Will U.S. Fighters Hit U.S.-Made Tanks in Iraq?

Will U.S. Fighters Hit U.S.-Made Tanks in Iraq?

U.S. warplanes early Friday morning launched airstrikes against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, a Pentagon official said.

A pair of F/A-18 fighter jets made by Boeing Co. and flying from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs against artillery operated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near the northern city of Irbil, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

Kirby didn’t specify what type of artillery was targeted, but former DoDBuzz editor Philip Ewing, now a senior defense reporter at Politico, noted on Twitter that CNN correspondent Ivan Watson reported that ISIL fighters were in possession of U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks made by General Dynamics Corp. and captured from Iraqi forces. The cable news network later reiterated the claim, citing information from Kurdish officials.

In an interview with CNN, Kirby said only one airstrike had taken place and didn’t describe the type of artillery, such as whether it was a mobile howitzer unit or anti-aircraft battery. “This artillery had only recently been put into position,” he said. “We took it out pretty quickly.” He also acknowledged that ISIL fighters are “well-resourced.”

Later in the day, Kirby in a statement said the U.S. launched two more bombings in the Irbil area — one in which a drone aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position and another involving four F/A-18s that blasted a ISIL convoy of seven vehicles and another mortar position.

The Pentagon hasn’t detailed what type of American-made equipment the rebels have taken from the Iraqi military, though recent headlines indicated the materiel included the iconic Humvee utility truck made by AM General LLC and other combat vehicles.

It’s unlikely defense officials will share additional information on the topic anytime soon, much less verify that U.S. fighters are tracking or targeting American-made tanks. The Pentagon didn’t schedule a press briefing for Friday.

In the past, the Pentagon has referred questions about the matter to the Iraqi military. “DoD is not in a position to provide information on the status of Iraqi military equipment,” Navy Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a spokesman at the Pentagon, said in an e-mail from June. “You would have to ask the Iraqis.”

As of 2012, the Defense Department’s $11.6 billion foreign military sales program with Iraq was the fourth-largest in the region and the ninth-largest in the world, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The U.S. has already delivered to Iraq 140 M1 Abrams tanks and, in recent weeks, rushed delivery of 5,000 more Hellfire missiles, according to a July 2 report from the service. The first six of an eventual 30 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters made by Boeing Co. may be delivered this month, and first of an eventual 36 F-16s made by Lockheed Martin Corp. are scheduled to arrive in September, the report states.

(Story was updated to include information about additional bombings in the fifth paragraph.)

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Prof we should have not sold arms to Iraq maybe we should have let Hungary and Bulgaria sell more old Soviet weapons to them instead.

No kidding! Did they REALLY need M1s??? 5 THOUSAND Hellfires??? All the advanced armament in the world won’t help them overcome their corruption and sectarian divisions.

I so scared if this crazy Islamist have now got those advance armament. wont we be facing the hellfire missile our self and the might of M1s?

With any luck they won’t change the filters and ruin the engine, and they wont know the prep necessary to fire from an accurate tank. If we don’t destroy them, they will break down.

Well they’re 25 years old and downgraded for export (no depleted Uranium armor). So I say better that we make some money off of them then to let them sit there and rust. Why should the Russians make money off of it instead of us? We have tons of surplus in mechanized units. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just downgraded a few of the older USMC ones that were already in theater. Now we don’t have to pay to ship them back, and we get to destroy a few, and they’ll buy more. Brilliant!

As a former M1 tanker and BMO I can tell you the joke will be on ISIS. Without class III℗ and IX support (that’s oil and spare parts to you non-tankers) those M1’s won’t last a week. Not to mention bore sighting, required PMCS, and actually knowing how to operate the pig…not a threat if ISIS got its hands on a few export version M1’s. I will worry when I see a picture of ISIS mechanics replacing a FUPP (full up power pack) in the field.

Will that void the warranty?

Does it use 5w-30 or 10w-40????

From what I read after the fall of Mosul, ISIS got their hands on something like 2,500 Humvee’s, 70 M1’s, 52 or 54 M777 Howitzers and thousands of M16’s and M4’s after they captured the main base there. The numbers come from what was there at the base at the time of capture. Plus much much more.

Not to mention that it takes almost 2 gallons of fuel just to start up and tell them to hide behind it though so they can burn there dresses off. Should have learned the first time not to sell weapons to the middle east


No where near that much in vehicles and heavy equipment, which mostly was being fielded and supported out of Balad.

