By on April 14, 2016

M1A1 Abrams tank

Despite their psychopathic barbarity, ISIS fighters fear many things — women, music, culture, bathing, and now a lone tank dubbed “The Beast.”

According to U.S. military official Col. Steve Warren, an American-trained Iraqi tank crew has become a one-vehicle Dirty Dozen in the aptly named Iraqi city of Hit, the Associated Press has reported.

As part of ongoing efforts to retake the city from ISIS militants, the lone crew is “tearing it up” with its distinctively midwestern machine, obliterating every unfriendly target of opportunity with its General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams.

In fact, the not-so-little-tank-that-could is so active, U.S. observers initially assumed more than one tank was engaging ISIS (there were three, but mechanical issues sidelined two of them). The tank has become something of a folk hero near Hit and its crew has taken home the “Hero of the Day” award given to Iraqi troops seven days in a row, according to Foreign Policy.

Warren tweeted a video recorded on April 12 of The Beast engaging a bomb-laden vehicle that was trying to target anti-ISIS forces:

There’s no word on whether the crew rides into town with “Ride of the Valkyries” blasting over the audio system.

The M1A1 Abrams, produced either at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Warren, Michigan, or the Lima Army Tank Plant in Ohio, bristles with firepower. A .50-calibre heavy machine gun and two 7.62 mm general-purpose machine guns complement the tank’s 120-millimetre main gun.

Under what passes for a hood, a 1,500 shaft horsepower multi-fuel Honeywell turbine engine and Allison transmission motivates all the armament, allowing the Abrams to make short work of Toyota pickups packed with explosives — or the odd plumber truck.

For doing a good job taking out the trash, hats off to the operators of The Beast.

[Image: Nathan Rupert/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

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178 Comments on “There’s a New Sheriff in Town: ISIS Fighters Fear “The Beast”...”


  • avatar

    I’m a pragmatist and don’t like wasting money.
    War is best done quickly and efficiently.

    NEUTRON BOMBS

    It’s impossible to wage Jihad when you’re dying of radiation-induced cancer.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Since you are a self-styled climate expert, talk to your buddies from Israel about the interaction of wind and radiation.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The only thing I can think of that would be bad about carpet bombing the whole area with nuclear bombs would be the major fallout, that would be extremely unpleasant.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        You wouldn’t consider any of these as bad?
        – Violating Geneva convention as well as our own standards for military conduct
        – Killing millions of innocent civilians
        – Killing our allies in the area
        – Ruining the morale of our own armed forces (who don’t take pride in killing innocents)
        – Destroying what is left of our image as a beacon of freedom to the world
        – Enragement of literally millions of Arabs and Muslims who will now be empowered enemies of the US, sworn to commit acts of terror against Americans

        But otherwise, it’s a fabulous plan.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Clearly we get our people, and the innocent out, why your so sick to think they could be left behind is a different story.
          That’s literally your entire argument against it, it’s not a very pointed defense.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            So, your plan is to:
            A) interview every single person in Northwestern Iraq and Syria – all 25 million
            B) Determine whether or not they are innocent (you must have impressive interview techniques)
            C) If innocent, drag them from their homelands forcefully – all 17 million of them – for resettlement elsewhere
            D) If not innocent, return them to their homes
            E) Nuke those homes, and then watch the radiation destroy our allies in Israel and Turkey.

            Thank you for the clarification. Now I see how brilliant your plan is.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I had a plan? Please show me where I posted it, because you can see something I don’t.

            Are you a palm reader by chance?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            So, you have no plan – you just like to spout off about deporting and killing millions of people?

            Who do you think you are,…Trump?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In the global game between East and West, we’re all pawns and they wouldn’t think twice to sacrifice any of us to achieve goals.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Absolutely, I love it when I upset people for not accommodating irrational thoughts.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            ” I love it when I upset people for not accommodating irrational thoughts.”

            Meaning, you are either a troll or a douche. I’d say both.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Probably, I have to fit one of your well-defined stereotypes.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “In the global game between East and West, we’re all pawns and they wouldn’t think twice to sacrifice any of us to achieve goals.”

            “they” ???????????

            That would include the leaders in the USA that f^cked up Iraq which destabilized the region which lead to the rise of ISIS in the first place.

            One can wind the clock even further back and point out that Iran was destabilized by the USA and the Shah of Iran put in power.

            So the answer to the mess created by foreign meddling is to turn the area into a nuclear wasteland.

            I wonder how many new Extremists that will create in every other corner of the globe?

            Trump’s wall around the USA is starting to make perfect sense.

            Who would of thought that he was a visionary!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “That would include the leaders in the USA”

            Absolutely.

        • 0 avatar
          kuman

          mmm… i see one way to get around it is to be fair, carpet bomb the whole world with neutron bombs… to ensure no human survivors meant you wont get sued, hated and even if u break a law or convention while doing so, no one will be enforcing it! see! im a genius!

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      The problem with that is you’re going to be indiscriminately killing millions of innocent people in that area to eradicate less than 50,000 odd terrorists.

      But hey, who cares about dark colored folk amirite?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The amount of money spent we could have individually removed every person, instead they’re (ISIS) now converting more of those “civilians” into enemies.

        Be nice to just finish it up for good and end the past centuries of hatred being passed down once and for all, before these terrorist destroy more ancient relics that don’t align with their beliefs.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Right, because no Muslim country would ever, EVER develop nuclear weapons to use on us.

          Except one already has. And it’s not Iran. Look it up.

          Yes, as fun as it is to imagine nuking the hell out of ISIS, there would be consequences. The blowback we got from Afghanistan and the first Gulf war would be a square dance next to what’d happen if we lighted off nukes in Syria. Sooner or later, middle east countries are going to go nuclear.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I’ll take Muslim nations for $200, Alex.

