The Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, 120-mm Gun M1A2 (shortened to M1A2 Abrams) is a rank VII American medium tank with a battle rating of 11.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.93 "Shark Attack" as the top researchable vehicle in the US Ground Forces tech tree. The M1A2 introduces heavy depleted uranium armour and a commander's thermal sight.
Survivability and armour
The M1A2's armour is a massive improvement in comparison to its predecessor, the M1A1, and is the first Abrams in the game to be equipped with depleted uranium composite armour, located behind the turret cheeks of the tank. The protection afforded with the use of depleted uranium amounts to roughly over 300 mm RHAe more armour against kinetic energy projectiles whilst retaining the near-impenetrable chemical protection of the M1A1. The turret's overall kinetic energy protection ranges from around 780 mm to 680 mm, whilst the chemical energy protection ranges from 1200 mm to 1000 mm. However, the M1A2 has no depleted uranium located in the lower front plate, retaining the same weak spots as the M1A1's hull. The turret ring and breech also are weak spots, though the breech on the Abrams series is notably some of the strongest out of all NATO main battle tanks being small and well protected against chemical energy rounds and some early APFSDS rounds.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The M1A2 Abrams retains the same 1,519 horsepower AGT-1500 gas turbine on previous Abrams variants, though the tank has gained an additional 4 tons of weight, putting the total mass of the tank at 61.7 tonnes. This translates to a noticeable decrease in acceleration and manoeuvrability due to a lower hp/ton ratio. However, the tank retains the same 68 km/h top speed and 40 km/h reverse speed and relative to its counterparts the M1A2 Abrams is still fairly mobile, especially at speeds over 40 km/h. When stock, the hull traverse is quite horrendous and acceleration is lacking, though these are largely remedied by researching the tracks, filters, engine and transmission modifications.
Modifications and economy
The order of modifications should be well thought out. Below is a guide of which modifications to unlock first, but it is just a recommendation and can be modified or adapted depending on the tank commander's preferences.
The first two modifications that should be unlocked are parts and the M829 APFSDS round, to allow repairing of the tank and increase firepower respectively. The order of the two unlocks is up to the vehicle commander but these two modifications are by far the most important when starting the stock grind. You only need one modification to move on to tier 2 but it is highly recommended to get both parts and M829 before moving on.
Moving on, you need two modifications from tier 2 in order to move to tier 3. Some good choices are FPE and smoke grenades; these two are the most important to success on the battlefield. FPE allows the putting out of fires and smoke grenades allows the deploying of a smoke screen, both of which are likely to save the tank on the field of battle. Now, adjustment of fire can be useful when engaging at longer ranges but in most cases it's not necessary at ranges up to even over one kilometre. After you unlock your two modifications in tier 2 it's recommended to move on to tier 3 to unlock more useful modifications.
In tier 3 there are several useful modifications but only two are required to move on to tier 4. Because there are multiple useful modifications in this tier a more broad recommendation should be given. The laser rangefinder - which allows great accuracy at long range, crew replenishment - which allows replacing a knocked out crew member, and filters - which increase mobility, although elevation mechanism can be useful as well it generally isn't quite as useful on the M1A2 because the gun already elevates quickly enough to use in battle. It's probably best to get crew replenishment and laser rangefinder but this one is up to the commander.
Moving on to tier 4 the prioritized modifications should be M829A1, NVD, and engine modifications to give much increased firepower, search and location ability, and mobility respectively. After that the most major modifications have been researched and now it's time to go back through the tiers and pick up the remaining mods.
After reaching tier 4 there are likely still useful modifications throughout the tiers that should be researched including tracks, filters, transmission, elevation mechanism, M830A1 and others. There are some modifications that aren't very useful though and should be saved for last, like suspension and brake system.