Idiots… Don’t you think the terrorists getting our best weapons is a game changer? Why? Who is the moron to approve such GIFTS.

Old System, High Maintenance, they are probably already Canibalizing Parts but the reality is the Kurds still have nothing to stop an M-1.… Fire those RPG-7’s all day and all you’ve done is wasted a lot of Ammo.…..

What about selling it to the Chinese or Russians to reverse engineer

They’re not the same M1A1 and M1A2 tanks that we operate. They’re 20+ year old M1s that have been even further downgraded with less advanced optics and removal of DU armor.

M1 Abrams are NOT artillery.

They’re not our best weapons, not even close. The tanks we sold Iraq are 20+ year old export-downgraded M1s, not M1A1s or A2s. They have less advanced optics and lack depleted uranium armor. Furthermore, I’d like to see ISIS fighters try to operate the things without the support we do. The desert wrecks tanks and they have nobody trained to maintain them.

Did we not do this with Iran F-14 s

Looks like the Iraqis put up a great defense, despite having superior firepower. Nothing like getting bargains at a going out of business sale. So, I guess the extended warranties were transferable.

The gunner and TC will fight over the direction of the gun.

Time to push the self destruct button.

Monkey-see, monkey-do training for the M-1 along with, as mentioned, its amazingly hungry logistical tail means these will be ineffective as a threat. The great M-1 myth: http://​goo​.gl/​b​u​V​dWv

I think the idea was to prepare for a possible armored conflict with Iran.

They did do that once.

I would expect them to use the M1s more as assault guns than you would traditionally fight a tank.
I would also expect them to move the M1s close to where they intend to use them on their transporters.
And, that’s if they use them at all.
You can’t expect the IS leadership to be stupid. I’m sure they know their limitations on using advanced weapons.

M198s, not M777s

They have to make inputs in to the ballistic computer, index proper types of rounds and weapons systems. The ISIS TC will eat a 50 cal, the loader will eat the breach, the gunner shoots a sabot rounds indexed as a heat round, the driver will cause the tracks to come off, the crew will run over folks sleeping on the ground.

The armor on those things is pretty thin on the top. It doesn’t take much to punch thhrough it from the top. Most any air to ground rocket ought to do the job.

These clowns don’t have the fuel to start them; if they are running, smoke ‘em! :)

A hellfire missile hit.

Indeed we did, however saw how long that lasted? Those F-14 are probably static displays and sitting on some flight line hard down… The F-14’s are along the lines of these M1 Tanks.. And I agree with purpleheartpark and Eggshen. These people lack (2) major components in these systems. Technical Knowledge on how these systems work and how to exploit their systems 100% and a maintenance department. These tanks will break and sit there. They will become paperweights or good stationary cover. If they are anything like foreign countries buying airplanes, most of the advanced technology that gives the US the cutting edge isn’t sold to foreign countries, they would have to develop their own type of systems.

Did you or somebody else write that piece of rubbish? Should I list all of the reasons you are wrong right here? Or just point out the fact that the videos you are linked are the work of the infamous Mike Sparks, the individual who thinks the aluminum hull M113 is the solution to every problem facing mankind?

The Abrams isn’t perfect but so is no other main battle tank. Considering the Iraqi tank crews we are talking about here it doesn’t matter what they are driving, they’ll just bail out and run away.

Thats not from sparks, but what you are doing is trying to poison the well. A well known logical fallacy.

The problems with the M1 are well known. especially when compared to other tanks of its type. It is also a fact that the US military is less than forthcoming about well known flaws in many otherwise well known weapon systems.

But yes, the scanty training and proficiency by iraqi troops and isis insurgents will undoubtedly compound the problems

I was wondering about that myself. haha.

how would they find the fuel for such a thing to begin with? nevermind replacing power packs and boresighting…

No it’s not insane to keep doing the same thing over, and over. Just like gambling or war YA GOTTA HAVE HIGH HOPES. IF YOU WISH HARD ENOUGH IT MIGHT COME TRUE. At least the fools who live in the bubble think so.

Isis is starting to weaken since the first 500pounders were droppedor did they now if the people on the mountain come down $ is welcome and they can go there way as said by reporters on the scene.True or not nobody should be told what religon to join or leave behind or get shotasa vet I am glad the USA helped with water food etc and uerope cannot stand there and watch either let allone some other nationsFreedom of religion counts for all.lets not forget that…

Some drivers will be decapitated by the turret lol


If you are a vet, please use GI bill and learn how to spell. Jesus, really bad grammar!