            What is the nation that pretends to be our ally so we’ll give them lots of money but in reality hid Osama bin Laden from us for a decade?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        TonyJZX – for the most part they are Caucasians just like most of us. Just with more hair and larger noses ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Acute radiation poisoning.

      Cancers take decades to develop.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      US hasn’t had neutron weapons for decades; current warheads don’t have good secondaries for such an application either – it would take more than another B61 mod to build one.

      I think only actual deployed operator is China, and theirs are probably aimed at the Russians anyways.

      • 0 avatar

        Carnot

        Thank the good Lord that at least one of you NÜÜBS actually realize that I said “neutron bomb” instead of “nuclear bomb “.

        Apparently these people actually think that the prevailing winds have something to do with carrying neutrons around to Israel .

        Not easy being assigned professional like myself .

        • 0 avatar
          CarnotCycle

          Neutron bombs are thermonuclear bombs; they just have secondary pusher-casing design that lets neutrons escape – instead of fissioning them off for more boom.

          Lighting neutron bomb would still approximate something like a Hiroshima. There’d be fires, blast-wave, radio-mess, mushroom cloud, the works.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “Apparently these people actually think that the prevailing winds…”

          Well, inasmuch as the prevailing winds can carry free neutrons in approximately fifteen minutes :P

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          BTSR is right. A neutron bomb isn’t nuclear. It’s thermonuclear.

          It’s hard to look things up on the Internet when you’re making $7,000 a week working from home. Ask him how.

          And, of course, using nuclear weapons on crazy jihadi types would NEVER make them want to develop one and deliver some atomic payback on us. And they’d never, ever, ever want some payback on, say, NEW YORK. You know, finish the job that crazy Osama character started?

          Say, BTSR, don’t you live in New York? Maybe if ISIS ever succeeds in lighting off a “non nuclear” neutron bomb in Manhattan, you could report back about how harmless it is on your Youtube channel. None of that fallout would EVER hit the other boroughs. I’m sure it’d get *glowing* reviews!

          • 0 avatar

            Freedmike

            First of all, it’s over $10,000 per month.

            Second: your enemies can’t fight back if they’re dead.

            I want to crush their very will to fight.

            Anesthesiologists use Anesthetics in order to stop our body’s fight or flight response and allow themselves to invade our body with surgical tools .

            Why not create a neurological poison that blocks their ability to mentally and physically fight back?

            Cut off their will through chemical warfare.

            more fun than killing em.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I’m sure it’d get *glowing* reviews!”

            This.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Going out and killing every Jihadist in any means possible just perpetuates the cycle that spawned them in the first place.
            Neurotoxic agents can’t distinguish between a Jihadist and an American YouTuber.

            Just expose them to BTSR rants and the cognitive dissonance will cause apoptosis on a massive scale.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Not easy being assigned professional like myself .”

          The nature of your posts indicates that the only thing that you possess that is long and hard is your ego.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      I hold my black peers in high esteem: they’re typically cooler than average and are usually live-and-let-live progressives. But I also know a few black guys who think the path to success is emulating the stupider cliches of wealth: spouting neo-con rhetoric gleaned from Tea Party bumperstickers, an omnipresent bluetooth earpiece as if their broker might call any second and mortgaged to the brink of default for the verisimilitude of success. And the bragging. Oh God the bragging.
      BTSR is crushing it. I almost respect his devotion to the art form.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      What’s it going to take to get BTSR banned from this site? He’s been trying and trying, but nobody’s slammed the door yet. The vile hatred he spews, unencumbered by the thought process, is never ending. This lost soul sits by his computer waiting to pounce on every story, anxious to be the first commenter and take us off on some worthless tangent. He contributes nothing but clickbait here. He’s become our own resident troll. And on top of that, he uses his screen name to draw traffic to his own youtube channel.

      What will it take to send this sick bas**rd back to the neo-Nazihate sites where he belongs?

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        To be fair, he has never explicitly threatened anyone. And while his grammar is terrible and the capitalizations are annoying, he has never been outright vulgar.

        I appreciate TTAC’s policy of not banning people unless it really is necessary. I don’t want to walk down the deep dark hole of banning people just because their opinions are contrary to the community, or even human decency.

        • 0 avatar
          Piston Slap Yo Mama

          DevilsRotary86 – that doesn’t change the fact that I often miss Bertel Schmitt and his Thor-sized ban hammer. He didn’t tolerate stupid.

          Now guys like PrincipalDan post cruel character assassinations about a girl’s love of her Corolla and simply get a time-out.

          There’s a couple other auto blog sites I love thanks to their staunch apolitical car-culture-only commentary. I won’t mention them here for fear of BTSR stinking those places up as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Wheatridger – I look at from the perspective that BTSR types on the right side of the political spectrum make it so much easier for those with left or centrist view points. You can’t dream of doing that much damage without sounding just as silly.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          He’s just a typical Blowhard. Every successful blog has at least one. And a couple BAFOs too. Just blow past and don’t give them a 2nd thought. Or a 1st.

          If their posts are longer than 10 words, they won’t even register as I fly over. I only see a blur. All CAPS and I can’t blow through fast enough.

          Last I stopped and looked, it was the same sh!t as the last 4,000 times.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    M1A1… thousand miles an hour…

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    from the what i’ve seen from war movies and documentaries….tanks are best suited for shooting other tanks.

    tanks in cities v. an entrenched enemy (Iraq/Syria) is throwing away money.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      That depends. Tanks are useful in urban warfare, but certain doctrine must be followed. Primarily, tanks simply can not operate alone in an urban environment. Instead they must operate in close cooperation with infantry. Think of them as an infantry platoon’s “big brother”. And their heavy armament is welcome to knock out fortified targets. Sure you can do the same with planes or artillery, but with a tank you don’t have to radio it in and wait. Just tell the guys in the tank near you where you need that 120mm high explosive shell and they are happy to help.

