M-1 GENERAL ABRAMS (development)

After 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 Chrysler and General Motors companies to build their prototypes. The only mandatory requirement was that unit cost should not exceed 507,790 dollars. In February 1976, both prototypes began the tests, and in November 1976, was officially announced that Chrysler’s XM-1 prototype was the winner. According to the needs of the US Army at that time, 3,312 units were ordered from what was officially baptized as “M-1 General Abrams MBT“. 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 production of the first series of 110 “M-1 Abrams MBT” was authorized. Finally, the first units entered service on February 28, 1980 and represented a tremendous improvement in the capabilities of the United States Armored Forces.

M-1 ABRAMS development gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

United States


Chrysler – General Motors


Main Battle Tank


From 1973 to 1980



Combat weight

General Motors XM.1: 52,200 kg – Chrysler XM.1: 53,450 kg

Dimensions (length x width x height)

Chrysler XM.1: 9.72 x 3.58 x 2.37 meters
General Motors XM.1: 7.60 (hull) x 3.65 x 2.35 meters

Armour, (maximum)

Composite: classified

Power plant

Chrysler XM.1: 1 x AVCO Lycoming AGT.1500 multi-fuel gas turbine,1,500 hp
General Motors XM.1: 1 x Teledyne Continental AVCR.1360.2 diesel engine, 1,500 hp


General Motors XM.1: 79 km/h – Chrysler XM.1: 100 km/h


Chrysler XM.1: 495 km


1 x 105/52mm M.68 rifled gun


General Motors XM.1: 1 – Chrysler XM.1: 1 – XM.1 pre-serie: 11