Of course you wold attack captured Tankl that are in position of enemy forces.But at the same time you would show our oponents how to destroy our tanks being operated by our people.

What well known flaws?

Floor hatch? While it has positives it also means greater vulnerability to IEDs from the bottom, and we all know the huge role IEDs have played in all of these recent conflicts.

Heavy weight? Most Western main battle tanks are heavy, the Leopard 2 is roughly the same weight and the Challenger 2 is even heavier when you fit it with applique armor used in-theater these days. Russian tanks can be some 20 tons lighter as they stress a different design philosophy, but they do make trade-offs in several areas to maintain a lower weight and smaller size. We have the logistics equipment to operate and support the M1 Abrams and its tactical mobility is excellent despite the weight. WWII heavy tanks with unreliable engines with less than half the horsepower, overburdened drivetrains and other flaws are not a valid comparison.

The idea that the blow-out compartment doesn’t work with 120mm ammo is unsubstantiated nonsense. Most recognized that the M1 would eventually switch to the 120mm smoothbore and so some features were designed with this in mind. in M1A1 incorporated many changes and part of the process of testing them would have certainly involved ensuring the blow-out panels work as intended with the new ammo.

The turbine engine is indeed a fuel hog primarily chosen for its advantages if the Cold War did go hot and the Soviets rolled into West Germany. That never happened and in the Iraq and Afghanistan the M1 does far more idling than running at high speeds. Chances are the gas turbine will be replaced at some point in the future, a demonstrator hull with a diesel engine and other changes was shown recently. What else? The gun? It’s a proven design used by many nations and there are a lot of choices for ammunition on the market.

It’s not perfect but nobody will ever build the “perfect” main battle tank. There are those who say that heavy armor is dead, that it’s no use trying to armor against modern anti-tank weapons, but recent events show that isn’t yet the case. Most of the ideas of Mike Sparks and his acolyte “Blacktail” could be best described as a combination of the “Future Combat Systems” vision with copious amounts of meth. It’s hard to take any of it seriously.

These are not the tanks used by us. The A-10 will chew the bad guys up with our 30mm HEI with depleted uranium! Our M1A1////2’s have depleted uranium as part of their armor. They have the export version.

Doesnt make sense the Irakees that fled up in mountainsare being toldthey can come down or pay theyre way down? Them isil are starting to feel and share some pain allready it sounds. Remorse or not hit themwere it counts we all know fear and then in a group their worthlessexcept their guns that is..

The more the better LoL..

PHP very true, but a well placed RPG can disable a certain component of the gas turbine engine, I think a maint. CW4 @ LSA Anaconda, developed a ‘butt plate’ with two cut outs so the exhaust could still be vented & it made a rpg-7 shot much more difficult to be effective.….

F18EFMech: I think Iran still has 1 or 2 airworthy F-14A’s out of the 50 that where sold 2 them. Once the Grumman contractors pulled out after the Shah was deposed, many were dead-lined. The Phoenix weapon sys. is history as well. But I bet it still gives the USN CVN BG’s in the Arabian Sea the ‘shivers’ when 1 or 2 pop up, but those guy’s will make quick work of them & their old F-4’s as well. In its day, the “Tomcat” with support from the ‘Hawkeye’ ruled the sky!!!!

retired462: those rounds will make a ‘barbie Q’ outta anything they hit!! Finish of whats left w/the 30mm DU rds!

They can be used as such. 120mm shell is no laughing matter. The Germans used the this way to great effect.

Entirely wrong discussion here, guys. The ISIL probably couldn’t care less about the tanks. This is a red herring started by the author. The HMMWV’s, small arms, medium caliber weapons and ammunition is what makes them so mobile and lethal. The local should have taken over those bases and munitions to defend themselves.

They tethered poor camels to the back. None of them survived the 1500 degree heat. And they are whining where to put the hookahs.

Only fools would leave our main line battle tanks in Iraq. Who was the fool that did this. I wonder how many are In russia

i don’t think we need to worry about Russia. they are too proud of themselves to use American made weapons. they just happy with stealing our ideas.

When the stolen humvees break down and are no longer worth repairing that’s still a ton of crew served weapons that can be mounted on anything with wheels.

That’s a dumb question…Geeeeze.

Sober up, then type your opinions.

Tanks could be useful in city fighting as point and shoot support in the short term and also add a psychological, propaganda boost. The lack of parts will reduce their effectiveness (but they still could be used in defense) in the long term. The real impact is news that we supplied the Iraqi forces with some really good stuff at great cost in treasure, and they just turned tail and ran. The answer we have to that so far seems to be, give them more stuff (face palm).

