M-1 ABRAMS (development)
After the failure of the MBT-70 and XM-803 programs, the United States Congress agreed to begin the construction of a new battle tank capable of dealing with the giant armored troops of the Warsaw Pact in the years to come. At the beginning of 1973, the requirements for the new main battle tank were drafted, and in June of the same year, the US Army signed two contracts with the Chrysler and General Motors companies to build their prototypes, with the only mandatory requirement that cost should not exceed 507,790 dollars per vehicle. In February 1976, both prototypes began the tests, and in November 1976, was officially announced the winning of the Chrysler’s prototype, of which 3,312 units were ordered. Then began the construction of several pre-series models, which were tested from the summer of 1978 until December 1979. This testing period brought to light about 270 failures, most of which can be remedied, although some, such as excessive consumption and the tracks weakness were certainly worrisome. However, and with the contrary opinion of many, in May 1979 the construction of the first series of 110 “M-1 General Abrams MBT” was authorized, which would enter into service on February 28, 1980.
M-1 ABRAMS development gallery and more info