012 documented that the company and its employees gave campaign donations to lawmakers, and over 120 lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh expressing their disappointment that the service stated they didn’t intend to fund any tank upgrades until 2017. General Dynamics had asserted that a four-year shutdown would cost $1.1-$1.6 billion when the time came to restart the line. The difference between the estimates was because of several variables, including the length of the shutdown, whether the Army would pay to keep machinery oiled and running periodically, and whether the plant’s components would be completely removed. The company and Congress were accused of “forcing the Army to buy tanks it didn’t need.” The fleet age is low and the Army is not required to begin recapitalization until FY 2017, believing that foreign sales can keep the line running until then. General Dynamics contends that they are not forcing more tanks onto the Army, but that they are changing their configuration to make them the most modern. At the time, most Army National Guard units operated the M1A1, while only two Guard units and the rest of the Army had upgraded versions. The 12 upgraded tanks will be going to the National Guard to expand a "pure fleet." The Army has identified three key “irreplaceable” subcomponents: Allison transmissions, Honeywell turbine engines, and night vision systems for target acquisition. Makers of those subcomponents were not in danger of going out of business, but a prolonged shutdown could cause them to lose their ability to produce them. Foreign sales are also not certain to keep orders, as planned contracts from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, and Egypt have been pushed back or are unknown. Even though money is being spent to protect the industrial base, some feel those strategic choices should not be made by members of Congress, especially those with the facilities in their district. There is still risk of production gaps even with production extended through 2015. With funds awarded before recapitalization is needed, budgetary pressures may push planned new upgrades for the Abrams from 2017 to 2019.[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MBT-70 / XM803
  2. ^ "According to the Army’s Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, 23 Abrams tanks were destroyed or damaged in the Persian Gulf area. Of the nine Abrams destroyed, seven were due to friendly fire, and two were intentionally destroyed to prevent capture after they became disabled. Other Abrams tanks were damaged by enemy fire, land mines, on-board fires, or to prevent capture after they became disabled." From Early performance assessment of Bradleys and Abrams, p. 24.
  3. ^ "A Company, 3-66 Armor, Abrams (Bumper # A-33)". TAB H -- Friendly-fire Incidents. "At approximately 4:30 AM on 27 February, an anti-tank guided missile (probably fired from a Bradley) struck A-33 in the engine compartment. The crew, uninjured, was evacuating the disabled tank when two DU rounds hit the tank in the left side of the hull and exited through the right side. The tank commander, driver, and gunner sustained injuries from fragments. The loader, who was already outside the tank, was uninjured. A-31 crew members assisted in rescuing A-33's crew." ; Sketch depicting the path of a DU 120 mm round through the hull of Abrams C-12, OSD.
  4. ^ "Early performance assessment of Bradleys and Abrams". p. 24. "CALL cites one incident in which an Abrams was reportedly struck twice by a T-72 tank firing from 2,000 meters. CALL reported that the crew involved in the incident stated that one projectile had bounced off the tank and the other had embedded itself in the armor." 
  5. ^ Zaloga, page 38.
  6. ^ George Forty cites an M1A1 tank platoon leader from TF 1-37: "Speculation continues concerning what knocked out our four tanks. The three most probable answers are T-72 main gun, dismounted anti-tank missile, or Apache launched Hellfire missile. The fact that Apaches were operating to our rear and witnesses' reports of high round trajectory support the friendly fire theory. However, ballistics reports suggest that 125 mm HEAT rounds produced the damage on some of the tanks. Visual examination of others reveals one obvious sabot hole. Overall, the physical evidence implies that T-72 fire took out our tanks, but the friendly fire possibility cannot be excluded."
  7. ^ OSD 1998-07-29.
  8. ^ DoD damage statement about C-12.
  9. ^ Two official damage assessments acknowledge casualties: D-24, C-66.
  10. ^ Item B. Note that the M1 was hit in the rear hull, not in the turret.
  11. ^ "One of the M1s is hit and disabled. The crew is extracted safely and the tank left behind, not before it is destroyed by the task force commander who fires two rounds into it. The first bounces off, the second penetrates and set it on fire[…] The terrain is still causing problems. On the attack several vehicles get embedded in mud and can't be extracted. The problem is complicated by enemy missile and machine gun fire. Two tanks and two armored personnel carriers are destroyed and discarded."—Halberstadt, Hans: Desert Storm: Ground War. Motorbooks International, 1991. p. 111.
  12. ^ Halberstadt 1991. p. 35
  13. ^ Atkinson, Rick. Crusade, The untold story of the Persian Gulf War. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993. pp. 332–3
  14. ^ Captain Todd A. Buchs, B. Co. Commander, Knights In the Desert. Publisher/Editor Unknown. p. 111.
  15. ^ Richard M. Swain, Lucky War, Third Army in Desert Storm Chapter 7, Desert Storm: Battle
  16. ^ official document
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i TAB H - Friendly-fire Incidents: "B Company, 3-66 Armor, Abrams (Bumper # B-66): This was the Bravo Company commander's tank. Three 120mm DU rounds hit B-66 -- one striking just below the turret, killing the gunner."
  18. ^ "After action report for the M1A1 Abrams tank B-23". After action report. U.S. Army. March 1991. 
  19. ^ Scales, Brig. Gen. Robert H.: Certain Victory. Brassey's, 1994, p. 279.
  20. ^ official account
  21. ^ official account
  22. ^ Scales, Brig. Gen. Robert H.: Certain Victory. Brassey's, 1994, p. 257.
  23. ^ Personal log, Armitstead, CPT, HHC 4-64 AR
  24. ^ Table 2, official assessment (the M1A maintenance codename is A2).
  25. ^ official document
  26. ^ Details on the identification of this particular tank in the talk page, by a first hand witness.
  27. ^ "The brigade losses were one wounded, one M-2A1 Bradley damaged, and one M-1A1 Abrams lost when secondary explosion of a T-72 set sleeping bags stowed on the M-1 on fire." "XVIII Airborne Corps:Desert Storm Chronology". XVIII Airborne Corps Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm: An Annotated Chronology. United States Army Center of Military History. 
  28. ^ Komarow, Steven. "Tanks take a beating in Iraq", USA Today, March 29, 2005.
  29. ^ a b Abrams Tank Systems, Lessons Learned Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003, globalsecurity.
  30. ^ Conroy, Jason & Martz, Ron: Heavy Metal: A Tank Company's Battle To Baghdad. Potomac Books, 2005, p. 158.
  31. ^ Chris McNab, Hunter Keeter (2008). Tools of violence: guns, tanks and dirty bombs. Osprey Publishing. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  32. ^ Zucchino, David: Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. Grove Press, 2004, pp. 20-30, 73.
  33. ^ "Technical Intelligence Bulletins May - June 2003". Wlhoward.com. Retrieved 2009-06-09. [dead link]
  34. ^ "Youtube: M1A2 Abrams struck by Vehicle-Borne IED". Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  35. ^ [1] - IHS Jane's 360
  36. ^ "US to deploy tanks in southern Afghanistan". AFP. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  37. ^ McLeary, Paul, Andy Nativi, and David Eshel. "Future of Main Battle Tank Looks Secure". Aviation Week, 4 February 2011.
  38. ^ 'Army looking into lighter Abrams tank'
  39. ^ 'New Army tank could mean changes for M1A1 fleet'
  40. ^ The Abrams Tank - Next Generation - About.com
  41. ^ Military.com: The tank at the end of history
  42. ^ Over Army Objections, Industry and Congress Partner to Keep Abrams Tank Production ‘Hot’ - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, October 2013