XM-1 Abrams

On display in the Patton Museum, this is an early Chrysler design for the M-1.  Note the slightly different turret.





This is pilot vehicle #1.  Despite the end of the MBT-70 and XM-803 programs, there was still a need for a follow-on to the M-60, so Chrysler and General Motors were asked to begin design on a new tank.  In 1976, the rival prototypes were tested.  The Chrysler design was selected for further development, and M-1s entered production in the early '80s.  Although there were many doubters, with its thick frontal armor reinforced with ceramics to defeat anti-tank missiles, the M-1 proved nearly invulnerable in conventional combat.  Equipped with a laser rangefinder, the 105mm main gun was much more effective than that on its predecessor, the M-60.  Perhaps the only significant flaw is the powerful but thirsty gas turbine engine, an odd choice during an era of oil crises.  The vehicle has upgraded well with a 120mm gun and improved electronics, so perhaps the biggest threat to the M-1 is pin-headed bureaucrats with visions of a cargo plane transported army.   

Grizzly Prototype Mine Clearing Vehicle


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