U.S. M1A5 Abram Main Battle Tank:


In the Twenty-Thirties, the revolution in new materials made virtually all combat vehicles obsolete. This included the Abram main battle tank which had, with upgrades, served the United States for half a century. The Russian solution to the problem was to upgrade the tanks they already had by adding the new armor materials to the exterior of the tank. The United States considered this briefly but did not consider this to be an ideal solution. The problem is that the frame of the tank uses the old materials and makes it much weaker than it would be than a new tank and maintenance were also much greater in the rebuilt tanks. The United States decided to instead construct a new tank using the new materials. They used the Abrams as the basis for their design with a multitude of upgrades to the design. While the new tank was still considered part of the Abram family of tanks, it is virtually a new tank with changes in almost every area of design. The tanks served in front line service for only a short period and were replaced by the Jackson Main Battle tank within about a decade and a half. It was decided that the Abrams' design had been upgraded as mush as could be done and it was time for a new design. Never produced in huge numbers, the M1A5 served in secondary roles for many years afterwards and until the Rifts many were still stored in National Guard Armories. Some were used to test new armors for the Jackson and are about twenty percent tougher than the original M1A5. Many other nations who used the older M1A2 Abrams upgraded the armor of their tanks in a similar fashion to the Russians with their tanks and did not purchase the new Abrams. These tanks are close in performance to the Golden Age refitted Abrams main battle tanks. The new M1A5 Abrams are sometimes used by post Rifts Mercenary companies although until Archangel Heavy Industry, Iron Armory, and Metalworks Industries redeveloped the fuel cell system, many of the engines were replaced by jury-rigged diesel engines with much less range or power armor fusion reactors if the original engines broke down. The firepower of the old tanks is considered to be as good as the post rifts Iron Hammer Main Battle Tank produced by Iron Heart Armament although the armor is less. Iron Armory seems to looking at producing this tank, with upgraded armor, as an alternative to their nuclear Abrams derivative armed with a high velocity rail gun.


There had been some complaints that the original gas turbine engines were fuel hogs and produced far more heat than a diesel engine and that the gas turbine engine of the Abrams should be replaced by a diesel engine. When the M1A5 was being designed, fusion reactors for small vehicles were still under development but fuel cell systems had been refined to a point that would have been hard to imagine in the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. It produced as much power as the Gas Turbine and yet was more fuel efficient than a Diesel would be. As added bonuses, fuel for the fuel cell was cheap compared to diesel fuel, the engine polluted very little, and the tank had a much reduced thermal signature. The only problem was that, since the coming of the Rifts and until recently, few places could maintain the engines. The United States Army trained their own mechanics and never had this problem. The fuel cells operate by pulling the electrons off of an H2 molecule, splitting it into 2H+ molecules and 2 electrons. The electrons pass through the "load" (engines, weapons, avionics, etc.) creating current and powering the systems. Meanwhile, the 2H+ molecules pass from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte. At the other "end", the electrons then recombine with the 2H+ molecules and Oxygen (from the air) and are release as water from the rear of the vehicle. Along with the new engine, the wheel system on the new Abrams was changed to give a smoother ride.


It was decided that the 120-mm main gun carried on older Abrams was not powerful enough to deal with other nations new tank designs. At the end of the Twentieth Century, a 140-mm cannon was developed for the next generation of tanks. This was chosen for the new Abrams and it caused both a size increase in the tank and replacing the loader with an automatic loading system. The projectiles were in two pieces and were considered too heavy to load by hand. This reduced the crew by half and part of the space occupied by the loader was used to store additional projectiles. Still, there was a reduction in rounds to thirty-two projectiles. At first, the tank carried a 12.7 mm heavy machine-gun and two 7.62 machine-guns but these were quickly found to be obsolete. Special ammunition was tried but this was a temporary fix at best due to the fact that only the heavy machine-gun could penetrate the body armor of troops. These weapons were replaced by liquid propellant weapons with the top heavy machine-gun often being replaced by a grenade launcher. On the original Abrams, one of the 7.62 machine-guns was controlled by the loader. This was instead operated by the driver but he could not drive at the same time and was not considered effective. As a result, it was removed from many of the M1A5 Abrams. On some of the tanks in National Guard Armories, the guns were replaced by Rail Guns similar in design to the one carried by the SAMAS power armor. Some mercenary companies have mounted mini-missile launchers on the top of their tanks.


