Franklin Mint B11E207 US M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank - Tri-Color Desert Camouflage (1:24 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. This particular M1A1 Abrams main battle tank is painted in a tri-color desert camouflage pattern used by US forces operating in the Persian Gulf.
Length: 16 inches
Historical Account: "Liberation" - The 2003 invasion of Iraq, codenamed "Operation Iraqi Freedom" by the United States, officially began on March 20th, 2003. The stated objective of the invasion was "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people". In preparation, 100,000 US troops were assembled in Kuwait by February 18th. The United States supplied the majority of the invading forces. Supporters of the invasion included a coalition force of more than 40 countries, and Kurds in northern Iraq. The 2003 Iraq invasion began the Iraq War.