      But you are right, it’s foolish to use them unsupported in a city. See the Battle of Grozny in the first Chechen war. The Russians marched in with unsupported tank columns and were cut down.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        They found that the Abrahams was damaged or destroyed using a specific type of IED in Iraq, near roadsides.
        ” Cornet” is a Kornet, Russian Anti Tank Missile

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          If by damaged you mean breaking the track maybe. There were plenty of anti tank mines around that country so that could have worked too. As for IEDs I suppose the EFP types could have penetrated with a lucky shot since they were basically a homemade HEAT round, but by the time they were deployed in any numbers the tanks had pretty much disappeared from the battles as this was late in the war. There were no shortage of anti tank weapons there though but the improvised stuff wasn’t that sophisticated for the most part.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “But you are right, it’s foolish to use them unsupported in a city. See the Battle of Grozny in the first Chechen war. The Russians marched in with unsupported tank columns and were cut down.”

        The first Chechen War started absolutely appallingly. Throw together a mishmash of poorly organized units, composed of barely trained, poorly fed 18 year old kids (and a sprinkling of hard nosed Afghan vets), and send them into the center of a big city with outdated maps in columns of armor. The idea was Prague 1968: scare them straight, very little shooting. This brilliant plan was literally concocted by drunk fat generals. What followed was an absolute slaughter, and many a conscript was incinerated buttoned up inside their APC, never realizing that they were better off jumping out and heading for cover. After that initial catastrophe, it was a sink or swim situation, with those who learned to survive in street combat learning the ropes from the older vets. The second war lead by Putin was entirely different, with I think just a single T80 tank burned up in the initial assault.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      ISIS will shoot it with our own anti-tank missiles

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Truth About War is that unless it affects us directly, Americans just don’t care.

    Without a will to Do What It Takes (even that is unclear), fighting ISIS is yet another pit for American money and bodies.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    “Cornet rocket,” a bit confused by the subtitle and the video content. I see a launch from the operator’s position of what looks like an ATGM (ie Russian make 9M133 Kornet?), but then as the missle approaches, there looks to be incoming shell fire from in front of where the the bomb truck is headed.

    On that note, I do wonder what ISIS has in theater there anti-tank weapon wise. Our wonderful CIA has been pumping up the Syrian “moderates” full of TOW ATGM systems by way of the Saudis and Turks, and said ‘moderates’ have been known to ‘lose’ said systems to ISIS. This is an M1A1, I think without the fabled chobham armor package. So technically, even a well placed RPG-29 could knock it out, to say nothing of a full on ATGM platform like a Kornet or TOW. There’s videos of modernized Syrian T72 and BMP3s deflecting TOW missles with clever ‘soft’ electro-optical countermeasure systems, as well as videos of the system not engaging and the tank’s reactive armor blocks activating to prevent hull penetration when the missle does hit home. In fact, Houthi rebels using an ancient 1960s Soviet leftover 9k111 ATGM to knock out a Saudi M1A2, which does not have Chobham armor upgrade

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      They also used an IED, with a brass projectile in Iraq to destroy Abrahams from the side of the road. Yes it looked like a shell destroyed the car.
      RPG-29 will destroy an Abrahams and the latest Russian Kornet E from a distance

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        You are talking about the Explosively Formed Penetrators. It is a copper, conical slug. The explosion makes it molten and shoots it at you supersonic. I think the tanks were pretty well gone by the time they started deploying them and I am doubtful they’d punch through a tank. You needed a lucky shot to shoot them through our route clearance stuff but it made for a bad day if they got that lucky shot. I darn near lost my face to one of those bastards.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          A cheap but effective, hit or miss IED. As I said, not used at all in Syria, barrels of high explosive or fertilisers mixed with Oil, blew a T55 or T62 to pieces

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      Youtube is hit-parade of hapless Syrian T-72’s getting TOW’ed.

      The standard failure-mode is cook-off with 100-foot high Roman candles venting out the crew hatches, or turret doesn’t hold pressure and whole top of the tank is a go-for-launch. Good times those T-72’s.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        T90 is basically the T72 with reactive armour and missile defeating electronics. Has proven to be a very effective and a relatively cheap upgrade of the T72
        Russians have the much more expensive and complex ARMATA Tank in development

        • 0 avatar
          CarnotCycle

          T-72 and its derivatives have clownishly oversized gun for such a tiny turret, horrible auto-loader, put ammo and crew in one steel box (read: potential oven), and embody Soviet indifference to ergonomic efficiency and comfort.

          Thanks but no thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Same can be said of the Abrahams, still the T90 has been pretty successful on it’s debut. Autoloader seems to be good

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            The ‘Abrahams’ puts all the ammo in a blow-out rack behind crew compartment on turret. When/if ammo cooks off, crew isn’t happy by any means – but crew isn’t guaranteed vaporized either. No auto-loader to randomly grab gunner’s arm and rudely insert it into breech either (they fixed that one on T-90 I hope). There is no fixing everyone sitting together with the shells in the hull though.

            Look, maybe Armata is bees’ knees of armor, but when it comes to T-series Soviet-ish tanks, the ‘T’ stands for ‘Target.’ Every where they’ve been used, they’ve acquitted themselves as reliable, simple, and cheap…deathtraps.

