Burning M1

burningm1tank.jpg

Soldiers secure the area around an Abrams tank which caught fire after a roadside bomb hit a U.S. convoy in the center of Baghdad, on Sunday, according to Iraqi police.

Pic from Frontline Photos.

Comments

  1. Looks like the explosion was at the rear of the tank and buggered the engine which led to an internal fire. The Crew deffinately walked away from this one, but the fire probably did a lot of damage (most likely more than the IED itself) after the initial blast, so she’s going to need a lot of repair work. The newest engines being put into service as upgrades along with the additional rear armor (the new engines are smaller, just as powerful ,more efficient, more reliable, and lighter to allow for more armor weight wise) will deffinately significantly reduce the chance of ‘knock outs’ like this one from occuring. Battlefield feedback and improved engineering thanks to computers hopefully will keep m1’s in top shape untill the next generation of tanks starts production.

  2. Good to hear of that new engine – gotta love technology! Maybe they’ll get a better reputation for fuel efficiency. Is it still measured in gallons per mile? 🙂

  3. To my knowledge (from befriending an ex M1 Tank cptn.) the M1s have been miles per gallon from the start, but not by much.

  4. While the M1A2 SEP and M1A1D provide improved combat capabilities overmatch; the Army is working to improve reliability, reduce logistical footprint, and lower Operations and Support (O&S) costs for the tank. This effort is focused on two initiatives that provide the force with the biggest ‘bang for the buck’ in terms of O&S cost reduction, readiness improvement, and sustainment of combat overmatch. These initiatives include the following Abrams Engine Campaign and the Abrams Integrated Management Overhaul Program (AIM): The AGT 1500 engine has served the Abrams tank well. It afforded a significant combat edge due to its lightweight, power, and stealth. However, the AGT 1500 is getting old and the fleet faces problems in maintaining this workhorse. The AGT 1500 represents 1960’s technology and has been out of production since 1992. Declining reliability causes the engine to account for around 64% of the Abrams tank reparable O&S costs. The Army is focusing on the engine as a major element in easing the maintenance burden for the force while substantially reducing O&S costs. PM Abrams has developed a two-phased program to improve engine readiness and lower costs. The first phase makes innovative use of a partnership with PM/AMC/industry to overhaul the existing AGT 1500 engine/components. This program is termed PROSE (Partnership for Reduced O&S Costs, Engine). Under PROSE, the government will ‘team’ with the original equipment manufacturer to reengineer the production process and improve field support. The contractor provides quality parts and expert technical support, and the government (via its depots) provides the skilled labor and facilities. The second phase of the engine initiative involves replacing the AGT 1500 engine with a new engine. There is great potential for improved tank readiness and long term O&S cost reduction in the implementation of this phase. This approach will not be cheap and will require a major decision by the Army. A 2 billion-dollar investment is required to replace the current engine with a new engine in the active component along, with a potential savings of 13 billion over the remaining life of the tank. The PROSE process is expected to improve reliability by 30%. The benefits of the new engine are much more dramatic – the Army could achieve a 4-5 fold improvement in reliability, hopefully a 35% reduction in fuel consumption, a 42% reduction in the number of parts, and a 15-20% improvement