Hopefully the Iraqi defense forces strap on a pair, or this situation could get worse than the end days of the Vietnam war.

the way the Iraqi’s are running,they may be French!

I dont drink buddy.These isis could have been stopped forming,but we let Makali stay on these are sunnie led by taliban as sources know.But I am glad now europe is helping as UK and more to follow. I still say bring in the A-10 also.

At the time whoever the “moron” was so-called friendly forces had the weapons. I read in a history book while I was in elementary school how American weapons fell into the arms of the North Korean soldiers during that conflict before the American government realized what was happening. The idea of U.S. bombs being dropped on U.S. made tanks does not surprise me in the least.

Worked the warthog for a few years. You don’t play games. You load it up with 30mm HEI.

Do you really think these people are stupid? They have the maintenance manuals, spare parts, captured mechanics, etc. never underestimate these bastards. They will play the game as ruthless as needed to achieve their aims those of you that play the card that they are to stupid to properly use the weapons will be shocked by just how able they are. Never underestimate a determined enemy!

The Iraq army gave up all OUR equipment as soon as they saw the enemy. Let’s ask the ISIS army if they will give us back our equipment that the Iraq military walked away from. Just a thought, lol.

How about your CIC, Dictator Obama.

Wrong, Comrade —

The tanks were sold to Iraq under his royal highness, George W Bush.

makes me wonder how much ammo and spare parts they have too.

So, ya got tanks? Send in the A-10 and forget about it. You know, the aircraft that is obsolete? It’ll do the job and get you home by happy hour.….

On top of all this, the top Air Force brass wants to get rid of our number one tank killer the A-10. Thes fools have no idea what they are doing???

There is really only one way to really stop ISIS and that is what we used to refer to in Vietnam as Rolling Thunder Take B-52s, B-1 and B-2, carpet and pin point bombing and totally wipe them out, that is the only way for peace in that area. But will the President have the guts to do this or just draw another line in the sand

When I was in Korea with the A-10 (83–85), the Army ask us to fire TP at their tanks well it was not a pretty sight after 2 passes, LOl

Let’s see now. We have given M-1’s to Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. I would not be surprised to learn that ISIS/ISIL or whatever their name is today, have all those things you are talking about and ammunition to boot. They probably also have U.S. trained instructors to teach them how to operate them.

They will turn them in to artillery pieces at best, hookah at worst.

Supplying both the US and our enemies with weapons. The defense contractor scum in me is full of greedy happiness!

Sorry about my A O I am suferring like other nam vets,I mean of course we should hit tanks with the enemies in it(ISIS). Living in europe can weaking language,when others speak diferrent language in 5 diferrent slang terms from providence!

Don’t know why you are focusing on the grammar and spelling thing. The important stuff is the content. If you disagree with the content, that’s your right to do so. Suggest you limit your comments to the issue at hand and not resort to personal attacks. That only reflects on you, and not in a good light. But on to the issue at hand: Whether we like it or not, we are facing an adversary who has sworn to destroy our country. I think they mean what they say. Politicians should take note: We either fight them in Iraq or we fight them here. But either way we are going to fight them sooner or later because that’s what they want. It is important to note here that air power alone has never won battles. You need boots on the ground too. But no one wants to get sucked back into Iraq with ground forces and with lots of good reasons. So what should we do? Maybe it’s time to recognize the Kurds and arm them with the heavy weapons they need to defend themselves. Maybe we also need to give ISIS a real taste of what our air power can do, instead of the pin pricks we have administered thus far. As far as I can see, the ISIS forces are still basically light infantry who have just captured a lot of heavy weapons and equipment from the Iraqis that they probably don’t really know how to operate or maintain yet. Maybe we should not give them the chance to learn and aggressively destroy the stuff when and where we find it.

Not that it’ll happen, but I was hoping for a reprise of the ‘Highway Of Death’ from the first Iraq war. It might have been a morale problem for some of the pilots who were shooting unenthusiastic troops running away from Kuwait with as much booty as they could carry, but this is a totally different situation. It’s turning the genocide hose back on these bozos.

“…has already delivered to Iraq 140 M1 Abrams tanks and, in recent weeks, rushed delivery of 5,000 more Hellfire missiles, according to a July 2 report from the service. The first six of an eventual 30 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters made by Boeing Co. may be delivered this month, and first of an eventual 36 F-16s made by Lockheed Martin Corp. are scheduled to arrive in September…” Just hand it right to ISIS for gawd sakes!