            Sorry man, I can tell you’ve got a soft-spot for Russian stuff, but that’s just way cookie crumbles on this one.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The Russian (Soviet) approach to tank design basically derived from their generally positive experience with the T34 in WW2. Make the main-line tank cheap and easy to produce, emphasize cross country mobility and speed by keeping weight down, give it good armament, and make it easy to service and support in the field. Finally, make it easy for soldiers with minimal training to operate and maintain in the field. As a result, the T-55/62//72/90 are all much lighter and more compact (lower profile) than Western MBTs, but with all these design constraints come compromises: less armor, less crew comfort (and only 3 crew+ autoloader) and poorer survivability. As it states in the article, of the several Abrams available to the Iraqis, only one is functional, the rest are out of commission with mechanical trouble (one assumes). Add to that the extreme thirst for fuel due to the turbine engine which makes establishing a solid logistic trail a higher priority. Not a problem for the US military in most cases, we absolutely dominate when it comes to logistics. But to the worn and haggard Syrian Army, a fleet of beaten up but trusty T72s that never quit and use a plain jane diesel engine that they can work on themselves is a good fit. In Russian, “deshevo i serdito” or “cheap and angry,” that is to say, simple/cheap and effective. Throw some ERA blocks on them and they’ll even do a decent job of protecting from RPG7s (although not always). Sure a fleet of shiny air conditioned Abrams would be nice, but the fact that these 50+ year old Soviet rigs are still truckin’ along speaks highly of the ruggedness and effectiveness of Soviet military hardware.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Russian tank philosophy is build them cheap, have them run poorly (but run) for years with only basic maintenance, and hope to overwhelm your opponent with more tanks while sacrificing as many tanks as necessary.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Similar to the US in WW2 with the Shermans, they had a gun that could not penetrate Tiger or Panther Tank Armour, they needed special lightly armoured ” Tank Destroyers” to destroy a Tank. Some Shermans were regunned with a British AA gun, that could destroy German Tanks, recoil was savage.
            Russians had masses of T34’s that were effective against infantry, but could damage a Panther/Tiger at close range. They also had Tank Destroyers. Late in the war, they produced the Joseph Stalin series of Tanks that were comparable to Tigers/Panthers

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Bball, T34s that were desperately being cranked out in factories and literally driven into battle were often incredibly shoddily built, with huge gaps in the armor plates, etc. Desperate times called for desperate measures. And honestly, the strategy worked. A “good enough” tank built in vast quantities on the cheap beat out the Germans’ higher quality (albeit sometimes less than reliable) machines available in smaller numbers and requiring a longer logistics chain and complex in-field servicing. Soviet tankers who got to use lend lease Shermans liked them very much for their excellent comfort and build quality. The story goes that every Sherman was shipped with a leather jacket for the tank commander. When meeting at the Elbe, high ranking US personnel were taken aback that the Russians were sending lowly tank crewmen to meet them. What was really happening was that Soviet officers were quiet fond of the leather jackets and were confiscating them from tankers for their own use. Even the seat coverings were stolen from Shermans by infantrymen, used to sew boots I think, tanks had to keep close watch over their Shermans lest they be stripped for such odds and ends.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            They also like Valentines or some other British Tank, that had been superceded in the UK

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            Seems to have worked at least once or twice for them. Whens the last time we saw a real showing of Soviet armor that had crew/training to match… Desert Storm? Even then, the Iraqis were mostly dug in and not on the move while facing much superior technology for the time.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Iraqi’s had the “export” model, which must have been a pretty basic tank,no reactive armour etc

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I never said that the strategy doesn’t work. Remember that by the time the American WWII land campaign in Western Europe, we owned the skies. That, plus superior numbers or tanks (that actually ran), and the Germans fighting two fronts, crushed the Nazis in short order.

            The problem with taking on an American tank column is the integrated warfare hell the US Military throws at you. As an infantryman tanks are terrifying, but the Apache and Warthog are so much worse. I’ve heard the A-10’s cannon spool up. It is the sound of death.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            After horrendous casualties against the limited number of German Tanks, that existed. 80% of WW2, was between the Nazi’s and the Russians, but that is another story

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Tyler Rogoway splits pro-military & warfare propaganda time between Jalopnik & TTAC now?

    “Up Next: Meet the men & women of the Blue Angels who put on a show for NASCAR fans!”

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I think Tyler writes some good pieces over at Foxtrot Alpha.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      Funny I also thought this had a Foxtrot Alpha esq ring to it. I don’t always agree with Tyler, but I always enjoy his posts. He’s leaving Gawker to go write for TheDrive though, and his last comment that I saw was that he didn’t know who/if would be taking his place.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Everybody is leaving Gawker it seems. I used to go there for specific writers and a couple recurring articles on Deadspin’s The Concourse. I loved when Albert Burneko was writing Foodspin, but now he mostly does political takes that follow Gawker Media company line.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          If the Hulk Hogan jury verdict stands, even in large part on appellate reviews(in monetary terms), it’s down with gawker.

          In a Machiavellian sense, oh well – since even if the award was excessive, gawker is a dumbing-down, meritless content provider that does no one any good (except its owners).

  • avatar
    stuki

    Isis needs to trade their cheap Toyotas for real trucks: ‘Murican made GMs. Then they could have Allison trannies too, and be on a more level playing field…..

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      ISIS are not fools, Toyota Hilux is superb on sand and generally Off Road, US vehicles are not and break down

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        From the associated press article referenced in the post:

        “Asked why just one tank was fighting, Warren said the Iraqis actually have two other American-made tanks in the city but they broke down.”

        http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_IRAQ_TANK_HEROICS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          I know the Russians developed a turbine powered tank, but it was pretty unreliable, do not know about the reliability of the Abrahams

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Funny to read this on TTAC. The Abrams would truly be considered malaise era for sure, engineered in the mid/late 70s. The decision to pick Chrysler as the contractor was pure politics (they were failing as a car business and the fedgov desperate to help the UAW).

