Forces of Valor 85005 US M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank - Operation Iraqi Freedom, Baghdad, 2003 (1:72 Scale)
"We will carry out a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility ... and by the application of overwhelming force."
- CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks commenting on the conduct of Operation: Iraqi Freedom, March 21st, 2003
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.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a M1A1 Abrams tank painted in a desert tan camouflage scheme which participated in the US-led Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 2.25 inches
Release Date: June 2005
Historical Account: "The Pursuit of Happiness" - The Iraq War (2003 to the present), also known as the Second Gulf War (and by the U.S. military as Operation Iraqi Freedom and the UK military as Operation TELIC), started with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Subsequent occupation of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist Iraq by a United States-led coalition has resulted in ongoing asymmetric warfare between resistance forces and coalition forces. Both resistance and coalition forces include fighters from several countries. The New Iraqi Army was created to replace the old one that was disbanded after the U.S. led invasion. In the midst of fighting between resistance, coalition, and Iraqi forces, sectarian war between the majority Shia and minority Sunni populations continues today. The causes and consequences of the war remain controversial.