M1A2 Abrams is a third-generation US main battle tank (MBT) designed by General Dynamic Land Systems (previously Chrysler Defence).
The tank weighs almost 68 short tons, and is powered by an innovative multifuel turbine engine (Honeywell AGT 1500; now LV100-5 gas turbine engine), sophisticated Chobham composite armor, a computerised fire control system (FCS), compartmentalised ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment, and has NBC protection for the crew.
The tank has four crewman – the driver, commander, loader and gunner. The tank is predominantly used by the United States, but export versions have also been in use by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
The main gun armaments on the M1A2 is the M256A1 120 mm smooth bore which is a German design by Rheinmetall AG.
There is also another gun mounted on the roof, this is the M240 machine gun which fires 7.62 mm bullets, this has a defense shield mounted around the gunner to protect him when in combat. The same machine gun is also used with the coaxial gun to the right of the main gun however to compensate for the different position of the coxial, the same fire control system is used, which also compensates for any bullet drop so the gun fires straight onto the target as like the main tank of the gun (for both main & coaxial gun).
M1A2 system enhancement package
The system enhancement package was a package developed to enhance the fighting mobility of the M1A2 which the US military first conducted and signed contracts with ‘General Dynamics Land Systems’ in 2001.
They were first contracted to supply 240 enhanced M1A2’s by 2004. The enhancements included improved thermal imaging systems (Raytheon’s commander independent thermal viewer), improved digital display for digital colour terrain maps for the commander of the vehicle and a drivers integrated display along with thermal imaging management system. There have been further orders from the US Army, in June of 2005 60 M1A2 tanks were ordered in the system enhancement package configuration and in 2006 another huge order of 250 M1A2s were also ordered in the SEP configuration.
Then in 2008 GE was awarded to upgrade 670 M1A2 to the SEP v2 configuration. The version 2 of the system enhancement package (SEP) included a tank-infantry phone, improved sights and displays
M1A2 TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit) is kit that features upgrades updated onto current M1A2 vehicles either out in field or at base.
The kit upgrade includes a remotely operated 50. calibre machine gun (CROW) as well as a defence shield mounted on top of M240 machine gun. Along with this kit includes explosive reactive armour (ERA) upgrades on the sides of the tank which helps protect the vehicle further against anti-tank missiles, explosives and shrapnel. The kit came into place so the tank could survive much at a higher ratio in urban environments.
Being the that the explosive reactive armour protects its sides and can also be placed on the rear of the tank where in urban environments fire can take place from all directions where the tanks main gun cannot get enough elevation on a target to shoot it. Thus the remotely operated 50. calibre comes into play where it can fire at high angles as well as act as a second defence mechanism in an urban environment where it can fire off rapid amounts of fire in different or same directions as the main gun accurately as well as the crewman being at safety inside the tank.