            The GM design with 1470hp Continental diesel won most of the competitive runoffs. The poor reliability and fuel consumption of the turbine has been a huge cost for the Army.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Thanks, I thought it was strange that the US Military had stuck to turbines, must have been another reason rather
            than a doubtful performance

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            The Army’s biggest beef with the turbine was not reliability. It was the fact that it required a pretty radical change in the tactics used in deploying tanks. Since WWII it was standard practice to deploy tanks with dismounted infantry close behind them using the tank for cover. The heat coming out the back of a turbine makes this impossible. It hasn’t been an issue in the conflicts we have used the M1 in, but should we find ourselves in a large scale force on force fight it may be a problem. Any potential replacement talk for the M1 has centered around a piston engine. It really is from a different era…a high tech beast designed purely to offset theSoviet numerical advantage as was the case with most cold war era weapons systems.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            This was Chrysler Corporation, not Chrysler motors. This is the same company that developed the Saturn V for the Apollo program. Chrysler Defense was sold off not long after because of Chrysler Motors money issues. Gulfstream as well was sold off.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        US trucks suffer from overbearing US diesel emissions, Hilux’ don’t.
        Clearly Hilux’ are the trucks to get, in that part of the world, but a lot has to do with availability of parts and local mechanics that flat out, know the trucks inside, out and backwards.

        US pickup trucks can go about anywhere they’re pointed, same as Hilux’, but can take more abuse, and take along much more gear/supplies/ammo.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          They fall apart , are limited Off Road, limited payload…CANNOT RUN on Diesel.and parts and expertise to fix them is very limited.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            How do they “fall apart”? They’re virtually indestructible. Not all off situations favour smaller trucks.

            Sure Hilux’ have logistical advantages from being basically “domestic” and totally common in the middle east, and virtually smog exempt, but that’s their biggest two advantages.

            But “payload”?? First, who’s checking? Then an F-250 could easily carry a Hilux ‘piggyback’ or equivalent cargo weight.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        What are you saying? That the Allison I paid dearly for doesn’t make my truck as badass as a battle tank, when parked in front of the roadhouse? Well, screw you; I’m gonna go roll some coal… Let’s see’em do that in those darned Hilux’

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      Did you forget that when they first “showed up” they were in Ford Super Duties. Some with machine guns in the bed.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        RR doesn’t seem to even know what’s going on in Australia, never mind the rest of the world.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          We always get the totally Idiotic, clueless reply. Bulk of the vehicles used by ISIS are Toyota Hiluxes and L70 Landcruisers. US State Department initiated a inquiry into how ISiS was fielding so many almost new Toyota vehicles.
          All Rebel groups use the light truck Korean vehicles for heavier weapons. US Pickups were an aberration, must have got them cheap., very heavy field guns, AA on heavier Japanese Trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        No they were not. They were Hiluxes, Landcruisers L70’s , Hyundai light trucks and heavier Japanese Trucks.
        “The Toyota Hilux is strangely popular with terrorists — here’s why

        US officials have recently asked Toyota to figure out why its vehicles are showing up in so many ISIS videos, according to ABC News.

        Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the US, told ABC that in recent years, as ISIS has risen to prominence in Iraq and Syria, the terror group has acquired hundreds of new Toyota pickup trucks.

        “This is a question we’ve been asking our neighbours,” Faily told ABC. “How could these brand new trucks… these four wheel drives, hundreds of them — where are they coming from?”

        But ISIS (also known as the Islamic State) is far from the first terror group to favour the automaker’s tough trucks.

        As Ravi Somaiya pointed out in Newsweek in 2010, the Toyota Hilux pickup has been a fixture of several extremist movements over the past few decades.

        “The Toyota Hilux is everywhere,” Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger who is now the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Middle East Policy, told Newsweek.

        “It’s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee.”

        The Hilux is apparently a very durable truck that has proven useful for terrorists’ lightly armed special forces.

        The truck is “fast, manoeuvrable, and packs a big punch [when it’s mounted with] a 50-calibre [machine gun] that easily defeats body armour on soldiers and penetrates lightly armoured vehicles as well,” Alastair Finlan, who specialises in strategic studies at Aberystwyth University in the UK, told Newsweek.

        Hiluxes also stand up to more than just normal vehicular wear and tear. In 2006, British TV show Top Gear conducted an experiment that illustrated this.

        “The show’s producers bought an 18-year-old Hilux diesel with 190,000 miles on the odometer for $US1,500,” Somaiya wrote for Newsweek.

        “They then crashed it into a tree, submerged it in the ocean for five hours, dropped it from about 10 feet, tried to crush it under an RV, drove it through a portable building, hit it with a wrecking ball, and set it on fire.

        “Finally they placed it on top of a 240-foot tower block that was then destroyed in a controlled demolition. When they dug it out of the rubble, all it took to get it running again was hammers, wrenches, and WD-40. They didn’t even need spare parts.”

        The truck is so popular with militants that it’s been closely associated with them for decades.

        “Anecdotally, a scan of pictures from the last four decades of guerilla and insurgent warfare around the world — the first iteration of the Hilux appeared in the late ’60s — reveals the Toyota’s wide-ranging influence,” Somaiya wrote for Newsweek.

        “Somali pirates bristling with guns hang out of them on the streets of Mogadishu, ” The New York Times reported in 2009, noting that the Hilux is the pirates’ “ride of choice.”

        “A ragtag bunch of 20 or so Sudanese fighters raise their arms aloft in the back of a Hilux in 2004. Pakistani militants drive through a crowd, guns high, in 2000. It goes on. Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq — US Special Forces even drive Toyota Tacomas (the chunkier, US version of the Hilux) on some of their deployments.”

        The Hilux is a Toyota truck model sold overseas that’s similar to Tacoma, ABC explains. The trucks “have become fixtures in videos of the ISIS campaign in Iraq, Syria and Libya, with their truck beds loaded with heavy weapons and cabs jammed with terrorists,” according to ABC.”

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        ISIS doesn’t often use American trucks, but when they do they leave the previous plumber’s advertising on the door.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          As I posted before it is Toyota Hiluxes, L70’s, Kia Bongo’s and heavy Isuzu, Mitsubishi Trucks

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            And…. the joke zings right over your head!

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/12/texas-plumber-sues-dealer-traded-truck-advertising-ends-syrian-jihadis/

            An F-250 traded in at a dealer by a Texas plumber winds up in the hands of Syrian rebels, where they mount a machine gun to the back and used it in their war without even removing the plumber’s signage. Looks like a KPV to me.