in vehicle mobility. Life cycle engine O&S costs are projected to drop from 16 billion dollars over 30 years with the current engine to 3 billion dollars with the new engine. Last news on the new engine: The US Army has selected Honeywell International Engines and Systems and General Electric to develop a new LV100-5 gas turbine engine for the M1A2. The new engine is lighter and smaller with rapid acceleration, quieter running and no visible exhaust. The second piece of our O&S cost reduction strategy is the Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) program. The AIM process overhauls an old M1A1 tank to original factory standards, applying all applicable MWO’s. The AIM Proof of Principle was completed in 1997, proving the cost-effectiveness of the concept and helping to define the scope. The AIM tank demonstrated an 18% O&S cost savings when compared to non-AIM tanks. The AIM overhaul concept is a cost-effective solution to address the problems of rising tank sustainment costs and increasing readiness concerns. A series of live firing tests of the LAHAT – Laser Guided anti-tank missile developed by IAI/MBT (Israel Aircraft Industries-MBT Division) included the firing of 120mm missiles, adapted for smooth-bore guns used on Merkava Mk3, Merkava Mk4, Leopard 2A4/5/6 and M1A1/A2 Abrams tanks. The missile’s trajectory can be set to match either tank (top attack) or helicopter (direct attack) engagement. Furthermore, the missile uses a tandem warhead which can defeat modern armour and reactive panels. The main warhead has a high penetration capability, defeating all known armored vehicles at high impact angles typical of top attack trajectories. The missile is designed for employment from 105mm – 120mm tank guns, as well as from launch tubes. M1A1 Abrams firing APFSDS round. M1A1 Abrams firing APFSDS round. Upgrading the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks from the US M256 gun to the new Rheinmetall 120mm L55 gun: The first aspect to be considered is that the US M256 120mm gun (same as the German Rheinmetall 120mm L44 gun of the Leopard 2 – up to the A5 version – adapted to American engineering standards, and made under license in the US), firing the M829 APFSDS depleted uranium penetrator develops, within very close tolerances, the same kinetic energy as the German L55 firing tungsten penetrators (around 18-20 megajoules). However, there are other aspects that must be considered, rather than pure kinetic energy. What has to be the first concern here – speaking about APFSDS ammunition – are both the flight phase and the penetration phase behavior of the long rod penetrator. During the flight phase the key is how stable the penetrator is and how much kinetic energy it retains. The penetration phase behavior is crucial, as this is when the kinetic energy is transferred to the target. The long rod penetretor must remain stable on impact, must resist shearing and should provide post penetration phase effects (i.e. spalling, pyrophoric effects, etc.). Because of those issues, it is not simple – as it may seem at a first glance – to replace the 120mm L44 gun with the L55. A lot of testing will have to be done to ensure the M829 (depleted uranium) munitions will behave properly when fired from the 120mm L55 gun. Anyway, the chances are that no gun upgrade will be done on the Abrams tanks in the near future, since at the present stage of depleted uranium alloy technology the performance of the US M256 L44 gun firing depleted uranium penetrators is still superior to that of the German Rheinmetall L55 gun firing tungsten penetrators. Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2) program In June 2004, DRS Technologies was awarded a contract to provide systems including rugged appliqu+

