General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams Turret Trainer
United States < Back to Collection

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The M1 Abrams main battle tank was developed at the height of the Cold War, but did not see combat until Operation Desert Storm.

While US forces would most likely be outnumbered during a Soviet attack in Western Europe, the M1 tank was designed to take on enemy vehicles using superior mobility, armor, technology, and devastating firepower.  Driven by a gas turbine engine, the M1 tank is quick and powerful.  The first Abrams tanks went into service with the US Army in 1981.

The M1 eventually proved itself against the Soviet tanks it was designed to fight, however it did so in the Arabian Desert instead of the forests and grasslands of Europe.  During the Gulf War, M1s took on Iraqi T-72 tanks (as well as other types) and efficiently dispatched all challengers in quick, decisive battles.

Improved versions of the M1 Abrams continue to serve as the main battle tank for both the US Army and Marine Corps and are projected to stay in service for many decades.

History of the Artifact
This M1A1 Abrams turret trainer was used as a teaching tool for Army turret mechanics.  Three of the four crewmen stationed in the tank are located in the turret—a commander, loader, and gunner.  The fourth crewman, the driver, sits in the front section of the tank’s hull.  Obtained by the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in 2005, a 120 mm gun was added to the piece while it was being restored.  The Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum obtained the turret in 2014.

Did you know?
The M1’s gas turbine engine is designed to burn jet fuel, but can also consume diesel or gasoline.
General Statistics
Crew:  4
Width:  12 ft
Length:  32 ft
Height:  8 ft
Weight:  67.6 tons
Engine:  1 x Honeywell AGT1500C gas turbine engine
Engine power:  1,500 hp
Maximum speed:  45 mph
Range, Road:  300 miles
120 mm L44 M256 smoothbore cannon
0.50 cal. M2HB machine gun
2 x 7.62 mm M240 machine guns

Interested in Tanks?
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