            I won’t disagree that most technicals are Toyotas, Land Cruisers, etc. But the odd US truck does end up over there. It’s rare, but does happen.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Parts would be hard to get and they are OK for carrying heavier weapons than a Hilux. Hiluxes are used as attack vehicles, which they are very good at on Off Road terrain
            F250’s fall apart in that sort of Terrain, lack the manoeuvrability they are a ” cheap” alternative.
            USA General commented on why a Hilux was more effective than a Humvee, see below, article from Newsweek

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Newsweek published an interesting piece recently that explored why it seems that the Toyota Hilux pickup has appeared as the insurgent vehicle of choice in nearly every guerrilla war over the past 40-plus years. The article contends that a few factors can be attributed to the little truck’s popularity:

            Reputation/brand recognition
            Popularity, which makes finding replacement parts and doing repairs easy
            Durability
            Ground clearance
            Maneuverability
            The US Military’s Humvee checks off some of those boxes, but certainly not maneuverability. The Humvee is just too heavy and too wide; at 85 inches wide, that’s just over 7 feet. A Hilux through the 2005 model year was no more than 65 or 66 inches wide. When you’re an insurgent making your way through narrow, undeveloped trails, twenty inches makes a huge difference in terms of maneuverability.

            After experiencing a number of troops’ fatalities in Humvees attacked by insurgents, the US military has decided that the un-armored Humvees are not strong enough against IEDs. Rather than coming up with something smaller and more maneuverable, the military instead first added hundreds of pounds of armor, which taxed the Humvee’s suspension and wheezing diesel engine, while raising its center of gravity. Up-armored Humvees require more maintenance, wear out faster, flip over more readily, and sometimes trap their occupants after a crash.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            The Bottom is flat. The whole ware in Iraq was a chess game. They went to IEDs, we went to V-Hulled vehicles. They went to EFPs, we put armor to mitigate. Yes, it worked, I can personally vouch for it.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Stop triggering my PTSD. I come here to escape my memories of the middle east.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Three M1’s deploy, one actually runs – reading that part is when I knew story was real. The other two are undoubtedly boneyards/flagland bases for the live one at this point.

    Given typical American buffoonery, I wouldn’t be surprised if ISIS captures a couple of the TOW batteries the CIA has been handing out like candy in Syria lately, they wind up in Iraq, and one is used to brew up this Abrams right here.

    The whole food chain paid for by American taxpayer who, fundamentally, just wants nothing to do with this wasteland anymore in the first place (but think of all the jobs making all those TOW’s and M1’s!).

  • avatar
    John

    Yep, good ol US high tech wiz bang weapons will defeat those primitive savages, and mighty quick, too, just like our high tech wiz bangs were the key to victory in Vietnam, Somalia, Bosnia, Chad, Iraq 1, Afghanistan, Iraq 2, Syria, and now – Iraq 3!!!

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      No high tec Tank is going to win a war. Vietnam? communists won. Chad, more France than anything else, Bosnia, a joint effort by the European s and a negotiated settlement. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, wars are still raging.

  • avatar
    Von

    If they are American trained, and then obviously, American supplied. Why can’t they keep the other two running? I can’t imagine any deal for advanced weaponry where training and spares were not part of the package. Plus, they are probably just getting this stuff for free anyway, so where are the parts to keep the other two going? It just seems strange, does anyone know the situation in more detail?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Very rarely get it for free these days, parts cost a lot of money. Could be cannibalising to keep the one tank running

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        Iraqi Army has some assistance gig to get parts for sure; but given way Iraq-anything works what probably is going on is either tank-part or tank-part funds disappeared somewhere farther up baksheesh food-chain. That would be my theory.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          It was a subsidised sale to Iraq in the first place, then they generously donated a lot of equipment to ISIS. No wonder they cannot find parts. Iraq is paying Iran for planes that are theirs that were flown to Iran. Iran has been refurbishing them as much as they can

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Battle tanks are not something that the US is short of.

            I believe that there are over 2000 tanks mothballed in the CA desert near the NTC at 29Palms and Barstow.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Which comes down for the paying of parts. Cheapest way is to cannabalize

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            HDC is right, we have a ton of Armor. The Pentagon keeps ordering more tanks and the Army doesn’t want them.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            US military still wants money. Will not part unless they see some ” hard earned”

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            Yes. Something about not wanting to let production line die for strategic reason/jobs or some-such. So politicians/diplocrats basically have a growing combat-tank park full of free new tanks to give away to sketchy pals overseas.

            What could go wrong?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            RobertRyan, cannibalization is the name of the game, and the Mission, at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, for all things that fly.

            There’s no reason why the US Army/Marine Corps can’t set up a joint venture for a cannibalized-parts Armor depot adjacent to the NTC and/or MCB 29Palms.

            And make some money in the process.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Well its is a shade of brown and used but no manual trans and no diesel make it a no sale here.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @CGjeep – Turbines are sufficiently cool that I say they are an acceptable alternative to diesels. They are also compression ignition so they at least have that in common…

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        gas turbines are NOT compression ignition; they require spark igniters to start the engine, and after that are continuous-burn. If they were CI then there’d be no worries about flame-outs. they’re also horrifically inefficient at partial load, since as the engine slows down its effective compression ratio drops.

    • 0 avatar
      Von

      LOL. And it’s a pain to install car seats.

      But..that got me thinking, if it HAD an equivalent diesel engine in terms of Hp and torque, would the fuel economy (if that’s even a thing for tanks) be higher, lower, or about the same? The designers had to have considered this, of course, fuel economy is probably not a big factor, but it would be interesting to know the pros and cons.

      • 0 avatar
        Noble713

        The German Leopard 2 is very similar to the M1A1 Abrams but has a well-regarded diesel power plant. They are both in the 1,500hp range.

