|This page is about the American medium tank M1 Abrams. For other versions, see M1 Abrams (Family). For other uses, see M1 (Disambiguation).|
Following the cancellation of the MBT-70 and XM-803, the US Army continued their search for the next main battle tank to replace their M60s. With a goal of producing a top-rate main battle tank under a fixed price limit, both General Motors and Chrysler competed for the optimal design the US Army will choose. In November 1976, the Chrysler model was chosen for the XM-1 contract, and was accepted for service in 1981 as the M1 Abrams tank. The basis of the new main battle tank for the US Army, 2,374 units of the M1 Abrams would be produced. Accepted under constrained budgets, the now standardized M1 Abrams would go on to feature multiple improvement programs, such as the introduction of a 120 mm gun, as well as constant refurbishments to keep the tank up to date.
The Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, 105-mm Gun M1, or just M1 Abrams, was introduced in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm". The start of a new common vehicle for the rest of the American tech tree, the first M1 Abrams gives players a good taste of the gameplay expected from the platform. The turbine engine gives the vehicle great speed and acceleration that players could use to get to position or perform hit-and-run on their targets. The armour, an improvement over its predecessors, can provide substantial kinetic energy protection, but excels in chemical energy protection against HEAT tank shells. The one area that the M1 Abrams is not too different is the firepower, using the same 105 mm gun and its shells from the latest M60 variants. However, the improved armour and mobility can allow players to better use the 105 mm gun by getting around to where enemies least expect the Abrams to be for the 105 mm to do the most damages against their weak points.
Survivability and armour
The armour is decent, with the LFP being able to stop rounds such as 3BM22, 3BM15, 3BM9, offering about 430 mm of kinetic protection against these three rounds. It can also stop the 105 mm DM23 and 120 mm L23 rounds. The Abrams has around 410/415 mm of protection against these rounds. The lower front plate is nigh impenetrable to nearly all HEATFS shells and ATGMs. The UFP is decent as well: it can ricochet shots right into the huge turret ring, so when playing, keep it in mind. The turret fares much better against these shots. It offers 440 mm of protection, being able to stop these rounds.
When uptiered, you will face 120 mm 3BM42, M829, DM23 and DM33 rounds: they will shred through your armour like paper. Even then, your armour might ricochet when moving and save you when retreating.
The gun mantlet is also huge and all APFSDS and HEATFS rounds can go trough (though this is a weak spot all vehicles have). Like most western MBTs, survivability is good, with the crew being far apart from each other as well as wet ammo stowage.
- Composite armour (hull, turret)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 19-38.1 mm (82-83°) Front glacis
32*+101* mm (40°) Lower glacis
25.4-38.1 mm (82°) Belly glacis
| 25.4+65** Front tip
30+30+65** mm Front half
12.7 mm Rear half - Top
27.6+6.35 mm Rear half - Bottom
28.4+6.35 mm Rear tip
| 31.75 mm (5-37°)
12.7 mm (53-54°)
| 31.75 mm |
5 mm Engine grille
|Turret|| 38*+101* mm (21-30°)
38*+18* mm (30-36°) Gun mantlet
25.4 mm (74-82°) Turret underside
| 19*+101* mm (30°) Crew compartment
6*+13* (30°) Ammo rack bustle
| 12.7 mm (43-48°)
25.4 mm (80-83°) Turret underside
| 38.1 mm Front |
25.4 mm Rear
12.7 mm Panels
|Cupola||25.4 mm (conical)|| 25.4 mm (conical) Outer ring |
25.4 mm Centre
* RHA plates part of composite armour
** Composite screens
|Composite armour||Frontal effective protection||Sides|
|Hull|| Lower glacis:
380 mm Kinetic / 600 mm Chemical
|Turret|| Turret front:
400 mm Kinetic / 650 mm Chemical
380 mm Kinetic / 600 mm Chemical
240 mm Kinetic / 450 mm Chemical
| 31.75 mm sections: |
160 mm Kinetic / 400 mm Chemical
12.7 mm sections:
80 mm Kinetic / 400 mm Chemical
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
- Turret ring is 50.8 + 50.8 mm thick.
