The Abrams tank is not military surplus that you can buy, but it’s definitely an important part of the US military. Without the use of the tank, we wouldn’t stand a chance against some of our deadly foes.
The beginnings of the Abrams tank are with the birth of the original tank at the start of the 20th century. The first prototypes were designed before World War I, but the first tank to see battle went into action in 1916. Tanks saw limited action until World War II began, when the US began using the famous M4 Sherman tank. After that, the development of the tank really took off, especially during the Cold War. In 1980, the Abrams Tank (designated M1) replaced the M60 Patton.
The Abrams tank is the military’s primary heavy artillery unit. In other words, when big firepower is needed, this beast is there to bring it. The main weapon is a 105 mm rifle with a range of nearly two miles. The variations of the tank (M1A1 and M1A2) use the 120mm smoothbore gun. The Abrams tank also has a .50 caliber machine gun and an M240 machine gun near one of the passenger hatches, and another M240 near another hatch. Those are some powerful military surplus firearms. The tank’s armor is made of a composite of many materials, including metal and Kevlar, and is more than 50 inches thick. Talk about lots of protection!
One of the reasons the Abrams tank is so useful is its ability to traverse a number of different terrains. The versatile caterpillar tracks used to mobilize the Abrams tank can travel over ground that conventional wheels and tires cannot. The top speed for the tank is 42 miles per hour. A typical crew for the tank is composed of four soldiers.
The Abrams has been an exceptionally important combat unit for the Gulf War, and the current Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Currently the M1A3 is being developed, and it is expected to be ready for combat by 2017. The US military is planning on using the Abrams tank until about 2050.
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Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.