The M1A2 is armed with the same 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun as the M1A1 and has access to the same ammunition of APFSDS and HEAT-FS. However, the M1A2 also gets access to a new HEAT-MP-T shell, M830A1. The M829 APFSDS round is still an excellent anti-tank munition, boasting the third highest penetration figures out of any sabot round in the game, at 493 mm of flat penetration at point-blank and decreasing to just 458 mm at 2 kilometres. Its angled performance is also excellent, penetrating 284 mm of armour at 60 degrees point-blank and 264 mm at 2 kilometres. It is sufficient to reliably engage any vehicle in the game frontally. The M830 HEAT-FS shell penetrates a meagre 480 mm of armour. It is not recommended to use this shell after unlocking the M829. The M1A2's new shell, M830A1 is a special type of HEAT-FS round. Instead of using a conventional impact fuse, M830A1 is a sub-calibre HEAT-FS round that has been saboted into a 120 mm casing and fitted with a proximity fuse. This allows it to effectively engage low flying aircraft and helicopters up to a range of 4.5 kilometres. The sub-calibre nature of the round means it travels extremely quickly at 1,400 m/s, making it the fastest HEAT round in the game. However, its effectiveness against armoured vehicles is limited as it penetrates a mere 350 mm of armour.
The M1A2's gun handles very well, with a very efficient stabiliser that allows accurate fire at any speed and a very fast 40 degrees per second turret traverse. The gun has good depression and elevation angles; negative 10 and positive 20 degrees respectively. An aced crew can reload the gun in just six seconds, which is comparable to the Leopard 2A5, Leclerc and T-80U, although slower than the Type 90 and Challenger 2.
|120 mm M256||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|42||37 (+5)||19 (+23)||1 (+41)||No|
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|Pintle (Commander)||1,000 (200)||577||-9°/+65°||±180°|
|7.62 mm M240|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|Pintle (Loader)||1,400 (200)||941||-9°/+65°||-77°/+135°|
Usage in battles
The M1A2 Abrams excels as an all-around jack of all trades vehicle capable of any role presented to it. It has a great combination of protection, firepower, situational awareness and mobility to allow it to adapt to any task it may face, from close-quarters fighting in urban areas to long-range engagements on large open maps.
- Urban combat
The M1A2, with its good mobility and improved protection over the M1A1 can function as an effective brawler in close-quarters urban fighting. The M1A2's reload rate is on par when aced to its counterparts, with the exception of the Challenger 2 and Type 90, making it able to quickly dish out damage and deal with multiple foes. Thusly, the M1A2 has no issue leading the charge into urban areas and being a frontline vehicle in the thick of the action, being able to equally deal damage and take it.
- Rural combat
On large open maps, the M1A2 is fully able to exploit its improved turret protection and commander's thermal imaging to give it the upper hand in long-range battles. The mobility of the M1A2 allows it to reach advantageous positions that overlook key areas of the map but its 1st gen. thermal device doesn't allow a fast identification of targets at range and in dense woodland. The commander's thermal imager means the player can keep track of threats all around the vehicle and monitor the battlefield without exposing the turret at all. The M1A2 is best played as an ambush sniper, using its commander's thermal sight to survey from cover, exposing the tank only to engage a target. The turret armour also means the M1A2 should be kept in a hull-down position, making the tank extremely hard to destroy. The M1A2 also retains the ability to effectively take the enemy head-on when the situation calls for it, such as assaulting capture points. The M830A1 shell is also valuable, allowing the M1A2 to become an ad-hoc anti-aircraft vehicle, especially against unwary helicopters that get too close to you or your allies.
- Notable enemies
- Leopard 2A5/2A6: These are the main counterparts of the M1A2. Though the M1A2 outperforms the Leopard 2A5 in firepower, the Leopard 2A6 has superior firepower compared to both, having the best APFSDS in the game. The DM53 APFSDS the Leopard 2A6 is equipped with is capable of penetrating the turret cheek of the M1A2 at closer ranges. Thus, the Leopard 2s should be a high-priority target to be dealt with carefully. When hull down, the Leopard 2s can only be effectively penetrated through the gun mantlet or a lucky shot into the turret ring, so aim for the gun area, as this usually results in at least the disablement of the cannon or breech. If the Leopard 2 presents its hull, aim for the left side as the lined-up crew members usually result in all of them being knocked out at the same time, resulting in a one shot if done correctly.
