Golden Age Weaponsmiths M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank:


At the time of the coming of the Rifts, there were large numbers of M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks in storage in various reserve armories in the territorial areas of the former United States. These armories were all but forgotten but as a result, a surprisingly large number of M1A2 Abrams survived the destruction of most the cities because they were in remote areas. Golden Age Weaponsmiths have acquired and converted large numbers of these tanks. They do not usually fully restore these tanks but instead just repair what is needed and make some minor upgrades.


This tank, once converted, is surprisingly capable when compared to modern Rifts tanks although the tank is still considered by most to be less capable than more modern designs. The cheap price of the tank makes may people interested in purchasing the old tanks. Losses can be severe in combat although often the enemy does not want to trade new robot vehicles against these tanks.


These tanks are relatively easy to convert due to the ability to replace the armor on the vehicle. Golden Age Weaponsmiths uses the more advanced Rifts high strength alloys and composites. They replaces the original armor where they can and put additional armor where they cannot replace the armor to make the tank be able to better withstand damage. A small number had already been converted to the high strength alloys and composites.


One item of interest is the fact that the Abrams were governed to travel at speeds of only about 45 miles per hour. Golden Age removed the governors when they updated the tanks. The engine is a gas turbine engine. While not as fuel efficient as a diesel engine, they have the advantage of being able to deal better with lower quality fuels. Often the fuels after the coming of the Rifts can be of fairly poor quality.


The pre-rifts tank uses the same basic design of cannon which is mounted in an Iron Fist Medium tank that was produced by Iron Heart Armament and both can use the same rounds. In fact, the Iron Heart design is most likely a modified version of the cannon carried on the Abrams although the Canadian Leopard II tank also mounted a similar weapon. The Abram's gun does not mount an auto loader like the Iron Heart design. This has both advantages and disadvantages. Standard payload is 42 rounds with the majority usually being APSD or Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot rounds.


The tank has three machine guns. One is a coaxial 7.62 mm, the second is a 7.62 mm controlled by the loader of the main gun, and the third is a .50 caliber M2HB heavy machine gun mounted at the commander's station. The tanks machine guns can use Wellington Ramjet Rounds and these rounds are used by most Tank Crews for the refitted M1A2 Abrams crews. The coaxial weapon can be fired from inside the tank but the other two mounts require the "gunner" to be exposed in the "standard" model. The only weapon consider by most crews to be powerful enough to be effective is the .50 heavy machinegun.


As might be expected, many crews replace the machine-guns with rail guns or Wellington grenade launchers due to the fact that parts are easier to come by and the weapons inflict more damage. Pulse laser weapon are also common although they have to have their own power systems. One additional weapon system can be added to the tank design. Groups purchasing these tanks will often have a mini-missile launcher added to the tank design.


While the M1A2 does not have the sensor capabilities of most tanks built on Rifts Earth, the tank does have Infra Red to see in smoke, Light Amplification Gear to see at night, and has a fire control computer that helps target the main cannon while the tank is moving. The Abrams carried a Global Position System but since the satellites of the system no longer exist, the system was useless and was removed on most models. The tank is also environmentally sealed unlike tank designs built previously to the M1A2. Still, it is not a fully environmental design.


In addition, there is an "add on" package available known as TUSK which stands for "Tank Urban Survival Kit." As might be understood, it is designed for the tank to operate in an urban environment more effectively. The package includes a bit of additional armor, replacing the standard .50 caliber mount with a mount which can take either a fifty caliber machine gun or a Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher. This upgrade was applied to many tanks, even many without the TUSK upgrade. It can be directed from inside the tank so that the commander is not exposed. It also includes a second fifty caliber machine gun mounted over the main barrel. Finally, the package includes a shield for the loader's 7.62 mm machine gun mount.


Model Type: GAW M1A2SEP
Vehicle Type: Main Battle Tank
Crew: Four (Driver, Commander, Gunner, and Loader)


M.D.C. By Location:M1A2SEPTUSK Package
[1] Tractor Treads (2):50 each
Weapon Turret:150
120 mm L44 M256 Rheinmetall smooth-bore gun:80
Coaxial M240 7.62 mm Machine Gun:10
Coaxial M2HB 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Gun:---------20
[2] Loader M240 7.62 mm Machine Gun:1030
Commander Weapon Station:20 / 5050
Smoke Grenade Launchers (6 / 8):5 each
[3] Main Body:300+50


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
[2] To hit the "loader" while protected by the gun shield, it is a called shot with a -3 penalty to strike the position.
[3] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable.


Speed:
Ground: Cruising speed on land is 65 mph (104 kph) on roads and 60 mph ( 96.6 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%. Reduce performance by 10% if carrying the armor portion "of the TUSK" package.
Maximum Range: 300 miles (483 km)


Statistical Data:
Height: 9.5 feet (2.9 meters)
Width: 10 feet 6 inches (3.2 meters)
Length: Main Body: 26 feet (7.9 meters) and With Gun Forward: 32.2 feet (9.8 meters).
Weight: 69.5 tons (63.0 metric tons)
Power Source: Gas Turbine Engine (Avco-Lycoming AGT-1500 1500 hp turbine engine) - Can use Diesel, Jet Fuel, Kerosene, and even gasoline (Only in an emergency)
Cargo Capacity: Minimal, enough for equipment with crew. Usually each crew carries a pistol, light carbine, and usually the tank carries a rocket launcher for defense against other armor if force to evacuate the tank.
Black Market Cost: 150,000 Credits. If fitted, any extra weapons systems will add to the cost of the tank. "Tusk" upgrade package costs 50,000 Credits.