        The M1A1 Abrams has a range of 460km on 1,900 liters of fuel.
        The Leopard 2 has only a 340km range….but only carries 1,160 liters of fuel. About 75% of the range for 60% of the fuel, so definitely more fuel-efficient.

        As an aside, the Russian T-80 has a gas turbine, and with the highest power-to-weight ratio of any contemporary MBT was sometimes called “The Flying Tank”. The T-72/T-90 family use diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the fuel economy of a diesel engine would be much higher. Gas turbines are at their most efficient only while being operated at 100% load, and even then they’re less economical than an equivalently powerful diesel. Worse, at part load, turbines are a sh!tshow; the slower the engine runs the lower the pressure ratio is since the compressor is non-linear. an unthrottled diesel has the same compression/expansion ratio whether it’s idling or at full output.

        gas turbines are great when you need a ton of power in a small, lightweight package, and your application is going to run them at or near full output most of the time. Great for airplanes, bad for ground vehicles.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It would seem that the real stories here are that (a) after all of the money and effort that the GW Bush administration devoted to rebuilding the Iraqi army that they can’t get more than a single tank crew into combat and (b) two-thirds of the armor isn’t operational. You can thank Rumsfeld for the first failure.

    That being said, I would expect that an M1A1 would make easy work of a Hi-Lux with a gun mounted in the bed. In open desert, the tank should be able to take out a few of them before they can even shoot back.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Look at the ” Toyota War” when a group on Toyota Hiluxes defeated Somali Tanks with Anti Tank Missiles mounted on the tray

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The Toyota War was between Chad and Chadian rebels backed by Libya, not Somalia.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_War

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Same Principle , slightly different players. Without looking it up, I thought it was Somalia

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Not exactly top tank operators. When someone asks, “What country’s military has excellent armor battalions?”, no one says “Chad.” I bet there are guys in the American South named Chad that have better tanks than the Republic of Chad.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            An equally motley group in Toyota Hiluxes and somewhat non state of the art Anti Tank missiles completely routed them.
            Bit like complaining about , Minor League Baseball Champions, that they are not as good as a MLB team. They were better than all of the other minor league teams

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            A group of rebels that knows how to utilize anti tank weapons and is well mobilized will almost always beat a poorly trained armor unit. It’s like the average 16 year old driving an F1 car with little to no practice.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Hiluxes added mobility, they wiped the mainly T54/T62’s in that war

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yes. The garbage tanks operated by garbage tank operators lost to very mobile trucks. Not a surprise.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            You have it backwards. It was Chad Toyota Trucks devastating Libyan armored battalions.

            Still, your statement holds when replacing “Chad” with “Libya”.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Without looking up the belligerents, I know the Somali’s suffered the same type of attacks to their tanks

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Even if they could get it out in the desert, I doubt the Iraqi “army” has the supply chain to keep it going.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        De-Baathification was a lousy idea. The conqueror should know that it is wise to befriend the military of its former foe, rather than gut it.

        The last thing that the US needed was to have a bunch of unhappy unemployed ex-soldiers with chips on their shoulders who had access to weapons and knew how to use them. Thanks Rummy!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m not sure on the Japanese occupation, but previously the Pentagon engaged in denazification with success. They simply applied the precedent and this time it failed. That country was always such a mess, it needed nutters like Saddam to keep it together since the whole thing was a British Petroleum creation IIRC.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The problem in Iraq is that the US did not have enough troops to restore order or to keep out Iranian influence. Instead of listening to Powell, they went with Rumsfeld’s smaller forces plan. If they wanted to succeed with an occupation, then there should have been a million troops in Iraq, which probably would have required a draft.

            Traditional military want to defend the country, regardless of who the leader happens to be. There’s no need to purge those people, you just give them a different leader. Most Baath party members just went along with it in order to have jobs; they weren’t the Gestapo.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “did not have enough troops to restore order”

            Yup. Hindsight and all, but this one should have been very obvious with foresight.

            It wasn’t only a lack of good counterinsurgency doctrine and strategy, it was a lack of occupation doctrine or even a good occupation plan before that. “They’ll welcome us with open arms and oil will pay for the rebuilding, it’ll be great!!” was a lousy occupation plan.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Pch101 – the USA underestimated the power of Shock and Awe. If you torture a prisoner there is a fine line between creating servitude or total defiance. The US was betting on easy meek servitude. Iraqis were already used to a leader like Saddam so it was a short nudge to active defiance. Add to that strong religious beliefs and the path to ISIS was paved.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Blowing up the same empty buildings every night was not a demonstration of power to a people whose own leader had a demonstrated willingness to gas them. “Shock and Awe” was a service to our defense contractors and news agencies. That’s about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The US was betting on easy meek servitude.”

            No, the US was betting that the Iraqis would be grateful for having been liberated.

            It didn’t occur to Rumsfeld et. al. that the Sunni might not be so enthusiastic or that Iran wouldn’t see the resulting power vacuum as an opportunity. These guys just aren’t that bright.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          “The last thing that the US needed was to have a bunch of unhappy unemployed ex-soldiers with chips on their shoulders who had access to weapons and knew how to use them.”

          I know who is going to learn this lesson next.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I’m not convinced *we* have learned that yet. we seem to address our military failures with “do it again, but more.”

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Somali tank operators aren’t exactly Seb Vettels of the tank world.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Now I’ve got “its a pirate’s life for me” stuck in my head.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Hopefully that episode is available On Demand. So good.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not sure. Meanwhile, make me stop looking at these…

            http://gtcarlot.com/interiors/Cadillac/DeVille/1995/54508866/54442227.html

            http://cadillac.motherauto.com/cadillac5/pictures-1995-cadillac-sedan-deville.html

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh dear. I like.