As far as the tanks go, the ISIS will not possess the knowledge to make them an effective weapon against US Troops along with the other equipment left behind or captured. I agree Old 91, rolling thunder is one answer. We have invested to much blood and money to just ignore the situation and walk off. If this brush fire method of American involvement in the Middle east is not stopped we will never achieve peace and our troops will never home completely. Our president doesn’t seem to understand that these people have been killing themselves off since the dawn of time, What makes him this that shooting a sling shot at an elephant will stop the beast. Drawing a line in the sand is an empty threat unless your willing to back it up with more than just lip service.

They have done it before.

Just send in the BUFFs (B-52s). Load em up and let them do their job.

Long live the king!!!

You know why the new French navy has glass bottom ships? So they can see the old French navy.


As an ex M1 crew member I’ll have to agree with you. Although I remember tankers training the Iraqis on M1’s. Pretty scary, we would give them those either way.

As a retired M1 tanker I agree. About the only thing they will be able (maybe) to operate is the ballistic sight. M105? the other stuff gets really hi tech fast.

they got a bunch of equipment thats never been fired and only dropped once…sounds like good target practice.

It’s not about the technical skill/knowledge of operating the tank…that part is relatively easy. It’s about the massive logistics tail required to support M1’s in the field. You need JP8 fuel, turbo-shaft engine oil, cherry juice for the trany and road wheels, track and track pads, air and fuel filters, trained mechanics with specialty tools, LRU’s (line-replaceable-units), and a thousand other things that break daily. The M1 is about useless as an arty piece unless you want to tow 70 tons around the battle field and lob sabot darts and HEAT rounds a few miles. The only scenario I can think of where it might come in handy is plowing through roadblocks…if they can keep one running. How many F14’s is Iran flying around? It’s all about the logistics, baby.

I think people arguing over whether IS has the technical know-how to operate the M1 are missing the point. The US spent a decade of time, billions of dollars and thousands of American lives building the Iraqi army only to see it fold like a cheap card table in front of a ragtag force only a fraction of its size. The prospect of American aircraft being sent back there to bomb American tanks is a national embarrassment and an affront to all of those who lost their lives or limbs. That is the point here, I think.

Respectfully, I think we should have delivered balls to the Iraqi army instead. Seems to me they need it more than any kind of weapons.

What well known flaws?

“Floor hatch? While it has positives it also means greater vulnerability to IEDs from the bottom, and we all know the huge role IEDs have played in all of these recent conflicts. ”

No it doesn’t actually. You are making that up.

speaking of recent conflicts, a M1 flipped over inside a canal could have greatly benefitted from a bottom hatch so crewmembers could escape. Redundant safety measures are critical.

“Heavy weight? Most Western main battle tanks are heavy, the Leopard 2 is roughly the same weight and the Challenger 2 is even heavier when you fit it with applique armor used in-theater these days”

The weight in context with its mobility and protection of course. the M1A2 SEP is a full 10 tons heavier (combat weight) than both.

“We have the logistics equipment to operate and support the M1 Abrams and its tactical mobility is excellent despite the weight”

You are interpreting tactical mobility as in only top speed, which is ONE aspect of mobility. Endurance is another, and his is where the M1 fails miserably. One drawback of its multifuel turbine engine among many.

Furthermore, why is it that despite a significantly smaller tank fleet in OIF 2003, we used the same number of POL trucks? could it have something to do with the fact that US logistics were utterly strained in desert storm?

“WWII heavy tanks with unreliable engines with less than half the horsepower, overburdened drivetrains and other flaws are not a valid comparison. ”

The M1’s drivetrain, especially its tracks and transmission, is notoriously delicate and one of the proposed improvements to the M1A3 hypothetical is the retrofit of superior Diehl tracks and transmission. A delicate set of tracks and transmission…what does this sound like?

“The idea that the blow-out compartment doesn’t work with 120mm ammo is unsubstantiated nonsense”

Its well documented actually, if you bothered to read the citations, which you didn’t.

“Most recognized that the M1 would eventually switch to the 120mm smoothbore and so some features were designed with this in mind. in M1A1 incorporated many changes and part of the process of testing them would have certainly involved ensuring the blow-out panels work as intended with the new ammo. ”

You are making the faulty assumption that they did.

“The turbine engine is indeed a fuel hog primarily chosen for its advantages if the Cold War did go hot and the Soviets rolled into West Germany”

What advantages? short distances between fueling points?