- 19 mm RHA plates are positioned behind the front fuel tanks.
- 19 mm RHA plates surround the turret rear ammo racks.
Overall mobility is superb, even without mobility modifications researched it can still outaccelerate most contemporary vehicles. Hull traverse is however poor, with it becoming only decent when all mobility modifications researched. The M1 Abrams is a fairly quick main battle tank. It accelerates quickly, and will hold a speed of 52 km/h (32 mph) over rough terrain. On city maps or paved surfaces, an M1 Abrams can easily reach its top speed of 72 km/h (45 mph), thanks to its monstrously powerful turbine engine. With three speeds in reverse, it is also capable of an impressive 40 km/h (25 mph) to back away from troublesome situations. As powerful as the motor may be, the M1 Abrams has a slow to respond, and relatively slow traverse rate for its neutral steering. In some circumstances, it may be more beneficial to back away before turning around, as waiting for the neutral steering to turn 180 degrees is lengthy.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The gun performance is adequate. While the shells are good against angles, they can penetrate weak spots and the sides of enemy vehicles with ease. At long ranges the gun can struggle, especially against enemies in a hull down position. Most Soviet/Russian MBTs in a hull down position only have the following weak spots: the gun mantlet and the driver hatch window, located just below the gun. The M1 Abrams also suffers from a raised engine deck. As such, its capacity for "over the shoulder" shots and shots directly over the rear is very limited, because the engine deck prevents the lowering of the cannon.
|105 mm M68A1||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) (kg)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|55||48 (+7)||45 (+10)||23 (+32)||1 (+54)||No|
- Blowout rack only: 45 (+10) shells.
With three machine guns (two light 7.62 mm and one heavy 12.7 mm), the Abrams is well equipped at dealing with helicopters and lightly armoured SPAA.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|Commander's cupola||1,000 (200)||577||-9°/+65°||±180°|
|7.62 mm M240|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|Loader's cupola||1,400 (200)||941||-9°/+65°||-77°/+135°|
Usage in battles
Its armour, whilst reliable in downtiers and when facing tanks of the same BR, should not be relied on when uptiered. Many tanks will destroy you. But when downtiered, your armour will protect you 70-75% of the time. Many rounds at this BR and below have a hard time facing you and even penetrating you in the LFP even.
M774 is the preferred round in the M1 Abrams; it has significantly better angled penetration, an improved ballistic coefficient and reduced chance to bounce at high angle impacts. The HESH round is still useful for engaging light vehicles and helicopters; the smoke round is not very valuable thanks to the Abrams having a built-in smoke generator and smoke grenades, but it might be helpful to take one or two.
The Abrams' main strength is its extreme mobility, even by MBT standards, and the very good ballistics of the APFSDS rounds. The armour is not sufficient and will only really stop ATGMs and HEATFS rounds. But when facing tanks at this BR and below, enemies have a hard time penetrating your frontal arc.
Additionally, The M1 has somewhat sub-par penetration even with its best shell. Because of these factors, it is recommended that you do not use this tank as a frontline brawler. Instead, use your speed to quickly appear from angles your opponents are not expecting you to come from. This can take the form of flanking in order to get side shots, Rushing at the start of the game to take an advantageous position, or getting to choke points before the enemy does, in order to be ready to knock them out. Essentially, This tank should be played much like the M18 Hellcat, though unlike the Hellcat your armour can still help you occasionally when uptiered.
When downtiered, this should be played as a balanced tank, with armour and speed, only really lacking firepower.
A useful thing to note when playing the Abrams, and most MBTs in general, is that if your opponent shows any side armour, you can penetrate them almost every time. if someone is coming towards you even at a slight angle, aim for the front drive wheel on their tracks. Your shell will be able to penetrate into the tank and likely knock them out with a single shot. It is recommended to use APFSDS as the main loadout, as the HEATFS ammunition starts coming against tanks with armour types specifically designed to resist it.
In terms of threats:
- Type 90 and AMX-40, as their incredibly powerful shots can penetrate you anywhere, at any angle, at almost any distance. For the Type 90, aim for the turret ring, and for the AMX-40, aim for the LFP.