Model Type: M1A5
Vehicle Type: Main Battle Tank
Crew: Three (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):80 each
Weapon Turret:250
140 mm smooth-bore gun:100
[2] 7.62 Machine Guns (2, Early Model):10 each
[2] 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Gun (Early Models):20
[2] 8 mm Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun (Replaces Machine-guns):45
[2] AGL-40 Auto Grenade Launcher (Replaces Heavy Machine-gun):50
[2] USA-M31 Rail Gun (Carried on National Guard Versions)50
Smoke Grenade Launchers (4):10 each
[2] Main Body:460


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] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a "called shot," but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[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 70 mph (112.6 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%.
Underwater: Can be equipped with snorkel to run underwater down to 15 feet (4.6 meters)
Maximum Range: 700 miles (1126.5 km)


Statistical Data:
Height: 9.5 feet (2.9 meters)
Width: 10.8 feet (3.3 meters)
Length: Main Body: 27.2 feet (8.3 meters) and with Gun Forward: 34.5 feet (10.5 meters).
Weight: 72.5 tons (65.8 metric tons)
Power Source: Fuel Cell System
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and one hand-held missile launcher with four loads each are stored in a compartment in the crew compartment.
Black Market Cost: 3.8 million for a new or fully operational M1A5 Abrams Main Battle Tank. Reduce cost by 500,000 if an early model and increase by 600,000 if equipped with rail guns or grenade launchers instead of liquid propellant weapons.


Weapon Systems:

  1. 140 mm Smooth Bore Cannon (Main Gun): Replaces the 120 mm cannon carried on previous models of the M1 Abrams. The cannon is controlled by a gunner inside the turret compartment. The tank has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when the tank is moving. The cannon can angle from -5 degrees to +45 degrees up, and the turret can rotate through 360 degrees. While mostly designed for use against other armor, it can be fired at low flying aircraft within its arc of elevation. The loading system for the turret is fully automated.
    Maximum Effective Range: Direct fire range is 8202 feet (2,500 meters) for HEAT or Plasma, but 14763.7 feet (4,500 meters) for APFSDS. Indirect fire for all rounds is 36089.2 feet (6.8 miles / 11,000 meters).
    Mega-Damage: HEAT: 3D4x10, blast radius of 10 feet, APFSDS: 3D6x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Plasma: 3D6x10, blast radius of 30 ft. Fragmentation: 6D6, blast radius of 40 feet.
    Rate of Fire: Three times per melee.
    Payload: 32 gun rounds. Normally 8 HEAT, 16 APFSDS, and 6 Plasma, but this can be varied according to need. An additional round can be stored, ready to fire, in the main gun. If they are available, this is usually a plasma round so that the tank can deal with a surprise attack of any type. Also note that plasma only became available just before the Rifts, and before that the tank carried Fragmentation rounds.
    Bonuses: +2 to strike at all times with cannon shells from the laser sight and fire control computer, including when on the move. For indirect long-range fire has a +1 to strike, but only when standing still.
  2. Top Weapon Mount (1): The tank has a spindle to mount a weapon on the top of the turret which is normally controlled by the commander of the tank. The weapon is designed for use against troops assaulting the tank and against aircraft. Originally the weapon carried was the ancient 12.7 mm Browning M2HB Machine Gun but the weapon was replaced by a variety of different weapons. The grenade launcher was the favorite replacement weapon by many vehicle crews. Weapon mount is designed to be able to be controlled from within the turret.
    1. 12.7 millimeter Browning M2HB Machine-gun: Designed in the early part of the Twentieth Century and extremely effective until the invention of high strength body armors, this gun was carried on early versions of the M1A5 Abrams along with all previous versions of the Abrams. Special Ram-Jet style rounds, similar to those developed by Wellington after the coming of the Rifts, were developed for the weapon in an attempt to keep the weapon effective. Even with the more powerful rounds, the weapon was still considered of limited effectiveness and was replaced by liquid propellant weapons or an automatic grenade launchers.
      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: 1000 rounds (25 bursts).
    2. USA-LPG-8-B Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun: Along with the fully automatic grenade launcher, replaced the 12.7 mm Browning machine-gun on virtually all tanks. On most tanks that were in National Guard Armories, the liquid propellant weapons were replaced by rail guns. This weapon is similar to the sub-machine-gun carried on the USA-GPA-01-D. This weapon's primary purpose is use against infantry and other lightly armored targets. The weapon can fire all types of burst available to machine guns except extended bursts. The weapon uses a special liquid propellant which delivers about four times the force of nitro-cellulose propellant and the weapon fires an 8 mm round. Originally, a heavier liquid propellant weapon of 12 mm was planned but it was decided that all weapon sharing the same ammunition would be advantageous.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage:
        Single Shot (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Ten Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 5D6
        Ten Round Burst on 1D4 Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Thirty Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6x10
        Thirty Round Burst on 1D8 Target (Costs 1 attack): 2D6
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (commander).
      Payload: 3000 rounds (Can share ammo with other liquid propellant weapons for a possible total of 18,000 rounds)
    3. US AGL-40 Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is very similar to the WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher produced by Wellington Industries but uses a slightly smaller round and the weapon itself is slightly lighter. Weapon was used in vehicles as well as being used in tripod mounts and used by power armors. Weapon can fire single shot or bursts of ten rounds and can inflict heavy damage when burst fired. The grenade launcher can use either a 40 round magazine or 200 round belt. The tank normally mounted two belts together to increase number of rounds to 400 rounds. On most M1A5 Abrams in National Guard Armories carrying grenade launchers, the weapons was not replaced
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (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: 400 Round Double Belt.
    4. USA-M31 Rail gun: Replaced Liquid Propellant Weapons on most National Guard Armory models of the M1A5 Abrams but did not replace most grenade launchers due to crews greatly liking the automatic grenade launchers. It is simpler as far as ammunition and operation than the liquid propellant weapon. From the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (commander).
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts (Can share ammo with other rail guns for a possible total of 16,000 rounds)
  3. Light Secondary Mounts (2): One is coaxial (beside the main cannon) which moves with the main barrel and the other is controlled by the driver (was originally controlled by the loader) and is often unmanned. On some models, the mount controlled by the driver has been removed. The original 7.62 weapon was considered badly underpowered and was replaced by Liquid Propellant Weapons soon after the tank entered service. Weapons are mostly used for anti-personnel purposes. The driver controlled weapon mount is designed to be able to be controlled from within the tank itself.
    1. 7.62 mm M240 Medium Machine-guns (2): Carried on the original M1A5 Abrams but was quickly replaced on most tanks by liquid propellant weapons. Engineers developed Ramjet rounds for the 7.62 machine-gun but they were found to be ineffective.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 m)
      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
      Payload: Carries 10,000 rounds for the Coaxial mount and 1,400 rounds for the driver operated machine-gun.
    2. USA-LPG-8-B Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun: Replaced the 7.62 mm machine-gun on virtually all tanks. On most tanks that were in National Guard Armories, the liquid propellant weapons were replaced by rail guns. This weapon is similar to the sub-machine-gun carried on the USA-GPA-01-D. This weapon's primary purpose is use against infantry and other lightly armored targets. The weapon can fire all types of burst available to machine guns except extended bursts. The weapon uses a special liquid propellant which delivers about four times the force of nitro-cellulose propellant and the weapon fires an 8 mm round.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage:
        Single Shot (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Ten Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 5D6
        Ten Round Burst on 1D4 Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Thirty Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6x10
        Thirty Round Burst on 1D8 Target (Costs 1 attack): 2D6
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner.
      Payload: 12,000 rounds for Coaxial mount and 3,000 rounds for driver operated mount (Can share ammo with top mounted liquid propellant weapon if mounted for a possible total of 18,000 rounds.)
    3. USA-M31 Rail gun: Replaced Liquid Propellant Weapons on most National Guard Armory models of the M1A5 Abrams. It is simpler as far as ammunition and operation than the liquid propellant weapon. From the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner.
      Payload: 8,000 round magazine (200 bursts) for coaxial mount and 4,000 round magazine (100 bursts) for driver operated mount (Can share ammo with top mounted rail gun for a possible total of 16,000 rounds.)
  4. Smoke Dispenser (4): Mounted on either side of the tank and launches smoke grenades. Some testing has been done using prismatic aerosol grenades to reduce the effect of lasers against the tank. As well, tear gas grenades can be used for special purposes.
    Effect: Creates a cloud of smoke 40 ft (12 m) in diameter (see other grenades for their effects)
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,200 feet (365 m)
    Rate of Fire: Two per melee
    Payload: Carries 6 smoke grenades per launcher (24 grenades total).


Sensory Equipment:
Sensory equipment is mounted on a retractable mount that can be extended 6.6 feet (2 meters) to extend sensors when hull down. The tank carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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