"Abrams" has a traditional assembly and has a rather strong reservations welded turret and hull. In front of their parts used multilayer reservation, which is similar to the British armor "chobhem" used on tanks "Challenger" and the German "Leopard 2" later series. For the "Abrams" is also characterized by a rather large angle of inclination of the upper front hull with respect to the vertical plane, which is an additional factor of protection and reduces its vulnerability to armor-piercing shells. To protect against chemical munitions top chassis and body are covered with special side mounted broneekranami. The crew members are isolated from the tank of fuel and ammunition special armored walls that assigns and crew, and an extra tank protection. The tank has no autoloader, because the crew consists of four people: a commander, a driver, gunner and loader.
Controls tank contain a T-shaped wheel motorcycle type which associated with the automatic. In the upper part of the column is placed the shift lever (4 forward gears, 2 reverse). Controlling the supply of fuel is carried out by rotating the tip of arms control column.
Initially, in the armored turret rotation was put radial 105-mm rifled gun M68E1, which was stabilized in 2 planes. Right from the gun placed the commander's and gunner's left is a place loader. In the rear of the tower in a secluded bay in combat pack is the main weapon of the ammunition (44 rounds of 55). Access to them is revealed only when disclosing armored walls. Other shots are in armored containers that attach to the hull of the tank (8 pieces) and Polikey tower immediately before charging (3 pieces). In ammunition and armor-piercing weapons were piercing projectiles with a detachable tray M774 and M883 (of depleted uranium), M735 (tungsten core), and M737 training ammunition.
Tank got quite a modern fire control system (FCS). Main sight Gunner joins voedinyzhdy inside daytime visual channel, thermal imager and laser rangefinder. Daily visual channel has a variable approach (in the 3 and 10-fold). Y imager as two levels of approximation (3 and 10) which allow to detect targets in large mode (7,5 x 15 °) and small (2.5 x 5 °) field of view.
In all this there is the fact that other crew members have the least ability to detection purposes, compared with the gunner. A low level of instrumentation driver and loader justified downloading their specific multi-functional obligations, and the commander of the machine — the savings. Tank commander could look for targets or using an ocular discharge gunner's sight, or by the commander's periscope monocular sight. Be monitored through the last could be only in the daytime, and monocular removal did not give the ability to conduct autonomous (independent of the gunner) search purposes.
To ensure the radial angle cupola has 6 installed on the perimeter of the observation periscopes. Electric (digital) ballistic computer, has a rather high accuracy in calculating the angle correction for the shooting. Gun in his values are entered the target range, which come from a laser range finder, ambient air temperature, wind speed and angle of the lateral inclination of the axis trunnion guns. It manually enter information about the type of projectile, barrel wear, barometric pressure, and amendments to the direction of the band mismatch of sight and the axis of the bore.
After the gunner sees and recognizes the objective of holding her crosshair, he presses the button of the laser range finder. Is the detection of the target range, the value range is displayed in the sights commander and gunner. Whereupon aimer selects the type of ammunition, setting the four-way switch to the desired position. At this time, charges the charging tool. After that, the light signal in the gunner's sight gives a hint that the gun is ready to fire. The angular correction of ballistic computer clogged machine. As the shortcomings of experts called the presence of only the 1st of the eyepiece in the gunner's sight, increasing eye fatigue, especially when driving combat vehicles.
Power pack compartment (MTO) is in the aft tank. Here the gas turbine engine installed AGT-1500, which is a hydromechanical unit with an automatic gearbox X-1100-3B. Selection of a gas turbine engine specifically South American engineers clarify a number of its advantages. In comparison with diesel engines of the same power a turbine engine has the smallest volume. In addition, it is almost 2 times lighter has a relatively conventional design meaningful and more than (2 — 3 times larger) of the resource. Better than that of the engine satisfies the requirements of multi-fuel capability. At the same time it is called such shortcomings as the complexity of air pollution control and excessive fuel consumption. It should be noted that engine capacity of 1500 ps provides tank M1 "Abrams" supreme acceleration — from a place to a speed of 30 km / h and it accelerates in 6 seconds.
Tanks M1 "Abrams" are equipped with a system of protection against weapons of mass destruction, which supplies purified using filter-installation of air to the masks of the crew. It also allows you to make the extra pressure inside the tank to prevent the ingestion of radioactive dust or some toxic substances. Available to crew appliances chemical and radiation reconnaissance. Raise the temperature of the air inside the war machine can be using a heater.
First improved version of the tank was installed in October 1984 and was produced until 1986 (it was released 894 tank). Its main difference from the original was a perfect hotel. Immediately went to this work to improve the combat ability of the tank, first it firepower. As a result of this work has been born, "Abrams' M1A1, the creation of which was launched in August 1985, and the first production aircraft entered the tank units of the U.S. Army in Europe in 1986.
Modification M1A1 got adopted the latest 120-mm smoothbore gun of the West German design, which is used in tanks "Leopard 2". Due to the introduction of larger caliber guns came decrease to 40 rounds of ammunition unitary loading, which are located in a specially designed armored combat pack. A huge amount of ammunition gun shells 2-types, armor-piercing core and feathered with a detachable tray (made of depleted uranium or tungsten) and multi-purpose (high-explosive and
cumulative actions.) All the shots of the metal tray and a sleeve burnout case. Was enhanced armor protection of the tower. As a result, all configurations of the tank combat weight increased to 57 tons.
In 1988 the creation of the M1A1 tanks that have received frontal armor of the turret and hull with inclusions of depleted uranium. The density of the latter is 2.5 times higher than that of ordinary metallic armor. The use of such technologies on the views of American engineers, has significantly improved armor protection of the tank, including the cumulative effects of acts of ammunition. With all this weight of the tank with that armor increased by 1.5 tons and tightly close to the mark of 60 tons. Specialists emphasized that the low level of natural radioactivity of depleted uranium is not dangerous for the crew of the tank.
A subsequent version of the M1A2 tank is forthcoming development of the existing machine. The complex enhancements, united under the title "Block 2", consists of self-contained thermal sight, which received commander tanks, thermal imaging device driver, on-board information system with display means of the situation and the new laser rangefinders.
Independent thermal sight made the probable simultaneous operation commander and gunner. While the tank commander can search for new targets in the criteria of smoke or haze, aimer can lead fire on previously found targets. The thermal sight is located on top of the turret hatches before charging, the image area (the device can be rotated by 360 degrees) comes on screen placed in front of a tank commander. The introduction of the latest on-board information system, which replaced the fire control system of a single electric complex, including a microprocessor processing the signals from all sensors, power management tool, the indicators display environment, significantly reduced the time of preparation of the tank to fire.
According to the views of western professionals tank M1A2 "Abrams" added the effectiveness of attacks compared with the base model by 54%, and in the prepared defense by 100%. Combat rate increased by 2 times. During the subsequent upgrades planned to use the new machines 120-mm gun (lightweight) and new ammunition to equip tank autoloader, the latest MSA, automatic search, detection and recognition of targets and more than perfect suspension, maybe hydro.