The M1 Abrams was the next stage in American tank development after the M60 series. Chrysler completed the prototype in 1978 and the first production vehicles appeared in 1980 with 30 tanks a month being built in the years that followed by General Dynamics, then a division of Chrysler Motors. Its advanced Chobham armour makes the M1 the best protected US main battle tank yet devised. Its gas turbine engine is smaller and easier to service than a diesel engine, but the extra fuel requirement negates the space saved, which is perhaps why the idea was rejected for acquiring the German-built Leopard 2. Thermal sights, laser rangefinder equipment, and a sophisticated gun stabilization system give the M1 excellent firepower on the move, be it day or night. In the 1991 Gulf War, the Abrams proved itself the best tank in the world, knocking out Iraqi T-72s with impunity. In fact, no Abrams were lost due to enemy fire.
According to General Dynamics, international sales of the Abrams tank are strong. Egypt has purchased 777 M1A1 tank kits. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia purchased and fielded 315 M1A2 Abrams tanks in the Royal Saudi Land Forces, and lest we forget the Government of Kuwait, which purchased and fielded 218 M1A2 Abrams tanks in the Kuwaiti Land Forces. All of these nations are considering additional orders or configuration upgrades for their existing fleet of M1A1/A2 tanks.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a M1A1HA Abrams main battle tank comes equipped with a mine plough and was used by 1st Platoon, B Company, USMC Tank Battalion, while on maneuvers in the Mojave Desert during 1996. Sold Out!
Length: 4 inches
Width: 2.25 inches
Release Date: July 2004
Historical Account: The Mine Clearing Blade is a supplementary piece of equipment necessary for the M1A1 Main Battle Tank to breech minefields during routine operations. It is electrically operated, and is capable of clearing surface or buried mines up to 6 feet in front of the tank's path without the aid of supporting forces or additional equipment. The system's track-width mine ploughs can clear 42 inches on each side of a path as well as magnetic-fused mines between them with the Improved Dogbone Assembly. In loose sand, the ploughs can operate at a rate of 30 km/h. The maximum safe operating speed for this system is at least 10 miles per hour.