If fuel was a scarce resource during OIF 2003 and Desert Storm (and it WAS, despite being in the mid east ironically), then imagine how scarce it would have been during a hypothetical conflict in WW3 Europe. Its massive fuel requirements would have been a huge problem logistically, where the chain would have been strained enough in keeping other vehicles fueled and supplied as well.

.“That never happened and in the Iraq and Afghanistan the M1 does far more idling than running at high speeds”

Which is why the turbine was the absolute WORST option for a tank. Tanks don’t just joust forward at highspeeds indeed. Endurance is a critical aspect to overall mobility.

“Chances are the gas turbine will be replaced at some point in the future, a demonstrator hull with a diesel engine and other changes was shown recently. What else? The gun? It’s a proven design used by many nations and there are a lot of choices for ammunition on the market. ”

Yes, that is one of the other proposed changes to the M1. The problem is that the turbine is significantly smaller than a piston layout engine, and the M1s hull was designed to accomodate the smaller turbine. One can certainly see a insurmountable engineering obstacle to this.

The M256 has proven itself as an effective weapon, if overkill for the threats the US has faced since the end of the Cold War. Another troubling aspect is the ammunition in US inventory: it is geared disproportionately in favor of killing heavy tanks rather than the tanks more common use in infantry support. The lack of a HE and HESH line of cartridges is a gap that needed to be filled two decades ago (the Germans and Swedes have done this and the Israelis have a particularly nasty AP oriented round in service).

part 2 below

part 2 cont.

“It’s not perfect but nobody will ever build the “perfect” main battle tank…”

I agree. If anything, armor is just as important as it ever was. It is particularly useful in counter insurgency and stabilization operations, despite their expense. The value of armor, even in our age of advanced missiles and anti-tank weaponry, would be hard to overemphasize.

” It’s hard to take any of it seriously. ”

I dont care about either one (and sparks is completely insane. Rife with a few good ideas of David Hackworth, but mostly comprised of some eccentric insanity), although its nice to see documented facts presented rather than the propaganda perpetuated by the US that “were always the best”. Better understanding weaknesses allows us to make improvements and be effective as a fighting force.

Anyways, the scenario in Iraq is not the fault of the M1 even. Iraq’s incompetent and poorly led forces is. You cannot have a tank crew with medieval superstition and a 5th grade education and expect them to operate a 21st century complex war machine. “why arabs lose wars” is a good explanation. http://​www​.meforum​.org/​4​4​1​/​w​h​y​-​a​r​a​b​s​-​l​o​s​e​-​w​ars


How many women and children will it take to hide these tanks from our air strikes.

We have the technology to electronically bombard any of this equipment but it could become a problem.

Wishful dreaming — they will probably take our arms and trade with the Chinese and the Russians for older soviet era arms. Whereby, the Chinese/Russians will reverse engineer and find the true weaknesses and limitations of our weapon systems and develop countermeasures or better versions.

No I am not making up the first point. Many M1s were fitted with applique armor on the underside to counter IEDs in Iraq, that would render such a floor hatch inoperable even if there was one. The floor hatch had its positives but the M1’s turret basket and low profile would make such a thing quite hard to integrate.

Where do you get your weights for these vehicles? An applique armor kit recently tested on the Challenger 2 pushed the combat weight to 80 short tons, even if that is not fielded the armor kit currently being used probably puts the vehicle somewhere at around 75 tons combat loaded. The Leopard 2A6 in combat configuration without any applique armor is some 68 tons, not much lighter than a combat loaded M1A2 SEP (also without applique armor) at 69 tons.

The range of the M1 is comparable to both of these competitors although it carries and uses more fuel to obtain that. 500 gallons in the M1 versus about 320 in the Leopard 2. Yes logistics were strained during Desert Storm so they compensated for that in OIF. Either way the M1 did what was expected of it and smashed any opposition it came up against.

Where have you read this about the M1’s drivetrain? This is vehicle that regularly goes 25 mph over rough terrain while maintaining full stabilization and firing capability for the main gun. Thiat is the sort of performance the suspension of the M60 series could never handle. Over the years there were some issues that had to be worked out, the original tracks wore out quicker than expected IIRC, but these were overcome. Why are such upgrades planned for the M1A3? Product improvement. Better tracks and suspension to incorporate the technological improvements that have occurred since the M1 was introduced back in 1980. It doesn’t mean the M1’s current systems are flawed, it just means we can do better.