- T-80U: The T-80U can be a fearsome enemy if you are unaware of its significant disadvantages and weaknesses. The tank's frontal protection is very strong, though the area around the gun and the driver's hatch are weak spots that should be targeted. The T-80U, like many other T-series vehicles, are prone to being destroyed in one-shot due to the tightly-packed interior that has the turret crew sitting on top of all the ammunition. Furthermore, the T-80U is very vulnerable to any form of angling in the hull as its side protection is very weak in comparison to the frontal armour. A single penetration at all but the most oblique angles usually results in the detonation of the hull-ammo carousel to easily destroy the T-80U.
- Leclerc: The Leclerc's good mobility, firepower and protection make it a formidable foe to engage. However the tank's armour scheme is inconsistent and presents three main weak spots frontally; the massive and extremely weak mantlet, the UFP and LFP. These are quite easy to hit and present a good chance of dealing serious damage or knocking out the vehicle entirely.
Pros and cons
- New depleted uranium composite armour layout makes the frontal turret extremely difficult to penetrate to all munitions in the game, other than Ariete's CL1343 and the Leopard 2A6's DM53, at short range
- Can effectively destroy aircraft or helicopters with new HEATFS shell through proximity detonation
- Thermal sight for both the commander and gunner
- Good crew survivability like the rest of the Abrams line
- M829 APFSDS modification unlocked at tier I
- Very easy to penetrate, even by low rank 5 tanks, hits on the UFP can auto bounce into the turret, often incapacitating the gunner and commander, as well as detonating the ammo
- The turret ring is a massive weak spot, any tank in the game can penetrate it, a hit to the highly angled upper front plate will likely cause the incoming shell to richochet into the turret ring, destroying critical components and knocking out crew members
- The LFP is huge and has very poor protection
- Has the same weak spots as the preceding Abrams
- The gun mantlet weak spot on the turret, though this is common with all MBTs.
- The Ariete's CL3143 APFSDS and Leopard 2A6's DM53 has a good chance of penetrating the turret cheeks if they're hit at a right angle
- Least manoeuvrable Abrams in the game, due to its weight of 61.7 tonnes
- The stock HEATFS shell is very difficult to use at top tier due to every tank you face having more than 600mm of chemical protection or being coated in ERA frontally. Flank shots are the only reliable way to get kills
- Like with most Abrams series tanks, the engine deck is slightly raised, meaning that you will not be able to depress the gun over the rear of the tank.
In the second half of the 1980s, a development project was launched to increase the combat effectiveness of the Abrams MBT. The result of this undertaking became the M1A2 version of the Abrams.
The new version featured an upgraded fire control system, a new independent commander's panoramic sight as well as improved protection thanks to the use of second generation depleted uranium composite armor. All of these upgrades combined significantly bolstered the combat capabilities of the Abrams tank. Production of the M1A2 began in 1986 and the modification was formally introduced into US service in 1992.
The M1A2 and its sub-variants are the most advanced modifications of the Abrams tank fielded to date. Over 1,500 M1A2s have been built with some older variants also being upgraded to the M1A2 standard. Apart from the U.S. as its primary operator, the M1A2 also sees service with the armed forces of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
- From Devblog
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS)|
|MBTs||IPM1 Abrams · M1A1 Abrams · M1A2 Abrams|
|Tank destroyers||M1128 Stryker MGS|
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A5|
|M26||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|Post-war||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1 · T95E1|
|MBT||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · MBT-70 · XM-803|
|XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams · M1A2 Abrams|
|Israeli||Magach 3 · Merkava Mk.1 · Merkava Mk.2B · Merkava Mk.3D|