  5. Really enjoyed your detailed statistics Blue Falcon, especially the bit regarding the new weapon system: ‘A series of live firing tests of the LAHAT – Laser Guided anti-tank missile developed by IAI/MBT (Israel Aircraft Industries-MBT Division) included the firing of 120mm missiles, adapted for smooth-bore guns used on Merkava Mk3, Merkava Mk4, Leopard 2A4/5/6 and M1A1/A2 Abrams tanks. The missile’s trajectory can be set to match either tank (top attack) or helicopter (direct attack) engagement. Furthermore, the missile uses a tandem warhead which can defeat modern armour and reactive panels. The main warhead has a high penetration capability, defeating all known armored vehicles at high impact angles typical of top attack trajectories. The missile is designed for employment from 105mm – 120mm tank guns, as well as from launch tubes.’ However, How does that deter an I.E.D. consisting of Ten- 155mm HE rounds daisy chained and detonated by a terrorist from demolishing the most sophisticated armored vehicle?

  6. Well the added armor and engine modifications should help provide better defenses at any weak spots, but given the size and power of multiple artillery shells at point blank range, there is only so much that can be done. Hopefully someone will think of some sort of detection system that can be mounted on MBT’s to detect mines and explosives before they literally drive on top of them.

  7. However, How does that deter an I.E.D. consisting of Ten- 155mm HE rounds daisy chained and detonated by a terrorist from demolishing the most sophisticated armored vehicle? Well, most of those terrorists get a lot of their supplies, support, training, etc., from other governments that rely on conventional armies (equipped with things like tanks) to stay in power. Sooner or later you have to deal with that supply problem by attacking these governments. Those governments are still spending money on tanks… maybe they know something everyone else doesn’t?

  8. Good to hear of that new engine – gotta love technology! Maybe they’ll get a better reputation for fuel efficiency. Is it still measured in gallons per mile? :)’ Someone said. — That is a common error and people who have no clue quote each other on the WWW. A turbine is MORE efficient under load than a diesel. If you’re driving at say 20MPH across a open area that Leo!! will drink MORE fuel. The turbine uses more while in idle but sees a small increase (Very flat consuption curve) as you increase load. The diesel uses less in idle but the consumption curve is very steep. This is especially true since the M1 crews like the ‘cool air’ system from the turbine (A semi A/C – that does not work that well) and have to put the tank in tactical idle to use this feature. When standing and sitting for extended times the M1 crew shuts the tank down. You have a pony generator on the rear of the turret which they provides the power for radios, lights, thermals, hydrolics etc. There are other factors which these ‘experts’ also don’t factor in when they start talking about fuel consumption. 1. The M1A1 weights in a 7 metric tons more than a Leo2A4. A baseline M1A1 weighs 130,800 pounds empty. 2. We use JP-8 as fuel. JP-8 has per volume LESS energy and even the M1 saw an increase in consumption when switching from JP-4 to JP-8 years ago. Even diesel has more energy per volume than JP-8. At 20 MPH straight and level a M1 will use about 1 Gallon (3.8 liters) per mile (1.601 KM). That’s actually BETTER/LESS than most comparable tanks that are lighter using more energy rich fuel.

  9. To Toejam: The M1 is often used in IED clearance missions. Quite the contrary is true to what some think. The M1 can sustain enormous damage and a 155mm round is hardley effective. A arty round expends near 50% of it’s energy bursting the case. Fragmentation is the primary kill mechanism of an arty round. The over pressure of a 155mm round even if detonated right underneath an M1 is not effective since it’s not great enough to truly crack the hull and then still do substantial damage on the inside. The one M1 which suffered a catastrophic kill in Iraq in 2004 where two crew members were killed was not done in by 155mm rounds as some ‘speculate’. It’s simple physics. While I have no prevy to the information, I do know for a FACT that this attack was not done by a 155mm round. That was a lot more explosives than that, and it probably was no arty rounds altogether. There is a huge difference between imobilizing and catastrophic killing a tank. An M1 is used for IED route clearance missions specifically BECAUSE he can deal well with such threats. MOST crew members hurt in IED attacks that are in armored vehicles are exposed. Such was the case for one of my friends SFC Fox. No armor in the world will protect you if your hanging out of the top of the tank, IFV, APC etc. People have good reasons for exposing themselves – situational awareness, cooling off (At 122F in the shade trying to cool off in a dark green vehicle is no longer just being lazy or undiciplined, the heat itself becomes a health issue), communicating with locals……. However, when hatches are open and crews are exposed, the armor does little for you. This is true if hit by an RPG, mortar, IED or gun fire; all of which cost our soldiers lives in Iraq 2003-2004 while I was there. Crews buttoning up in these vehicles would greatly improve their survivability, but again, at times it’s just unaviodable for you to hang out of the top. If you disqualify those killed by accidents, while exposed outside the armors protection and and and, you’d see that to date there are few (Only one tank with two dead that I know of) where an M1 lost crew members from enemy activity. The M1 is simply put a beast of a machine.

  10. BLAH BLAH BLAH, all that crap juast to make the world a worst place to live in. Thanks Gringos, thanks for ‘saving us from tirany’ Do you really believe what your gobernment says? Just investigate and see for yourselves. Sorry if i ofended you but is just the truth. Max. PS:The tank is a beautiful piece of enginering by the way it-