M1A2 Abrams

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M1A2 Abrams
M1A2 Abrams
10.7 10.7 10.7
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GarageImage M1A2 Abrams.jpg

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 10.7 (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, a commander's thermal sight and the only driver's thermal imager in the game.

General info

Survivability and armour

The M1A2's frontal KE protection vs CL1343 at 500 metres
The M1A2's frontal CE protection vs MIM-146

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 200 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 690 mm to 600 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)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 76 45 61.7 2,058 2898 33.35 46.97
Realistic 68 41 1,343 1519 21.77 24.62

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 engine, filters, transmission and tracks modules.


Main armament

Main article: M256 (120 mm)

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)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 42 -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 480 480 480 480 480 480
M829 APFSDS 491 488 481 473 464 454
M830A1 HEATFS 350 350 350 350 350 350
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°
M830A1 HEATFS 1,410 11.40 N/A 0.1 1,390 65° 72° 77°

Ammo racks

rack empty
rack empty
42 36 (+6) (+36) Yes

Machine guns

12.7 mm M2HB
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle (Commander) 1,000 (200) 576 -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

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 and its improved thermal quality allows easier 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: This is the main counterpart of the M1A2 and both tanks are evenly matched in nearly all aspects. Thusly the Leopard 2A5 should be a high-priority target to be dealt with carefully. When hull down, the Leopard 2A5 can only be effectively penetrated through the gun mantlet or a lucky shot into the turret ring, so aim for the gun area, which usually results in at least the disablement of the cannon or breech. If the Leopard 2A5 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.
  • 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.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire M830A1 Smoke grenade
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism M829
IV Transmission Engine ESS Artillery Support Laser rangefinder NVD

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, at short range
  • Can effectively destroy aircraft or helicopters with new HEATFS shell through proximity detonation
  • Thermal sight for the commander, gunner and driver
  • Excellent thermal quality (800 x 600), comparable to the Leopard 2A5
  • Good crew survivability like the rest of the Abrams line


  • 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
  • The lower LFP is huge and has very poor protection
  • Has the same weak spots as the preceding Abrams
  • The mantlet can be penetrated by almost all shells, will only stop weaker versions of HEATFS
  • The Italian CL1343 APFSDS found on the Ariete line of tanks can penetrate some areas of the gunner's side turret cheek at close range
  • 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
  • APFSDS is a tier III unlock


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



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