They were testing the 120mm gun in the M1 well before the M1A1 actually entered production and there were many changes incorporated into the vehicle. Just look at the turret roof from above and you can see that the blow out panels were redesigned on the M1A1. I’m pretty certain there are a few accounts of the ammunition going off and the crew surviving meaning the system worked as intended.

What advantages? Outstanding acceleration and high horsepower, very compact by 1980s standards, relatively easy to remove and replace, ability to run on all sorts of different fuels, and it was relatively quiet. Compared to the diesels of the time it had a higher net output for the same gross output as less horsepower was sacrificed for cooling and other concerns.

The Army knew it used more fuel than a diesel but choose it anyway because they thought the positives outweighed the negatives. If war had broken out in Germany in the 1980s it would have been a very high tempo of operations, the M1 would have been regularly moving at high speeds, falling back to new defensive positions, counterattacking and withdrawing when the opportunity arose, etc.The turbine was well suited for this. Iraq and Afghanistan are different sort of wars. Endurance is there but it uses more fuel. The introduction of APUs in recent years has helped alleviate that issue somewhat.

There have been a lot of improvements in engine design since the M1 entered service, the MTU diesel being considered is far more compact than the design used in the original Leopard 2 for example. There are also a few other options out there that could be adapted to work in the M1 with some redesign. A “dieselized” M1 hull has already been shown off at a few trade shows so it clearly is possible. An improved gas turbine is also possible yet the Army appears to be leaning towards the diesel.

You’re right about the ammunition selection, we should have adopted a true HE round like the German DM11 years ago. The M830A1 (MPAT) has a limited anti-personnel capability but it isn’t as effective as some of the alternatives that contain more HE. The problem isn’t a lack of suitable ammunition on the market, the problem is the usual Army bureaucracy. The good news is the USMC placed an order for several thousand DM11 shells some time ago and the Army has their own program to (eventually) get a new HE shell.

I’ve read about that Israeli design you’re talking about, the M329 APAM, it would be a good capability for our tanks to have access to, but once again things like this seem to move too slowly in the Army.

Right about the armor, I’ve read the whole FCS notions that that armor will soon be irrelevant due to top-attack PGMs and such but this hasn’t occurred yet and most of our enemies are relying on far less advanced systems.

You’re right that the occasional good idea can be found in Sparky’s rantings, although I’ve got to wonder which are his ideas and which were stolen from others. There are also certainly things about the M1 which we can and should improve, but he’s not interested in improving it, he just wants to show all American designs in a bad light compared to his aluminum wonder the M113. He gladly twists and ignores the numbers to suit his own ideas. For example he concludes that the M60A1 is a better tank than the M1 because fewer were lost in the Gulf War than the number of M1s knocked out.

What he doesn’t mention is that USMC M60A1s represented a very small portion of US armor in the theater compared to the vastly larger number of Army M1 series tanks the Army brought over. He also doesn’t take into account how they were deployed, doesn’t take into account the opposition, he just wants a reason to make the M1 look bad.

You’re right about the Iraqis, they seem to be completely lacking in competent leadership. Their forces would have been every bit as “effective” if we sold them ancient M4 Shermans instead of M1A1 Abrams.

“If war had broken out in Germany in the 1980s it would have been a very high tempo of operations, the M1 would have been regularly moving at high speeds, falling back to new defensive positions, counterattacking and withdrawing when the opportunity arose, etc.” — William_C1

Makes sense. Attacks Soviets, fill up on vodka, continue assault. Repeat until vodka is exhausted.

No, contract awarded in March of 2009. You might want to check who was President at that time.

having worked with the Iraqi logistics, I’m honestly blown away they actually run; but an untrained crew cant keep them running for to long, they will be on the side of the road in a week.

Depends. Checking DefenseIndustryDaily, the Iraqis put in the formal request through DSCA July of ’08. Tank orientation seems to have begun in December of ’08. GDLS announces contracts to procure long-lead material for the Iraqis in ’09.

why-arabs-lose-wars is probably also why the Iraqi army collapsed against ISIS. ISIS is small with initiative rewarded to the bravest, most cunning holy warriors. And the more heads decapitated on twitter, the better. They don’t stop to use a Thuraya to ask Al-Baghdadi permission to kill Shia, they just do it.

Sadly, all the weapons and military support will NEVER help these people. All the recent videos of the Iraqi men be taken in trucks and executed. There must be 100 prisoners to every 1 armed ISIS fighter and NONE of them put up a fight — knowing they are about to be executed anyway. Not even a new set of balls for each man there will help.

