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3-64 Armor M1A1 Platoon at Hohenfels (1987)



M1A1 in the sunset








M1 Variants Comparison

Entered service with the U.S. Army in 1980, replacing the M-60 series tank.

Provide necessary firepower, mobility, and survivability to overmatch all potential threat armored vehicles in achieving decisive dominant maneuver.
Provide shock action agent for armor, armored cavalry, and amphibious armor units. Serve as a heater for cold infantrymen and an invincible mode of transportation on the battlefield for the lazy, who don't like to walk.

Length: Gun forward: 32.04 ft (9.77 m)
           Hull only: 26.02 ft (7.93 m)
Width: 12 ft (3.66 m)
Height: 8 ft (2.44 m)
Curb weight: 69.54 Tons
Ground Clearance: 19 inches
Ground Pressure: 15.4 PSI

Maximum speed: 42 mph (67.7 km/h) governed
Cross country: 30 mph (48.3 km/h)
10% slope: 17 mph
60% slope: 4.1 mph
Acceleration: (0 to 20 mph) 7.2 seconds
Cruising range: 289 mi (465.29 km)
Maximum trench crossing: 9 feet
Vertical Obstacle: 42 inches

Engine: 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) Honeywell AGT1500C multi-fuel turbine engine
Transmission: Allison DDA X-1100-3B Hydro kinetic transmission - 4 forward and 2 reverse speeds
Power/weight: 21.6hp/ton (24.5 hp/metric ton)
Suspension: Torsion bar

FIRE SUPPRESSION: Automatic fire detection/suppression

CREW: 4 total

Primary: 105 mm M68 rifled cannon (M1); 120 mm M256 smooth bore cannon (M1A1)
Coaxial weapon: 7.62 M240 machinegun
Loader's Weapon: 7.62 M240 machinegun on skate mount
Commander's Weapon: .50 cal. M2 machinegun
Ammunition Storage: 55 Rounds 105 mm; 42 Rounds 120 mm
11,400 Rounds 7.62mm
900 Rounds 50 caliber
32 Screening Grenades
210 Rounds 5.56 mm
NBC System: 200 SCFM - clean cooled air
Electronics/Crew Cooling: 25,600 BTU /Hr


  • XM1: Experimental model. Nine test-beds were produced in 1978.
  • M1: First production variant. Production began in 1979 and continued to 1985 (3,273 built for the US).
    • M1IP (Improved Performance): Produced briefly in 1984 before the M1A1, contained upgrades and reconfigurations.
  • M1A1: Production started in 1986 and continued to 1992 (4,976 built for the US Army, 221 for USMC, 755 for Egypt, 59 M1A1 AIM SA sold to Australia).
    • M1A1HC (Heavy Common): Added new depleted uranium armor mesh, pressurized NBC system, rear bustle rack for improved stowage of supplies and crew belongings, and M256 120 mm smoothbore cannon.
    • M1A1-D (Digital): A digital upgrade for the M1A1HC, to keep up with M1A2 SEP
    • M1A1-AIM (Abrams Integrated Management): A program whereby older units are reconditioned to zero hour conditions; and the tank is improved by adding Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) and Far Target Locate sensors, a tank-infantry phone, communications gear, including Blue Force Tracking, to aid in crew situational awareness, and a thermal sight for the .50 caliber machine gun. General Dynamics has been awarded contracts by the US Army to supply this variant.
    • M1A1M: An export variant ordered by the Iraqi Army.
  • M1A2 (Baseline): Production began in 1992 (77 built for the US and more than 600 M1s upgraded to M1A2, 315 for Saudi Arabia, 218 for Kuwait). The M1A2 offers the tank commander an independent thermal sight and ability to, in rapid sequence, shoot at two targets without the need to acquire each one sequentially.
    • M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package): Has upgraded 3rd generation depleted uranium encased armor with graphite

More Information

M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank
M1A1 Abrams


I went through OSUT (One Station Unit Training) in only the 6th cycle (C-1-1 Armor) once they fielded the M1 series tanks.

I've been on the M1, M1IP, M1A1 and M1A1 HC, and D models. Being in Germany, I never had the chance to try out the M1A2s.



CAT 87 - M1 tank approaching the firing lane
Range 301 during CAT 87


M1 interior photos
M1 breech and Gunner's station
M1 Gunner's station
M1 Loader's station
3-64 Armor Motorpool in Grafenwoehr - 1985
3-64 Armor on Range 117 Grafenwöhr
A-12 on the railhead on Conn Barracks
A-12 in Hohenfels
A-12 in Hohenfels
A 3-64 Armor on Range 132 Grafenwöhr
Railhead #2 at Grafenwöhr
HQ-66 on display near Conn Airfield
D 2-64 Armor on Range 117 at Grafenwöhr
2nd Platoon D 2-64 Armor on Range 117 Grafenwöhr
D-22 on Range 109 at Grafenwöhr
Bavaria Coat of Arms Lower Franconia Coat of Arms Schweinfurt County Coat of Arms Schonungen Municipality Coat of Arms XM1M1E1M1A1 M1IP M1 XM1 Chrysler Prototype