            I saw an ad for this today:

            http://japaneseclassics.com/vehicle/1991-nissan-president/

            Maybe that’s more Corey’s style.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I want that too, I’m just not sure if its worth 8K to me. Although in USDM its basically a unicorn, one might argue “bespoke”.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The biggest problem with tanks is that you need a large group of really well trained people plus a great supply chain for them to hit full potential. I know a few tankers from my Army days. I make fun of them for not being able to shoot straight or do a pull up, but a US Army armored battalion is a symphony of destruction. No one does it better.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “you need a large group of really well trained people plus a great supply chain for them to hit full potential.”

        You’re describing VAG products now, do they make armored vehicles?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          To be fair to US armor, full potential is raining depleted uranium death on anyone who isn’t your friend. Full potential for a VAG product is making through a two to three year lease before headliners fall, engines are coked, electrical gremlins show up, and head lights stop working.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Maybe if you could equip it with those Takata airbags, it too could rain death upon its enemies?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Yes, VAG sort of, MAN trucks make tank transporters. Could be a lot of other projects

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Rumsfeld deserves a lot of blame for a lot of things, but not the Iraqi army being too dorked up to keep more than one tank running. Iraqi armor also had an abysmal showing in the 2003 invasion, although much blame for that goes to their abysmal training (Saddam never let them practice with live ammo).

      Iraq deserves a lot of blame for being as bad as it is. It’s the place where civilization started (food just grows there without even trying), there’s lots of oil in the ground (cheap natural resources), and yet the place sucks. You can’t blame all of that on the big bad west/white man/evil exploiting imperialists. Face it, some civilizations just plain suck.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Their soldiers, and especially their commanding officers, are garbage. I’ve had opportunities to takes a jobs training and advising the Iraqi Army. Nope. Nope. Nope. It was bad enough showing Jordanians how to use M240 or SAW. They had nicer $hit than I did too.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @JimC2 – it doesn’t help a culture when they get hammered by various other powers over the millennia. Do some reading on the region before you make those kind of statements. Pre-Gulf War 2.0 the literacy rate in Iraq was 97%. The USA sits at 85%.

        • 0 avatar
          Noble713

          But the Iraqis also put in a ridiculously poor performance against the Iranians…despite vastly superior material support and foreign military aid. So they couldn’t even beat their (arguably equally “hammered by other powers”) Persian neighbors even with the deck stacked in their favor. They really are one of the worst militaries in military history. Which is why some astute professionals caution the US against too much “irrational exuberance” based on our trouncing of them twice. We can’t automatically assume anyone else we fight in the future will be as incompetent and mismanaged as Iraq.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          A high literacy rate does not mean that Iraq wasn’t a complete $hit show.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    So they keep the production line open to keep the supplier happy , the treasury and last but not least the overseas buyers

  • avatar
    jerseydevil200

    Yeah but this is TTAC, right? So whats the infotainment system like? Can i hook up my android? Other colors? Cornering prowess? production details? IS a V8 available? How about a standard transmission? Can it hold groceries? This would be the perfect mall car for GLBT people in North Carolina! No bathroom availability? BOOM!!!! No bathrooms.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Its like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

  • avatar

    The Abrams is a terrific fighting machine, to be sure, but I worry about what would happen if we ever had to deploy it in a conflict with an enemy having something approaching parity with our tech. The fuel type and quantity demands of that engine are massive and very real. I think in a protracted campaign, where the enemy could actually hit our supply lines, the Abrams would be stopped not by direct fire, but more often by running out or low on fuel. The Army really should have a standby swap plan to put these guys on another powertrain.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      Army has I think a diesel motor on the upgrade path – however gas-turbine isn’t THAT terrible. For one, it can burn pretty much any fuel. Drop Bacardi 151 in it, and it will run on it. Australians run theirs on diesel by default. Second, it is not that bad on mileage; probably within ~70% mile-for-mile compared to a (very modern) diesel. Take this turbine and put it up against contemporary piston motors (~1975) of similar power spec, and AGT1500 is pretty competitive.

      Where turbine is truly miserable on fuel is when tank is not going down road. It eats gallons-an-hour just to idle, gallons-an-hour just to go 2MPH, and eats ten gallons just to start it. Given tanks – especially M1’s in current deployed environments – spend most their time idling at checkpoints (like this one), crawling along/through rubble with infantry, etc., those inefficient operating modes are magnified all the more.

      I could see future powertrain of vehicles like this being something like a series hybrid, with relatively inert LiMPO battery chemistry, lots of redundancy distributing electric motors along the track (instead of just one powered sprocket per side), and ultimately powered by a smaller modern turbine.

    • 0 avatar

      Anything to add some flexibility.

      You sound like you’re well-versed in this stuff. Let me ask you: My understanding was the Abrams burns jet fuel. But you’re saying its a lot more forgiving than that. If that’s the case, can these guys just run on regular gasoline or diesel in a pinch? Even low-octane gasoline, perhaps.

      If I’m showing my ignorance of fuel chemistry here, forgive me.

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        JP-8 is the stock fuel; high-test kerosene basically that can run in a diesel. And M1’s can burn anything just about, or even a mix of anything. Less a feature of M1 specifically than turbines in general. Some fuels will burn better than others obviously; I would guess optimum fuel for the motor is JP-8 or high-quality diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfinator

        The Abrams is, as I understand it, commonly fueled with jet fuel for logistics reasons. I’m assuming the idea is that they can be dropped into combat zones via jets, so wherever they’re going there’s going to be a jet fuel supply line?

        Anyways, part of the point of the engine is that it can burn all kinds of crap if need be: diesel, marine diesel, any grade of gasoline, kerosene, various jet fuel grades…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_AGT1500

  • avatar
    zipper69

    “there were three, but mechanical issues sidelined two of them”

    That seems to sum up the continued gap between Pentagon theories on “what we need to win the war” and what the guys at the sharp end are finding in reality.

    It seems scrambled egg on the cap tightens the pressure on the brain…


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