Need to stop this finger pointing regardding who was president. It was always the intention to build an Iraqi army using American equipment. Started with Bush Jr. and continued with Obama. Its foreign policy and military arms sales driving these kinds of deals.

If you’ve been following this campaign, the ISIS or ISIL have been using Toyota pickup trucks with medium caliber weapons mounted on them very effectively. Lesson here is for use to do the same. The Pentagon doesn’t need any new medium tactical truck procurement.

They’re not IED resistant. If the local Sunnis were as enthusiastic about laying IEDs for ISIS as they were for Americans they’d run out of trucks in no time.

What ISIS does differently is that they would probably decapitate everyone in a one mile radius of the IED. And it would frighten the locals into submission.

Clearly the Iraqi Army needs commissars and political officers. Not one step back…or else.

Not stupid. But incredibly arrogant. Same net effect.

If I recall correctly they were the M1A1 variants. And to the previous statements about the IS fighters not knowing how to operate them, I’m more than certain there were training manuals captured in those bases translated into Arabic. Furthermore, It’s not a far fetched idea that the computer systems were recoded to display in Arabic vs English. It’s sure not a old T-82 but they should be knocked out if the opportunity presents itself.

Take no prisoners. These IS fighters desperately need to all be dead.

4 F18s to take a 7 truck convoy, one A-10 can do that and more. Even an Apaches would be more useful.

If you look at the news media photos, they’re called Toyota pickup trucks!

Agreed. I understand many of the old Iraqi army types (especially generals) are part of the new ISIS movement. They want their revenge on America for putting them out on the streets and will quickly learn to use these tanks to great effect.


All the arms were sold to the Iraqis because U.S. arms companies would profit.

Defense contractors are not selling arms to our enemies. The CS iraqi’s abandoned the equipment. BTW, contractors like GD does an excellent job in supplying our troops. Crew survivability in the M1 was the first priority and it really worked. Fuel and ammo was compartmentized and designed to vent events away from the crew. Lethality was also maximized. First round killls were routine. We saved a lot of lives with our work and gave the Army and MC an excellent tool to do their jobs. You should stfu.

If we didn’t have defense contractors, you would be speaking German or some other foreign language right now. You actually believe government ‘workers’ are able to design anything? 99% of them can’t find their ass with both hands. Stop reading the liberal talking points and think for yourself for once.

What you should worry about is not whether isis would use the M1 tank ,
the things you should worry that whether or not they sold some of the tank to iran , china or russia.

As a retired Army Mechanic, I can tell you that IF in fact they did capture M1 Tanks, they do not have what it takes to use them to their full potential. The logistics to support an M1 tank are far beyond what these “fighters” have. Fuel, oil, repair parts and constant preventative maintenance by skilled mechanics and crew members is vital. Like someone else posted also an effective and qualified tank crew is needed to make this monster work. This is not a pickup truck with a gun on it. If they are in the hands of the enemy, then the US Air Force and Navy will have some high dollar hard targets to shoot at.

This isn’t Craigslist. ISIL does have transporters (used to haul around Humvees) but do they have one to haul the M1? Next, this M1 hauler would have to go to the nearest airport, be picked up Iranian, Chinese or Russian transports (with ~70 ton cargo capability) and then fly out.

A few Durandals would crater the runway of any civilian airport used for airlift, and there aren’t that many rail-links to Iran, China and Russia. Then it’s road into Iran through Kurdish and Shia controlled areas with a tank-transporter and an M1.

we need to remove those weapons from them, one way or another

The President is hiding his inaction, because he cut and ran from Iraq, against his general’s wishes. Air attacks will not defeat this enemy. We need to bring in tons of M1 Tanks, and blow them to hell. These guys understand just one thing, the sword. So they need to see the sword of the USA, but this President is failing the grade.

In a way Tanks are highly mobile armored field guns. “Guns“are one of the main typed of artillery.Artillery doesn’t always have to be a high trajectory weapon.

I don’t think the warranty is transferable. Maybe if they had bought the Square Trade Extended Warranty if would be.

I am leery of getting old tanks anyway; nothing beats that “new tank smell” with no mileage.

Back in my carrier days, that new plane smell of A6’s got my turbo revved up. New equipment, new tools, new bomb racks made my eyes glaze over.

Saw some training flicks on the travel of the breach; yeah baby, better get back in the seat before it goes boom or you will go splat.

Actually Iran has done an impressive job of keeping their old F-14s flying. They still have F-4s Phantoms flying.


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