Weapon Systems

  1. 120 mm L44 M256 Rheinmetall smooth-bore gun: Very similar to the Iron Fist's main cannon although the Abrams does not have an auto loader. The gun can fire a wide variety of loads, including high-explosive (HE), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), armor-piercing explosive (AP),and armor piercing sabot-discarding solids (APSD). The turret can rotate 360 degrees and the gun can elevate 20 degrees and depress 10 degrees. Fired by the main gunner.
    Maximum Effective Range: 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) for direct fire with discarding sabot round, 6,000 feet (1828 meters) for direct fire with all other rounds, and indirect fire range of 26,250 feet (8,000 meters).
    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D6x10 with a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters). High Explosive Anti-Tank: 2D6x10, blast radius of 10 feet (3.05 meters). Armor Piercing: 2D4x10. Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot: 3D4x10 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration)
    Rate of Fire: A Maximum of three (3) attacks per melee.
    Payload: 42 rounds.
    Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
  2. Coaxial 7.62 mm M240 Medium Machine-guns (1): Mount is beside the 120 mm main gun and aimed wherever the main gun is fired. Weapon is controlled by the gunner of the tank. Uses WI-10 Ramjet rounds to increase the weapons damage. While the weapons have been refitted using Wellington ammunition, they are still considered underpowered by most crews. Favorite replacements are a light rail gun or a pulse laser weapon. Since the tank is not fusion powered, all energy weapons much have their own power source.
    Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters)
    Mega Damage: One round does 1 M.D.C. to M.D.C. targets or 3D6x10 S.D.C. to soft targets. Twenty round bursts do 2D4 M.D.C.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (Main Gunner)
    Payload: Carries 10,000 rounds (500 Bursts) for the Coaxial mount.
  3. Loader 7.62 mm M240 Medium Machine-gun: Mount is on left hand side of tank and is controlled by the loader when not loading the main gun. The weapon mount is in a "Skate" mount over the loader's hatch. It is controlled manually. The gunner is exposed although the "Tusk" packages adds a gun shield to to give the operator some protection. Uses WI-10 Ramjet rounds to increase the weapons damage. While the weapons have been refitted using Wellington ammunition, they are still considered underpowered by most crews. Favorite replacements are a light rail gun or a pulse laser weapon. Since the tank is not fusion powered, all energy weapons much have their own power source.
    Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters)
    Mega Damage: One round does 1 M.D.C. to M.D.C. targets or 3D6x10 S.D.C. to soft targets. Twenty round bursts do 2D4 M.D.C.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (Loader)
    Payload: Carried 1,400 rounds (70 Bursts) for the loader operated machine-gun.
  4. Commander's Gun Mount: The standard model has a 12.9 mm Browning M2HB heavy machine gun in this position. This is manually controlled with the commander of the tank being exposed when operating the weapon system. Many, including those with the TUSK package, are upgraded with the Protector M151 remote weapon station in this position. This can be controlled from inside the turret. This allows a wide variety of weapon systems although the .50 Browning machine gun and the Mk 19 Grenade Launchers are the most common. As well, many Post Rifts crews mount a heavy rail gun or a Wellington Grenade launcher in this position. Some missile launcher systems can even be mounted although are rarely carried.
    1. 12.7 millimeter Browning M2HB Heavy Machine-gun: This weapon mount usually uses WI-20 Heavy Ramjet rounds. Other than the main gun, this is the only weapon considered to be effective in the standard M1 Abrams. Still, compared to most rail guns, even light rail guns, the weapon is considered underpowered.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
      Mega Damage: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (Commander)
      Payload: 900 rounds (22 bursts) for mount
    2. 40 millimeter Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher: Not as advanced as the later grenade launcher designs including the Wellington weapon system. Weapon can fire single shot or short burst of ten rounds. Ammunition cans of 32 or 48 rounds can be used for weapon mount. More modern replacements usually use longer belts for a greater effective payload.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft. Other special rounds are available.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (commander) - Single Shot or Ten round bursts.
      Payload: Usually uses a 48 round magazine (has ten magazines standard ready to use) but can use 32 round magazines as well.
  5. Coaxial "Tusk" 12.7 millimeter Browning M2HB Heavy Machine-gun: Commonly mounted on the Tusk upgrade although can be fitted on most models. Fits on top of the 120 mm barrel and moves with the main gun. This weapon mount usually uses WI-20 Heavy Ramjet rounds. Even though more powerful that the 7.62 machine, it is still considered under powered. The weapon mount is often replaced with a heavy rail gun.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
    Mega Damage: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (Commander)
    Payload: 500 rounds (12 bursts) for mount
  6. Smoke Dispenser (6 /8): Army versions of the Abrams mount six while marine versions mount eight. Mounted on either side of the tank and designed to launches smoke grenades. Other types of grenades including missile decoy and tear gas grenades also can be fired from the launcher.
    Effect: Creates a cloud of smoke 40 ft (12 m) in diameter:
    Rate of Fire: Two per melee
    Range: 1,200 feet (365 m)
    Payload: Carries four smoke grenades per launcher.
  7. Integral Smoke Generator: Uses the engine to create a thick cloud of smoke that cover an 80 ft (24 m) around tank. This system is generally not used because the fuel being sprayed on the engine can start a fire in many cases.


Sensory Equipment:




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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