M1A1 Abrams

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M1A1 Abrams
M1A1 Abrams
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This page is about the medium tank M1A1 Abrams. For other uses, see M1 (Disambiguation).


GarageImage M1A1 Abrams.jpg

The Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, 120-mm Gun M1A1 (shortened to M1A1 Abrams) is a rank VII American medium tank with a battle rating of 10.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.87 "Locked On".

General info

Survivability and armour

The M1A1 is essentially an IPM1 armed with a 120 mm M256 gun, meaning the armour is almost identical to its tech-tree predecessor. The tank features composite armour in gun mantlet, turret cheeks, sides and lower front plate, with composite side skirts affording some protection along the frontal half of the vehicle's hull. The M1A1 retains the Abrams series' exceptional protection against chemical energy projectiles, with the turret cheeks affording some 1,200 mm RHAe against shaped charges and the hull providing around 600 mm. However, the kinetic energy protection of the tank is quite lacklustre compared to its top tier compatriots, especially against the best rounds fielded by other nations' main battle tanks; all of which can easily penetrate the Abrams frontally in practically any location. This makes the tank quite vulnerable to enemy fire. However, the M1A1 also retains the excellent survivability of the Abrams series, with a spread out crew, separate ammunition compartment and shielding for fuel tanks and the engine compartment that make the tank unlikely to die in a single shot.


The M1A1 features the same 1,500 horsepower AGT-1500 gas turbine equipped on the other Abrams tank, though the tank has gotten several tons heavier. When stock, the vehicle accelerates quite sluggishly and features a horrendously slow hull traverse. Fully upgraded however, the M1A1 is quite nimble with decent power to weight ratio and traverse capability. At 68 km/h of top speed and 40 km/h in reverse, the tank is comparable to its counterparts.


Main armament

Main article: M256 (120 mm)
120 mm M256
Capacity Vertical
40 -9°/+20° ±180° Two-plane
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 38.08 52.71 64.00 __.__ 75.29
Realistic 23.8 28.0 34.0 37.6 40.0
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
7.80 6.9 6.36 6
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
M830 HEATFS 650 650 650 650 650 650
M829 APFSDS 493 492 484 476 467 458
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
M830 HEATFS 1,140 13.5 0.0 0.1 1,640 +0° 65° 72° 75°
M829 APFSDS 1,679 4.3 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 78° 80° 81°
Ammo racks
rack empty
rack empty
40 XX (+XX) XX (+XX) No

Machine guns

12.7 mm M2HB
Pintle mount (Commander)
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
1,000 (200) 577 -9°/+65° ±180°
7.62 mm M240
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
10,000 (200) 750 -10°/+20° ±180°
Pintle mount (Loader)
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
1,400 (200) 750 -9°/+65° -77°/+135°

Optics and night vision

M1A1 Abrams Optics
Type of optic Magnification Night Vision Devices
Image Intensifier Thermal Imager


Resolution Light Mult Noise Level
Gunner's Sight X3.0 - X10.0 Not fitted N/A N/A 500 x 300
Commander's View X6 1600 x 1200 Not Fitted
Driver's View X1 1600 x 1200 Not Fitted

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

Pros and cons


  • 120 mm gun with access to good rounds, including one of the best APFSDS rounds in the game
  • Turret exceptionally well protected against chemical rounds
  • Decent mobility when upgraded
  • Ammunition in the turret, when detonated, generally will not spread to the crew compartment
  • The fuel tanks and engine compartment are separated from the crew compartment by steel plates, increasing the time it takes for a fire to destroy the vehicle
  • Reload speed of the 120 mm is decent; 6 seconds with an aced crew level


  • Stock vehicle is sluggish
  • Stock rounds are quite inadequate against many of the main battle tanks the vehicle faces
  • Ammunition variety is limited to two choices, a HEAT-FS and APFSDS round
  • Reload time slower than 105 mm armed predecessors
  • Hull and turret armour less effective against kinetic rounds, plus are lacking in protection against the armaments of current Rank VII vehicles


Almost as soon as the first production M1 Abrams MBTs began rolling off the assembly line, did American engineers begin working on an up-gunned version of the Abrams. They succeeded in this endeavour in 1981, after a prototype Abrams, designated M1E1, was successfully fitted with a 120mm Rheinmetall smoothbore cannon.

Showing promising performance, work on the vehicle continued. At the same time, an upgraded version of the original Abrams, the IPM1, which featured improved protection and a larger turret was briefly produced between 1984 - 1986. The resulting M1A1 Abrams inherited the upgrades from the IPM1 and combined them with the M256 120 mm smoothbore cannon, a licence-built version of the German original.

The M1A1 was adopted for service in 1984 and was produced alongside the IPM1 for a short while since 1985 until the older modification was phased out of production.

The M1A1 saw its first use during the U.S. deployment in the Gulf War in 1991. Faced against arguably inferior Soviet-era tanks, the M1A1 had successfully proven its worth in tank-on-tank engagements but exposed new problems concerning its performance and vulnerability in urban environments. This led to further upgrades for the vehicle being developed later on.

Production of the M1A1 seized in 1992, with over 5,800 units being produced, including Egyptian and Australian export models. The original M1A1 chassis still serves today, albeit as upgraded variants which have undergone several modernization efforts.

- From Devblog


  • M1A1 Abrams on the move in Alaska.
  • See also

    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.

    External links

    USA medium tanks
    Early projects  M2
    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
    Turkey  M60 AMBT