M1A1 Abrams

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M1A1 Abrams
M1A1 Abrams
10.3 10.3 10.3
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This page is about the American main battle tank M1A1 Abrams. For other vehicles of the family, see M1 Abrams (Family). 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. However, don't expect to be able to fire back if you get penetrated: most penetrating hits will knock out at least one of these componets/crew members: gun breech/barrel, turret traverse/elevation, gunner or loader, track(s), engine.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 76 45 57.2 2,058 2898 35.98 50.66
Realistic 68 41 1,343 1519 23.48 26.56

The M1A1 Abrams 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 Abrams 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)

The M1A1'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. The penetration of the M829 APFSDS, even though is comparable if not a little better that its contemporaries, is not enough to handle most of the soviet MBTs it is going to face.

120 mm M256 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 40 -10°/+20° ±180° Two-plane 38.08 52.71 64.00 70.80 75.29 7.80 6.90 6.36 6.00
Realistic 23.80 28.00 34.00 37.60 40.00


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
M830 HEATFS 650 650 650 650 650 650
M829 APFSDS 491 488 481 473 464 454
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
M830 HEATFS 1,140 13.10 N/A 0.1 2,360 65° 72° 77°
M829 APFSDS 1,670 4.30 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M1A1 Abrams
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
40 35 (+5) 18 (+22) (+39) No

Machine guns

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
Coaxial 10,000 (200) 750 N/A N/A
Pintle (Loader) 1,400 (200) 750 -9°/+65° -77°/+135°

Usage in battles

Stock Gameplay:

As with any vehicle, the M1A1 finds itself at a serious disadvantage while stock. Without access to thermal imaging or the "powerful" M829 APFSDS round, users will need to play more carefully. While the M830 HEAT-FS round is powerful, it struggles against composite armor and ERA, as well as having lackluster post-penetration effects. Generally stock M1A1 tank commanders should avoid areas with lots of foliage, as here the lack of thermals will be especially detrimental. Additionally players will have to aim more carefully to deal effective damage with the M830 HEAT round.

Spaded Gameplay:

The M1A1 is a 10.3 glass cannon without the cannon part most of the time. The M829 APFSDS round has plenty of penetration only against non soviet opponents, but it should be easy to destroy enemy Leo's if shooting in the lower right part of the hull, detonating the ammo. The gun, ammo, and reload rate are comparable to other 10.3 vehicles.. The turret protection on the M1A1 is not capable of stopping any of the best APFSDS rounds at it's tier. Rounds like 3BM42 Mango are able to penetrate at ranges up to 3500 meters! With this in mind, players should not rely on their armor.

Close Range Engagements:

The M1A1 is not a brawler. It has impressive acceleration and gun handling, giving it an edge over other vehicles, but anytime it faces the soviets, most times the rounds will not pen. The Hull armor gives the M1A1 a fighting chance against HEAT rounds,even though mot times it will hit the UGP and bounce righthe player and the reload rate is comparable to it's adversaries. .

Long Range Engagements:

The M1A1 is capable at long range, but is outclassed by many other vehicles. The cannon is powerful, but not especially so compared to it's adversaries. The biggest issues the M1A1 will face in regards to long range engagements are the turret armor and lack of commanders thermals. While the M829 APFSDS round will fail to penetrate the turret cheeks of vehicles like T80U and Leopard 2A5, their rounds will have no such trouble with the M1A1. The lack of commanders thermals makes it difficult to scout for enemies while in full hull down, although players can bind a button to switch to the machine gun as their main weapon. This will allow them to see through the machine gun sight with a thermal imager, giving them an elevated vantage point through the thermals.

Gameplay summary:

Although the M1A1 is somewhat weak when stock, it is an adequate frontline tank while spaded. The powerful round and gun give it a strong position in the U.S. top tier lineup. However M1A1 tank commanders should remember that their turret cheeks can be penetrated by some rounds. This means it does best in close to medium range fights.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Smoke grenade
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism M829
IV Transmission Engine ESS Artillery Support Laser rangefinder NVD

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
  • Weak turret ring armor and upper hull plate ricochets will often/sometimes lead to fatal shot traps and ammo racks.
  • 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.


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