- The T-80B, because of its strong armament and very strong armour; it can be penetrated through its lower front plate, the drivers viewport below the gun, and just to the side or below the gun; if a T80B shows any of its side, you can penetrate it there
Pros and cons
- LFP and turret face can easily stop 3BM22, other soviet rounds, DM23 (105 mm) and L23.
- Good chemical protection due to composite armour, especially on the turret
- Internal armour plating increases crew survivability
- Very good mobility for its weight
- Great forward and reverse speed
- Very good acceleration
- Turns very fast, even in neutral steering
- Very accurate and fast-firing main gun
- Blowout panels protect the crew from ammo rack detonation
- Although composite armour is absent on the upper glacis plate, the extreme sloping makes shells bounce every time
- Large target
- The three shells under the gun do NOT have blowout panels, if detonated you will die
- No composite armour on the upper glacis plate and in the rear of the turret, so remaining on level terrain is priority
- The turret ring is a massive and easily penetrated weak spot
- The armour's high chemical resistance is not relevant against contemporary enemies usually equipped with APFSDS
- Losing some crew members will prevent you from firing some of your smoke grenades
- Low APFSDS penetration
- Inadequate stock ammo loadout: both the M735 and M456 shells are no longer effective at this BR
- NVD are a tier III modification
- M774 is a tier IV modification and it is still a fairly weak round for this BR
- 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.
Once the unsuccessful joint German-American MBT-70 project had been shut down in 1971, the Congress redistributed funds to the further development of the XM815 project, later known as the XM1 Abrams. The development of the XM1 Abrams was a competition between two designs of the Chrysler and General Motors companies, respectively. Early July 1973 marks an important date for the project after representatives of both companies travelled to Great Britain to witness the development of the new composite armour, named Burlington. Impressed by what they saw, both companies decided to reevaluate and optimize their designs' armour layout to increase its effectiveness, with General Motors changing the front shape of the turret to a sloped surface, whilst Chrysler retained its vertical design. By 1976, the XM1 prototypes were being readied for testing, with the finishing touch being the installation of the M68 cannon.. Testing of both prototypes took place in the presence of the new German Leopard 2 tank, which was shipped to the U.S. for comparison purposes. Once testing was concluded and the results evaluated, the turbine-powered Chrysler design was proclaimed the winner of the competition and thus the Chrysler design would soon enter production as the M1 Abrams.
The M1 entered production in 1979, with the first production version M1 leaving the factory floor in February 1980. Production of the M1 continued until 1985, with an improved M1IP version being produced briefly between 1984 -1986. By 1985, several thousands of M1s had already been manufactured and put into service. In August 1985 however, the M1 was outfitted with the license-built version of the Rheinmetall 120 mm gun, as found on the Leopard 2 tank and subsequently entered production as the M1A1 Abrams. Following this modification, earlier M1 units would progressively be upgraded to M1A1 standard, but this is a story for another devblog in the future. The M1 Abrams saw the most active service with US forces primarily in operations in the Middle East, but known operators also include Australia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others. Nonetheless, the American M1 Abrams is one of the most successful and widely fielded modern-day MBTs in use anywhere in the world, and rightfully deserves its iconic status alongside other American legends such as the M4 Sherman and M60 Patton, to name but a few. The fact that the M1 Abrams is still being manufactured and used today, almost four decades after its introduction, serves as a testimony to that statement.
- 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.
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A2 · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A3 TTS|
|M1||XM-1 (Chrysler) · M1 Abrams|
|M48||M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · ␗M48A1 · Magach 1 · Magach 2|
|M60||␗M60A3 TTS · M60A1 "D.C.Ariete" ·|
|Note||Chrysler Defense was purchased by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in 1982.|
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · ▃Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W · M4/T26|
|M26 Pershing||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|M46/47/48 Patton||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1|
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · M728 CEV|
|MBT-70||MBT-70 · XM-803|
|M1 Abrams||XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · M1 KVT · IPM1 · M1A1 · M1A1 HC · M1A2 Abrams · M1A2 SEP|
|Israel||▃Magach 3 (ERA) · ▃Merkava Mk.1 · ▃Merkava Mk.2B · ▃Merkava Mk.3D|