A replacement for the Abrams?

they were building the turret for the 140mm gun when I was over there. I saw several things different about the turret when compared to the production version. It was wider and much longer for starters.


It will not be a large tank. Far too many logistical problems with one. It will be either a Medium or light tank. The Drones and antitank threat could be a deciding factor. I also like the idea other countries are doing converting tank chassis into a support vehicle. I can see an Abrams chassis and 8, AIM 9 sidewinders. Maybe with a telescoping mount and 4 hellfire missiles. Can you imagine an Abrams chassis and an A10’s 30 mm gatling gun? An ammunition resupply vehicle. A forward observation vehicle.

Protection, Mobility, Firepower, the competing holy trinity of tank design… which one will take precedence?

at one time there was a one off bridge layer and maybe two tank retrievers off that hull. I’ve seen the bridge layer and photos of the tank retriever. Then there was the odd ball the built for the USMC (don’t remember what they called it). They even went so far as to design a SPG off that basic chassis (might have built one). I gather it didn’t work well, as interest in it dropped like a rock in water. Maybe others, but know nothing about them. On the otherhand there was interest in doing a major upgrade to the M60 tank using the Abrams power pack. I know they at least built one as I’ve seen it. Seems like they also did the samething with the M48. Then there also is the diesel powered M60 and M48 with the X1100-5 gear box (the -5 means it does not have the step down gear box between the input and actual gear box [ all internally done]). At one time there was also a commercial use idea for that power pack, but TACOM nixed it at the last minute. The idea was to reduce cost per unit.

The M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV)

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You are probably talking about the XM-104 Wolverine Assault Bridge. It was canceled in 2001 due to cost and it didn’t work well; the bridge sliding mechanism broke often. That is why the new JAB (see below) is a traditional scissor bridge design.

XM104 Wolverine Assault Bridge

The new bridge layer is the M1074 Joint Assault Bridge (JAB). I’m not sure what makes it joint now that the USMC has ditched all their tanks. It is being fielded now in the US Army. Australia has also committed to buying them.

…Then there was the odd ball the built for the USMC.

The M1150 ABV was not a one-off at all. It has also been fully fielded across the US Army as well.

They even went so far as to design a SPG off that basic chassis (might have built one). I gather it didn’t work well, as interest in it dropped like a rock in water.

That was the XM2001 Crusader Howitzer. It worked well, but was super expensive and heavy, which limited its deployability. At the time, the Army was attempting go go smaller and more mobile. It was the same time we got the Stryker. It mainly came down to money though. The program was cut in 2002.


Don’t forget about the Grizzly breacher vehicle.

Ah yes, another one that was cancelled for the same reasons as the Crusader. Program cancelled in 2001.

XM1 Grizzley Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV)

Too bad on the Crusader SPH. I think that the Media “killed” the Crusader in that at 40 tons, the Media said that it would take two C-17s to transport the Crusader SPH and FAASV as one C-17 can transport only one M1 Abrams (although some say two M1s in an extreme emergency where damage to the C-17 might happen). Also, some critics feared if the Crusader’s autoloader failed, the crew inside would be stuck without any way to reload the howitzer.

As such, the US Army reduced it to the 20+ ton FCS NLOS-Cannon 155mm and THAT was tested to work well, but the entire FCS program was canceled with nothing to show for.

So that’s TWO new SPHs that were canceled. But now the M109A7 ERCA seems to have matured enough to offer somewhat close to what the Crusader’s range was. The FCS NLOS-Cannon had the same range as the M777. I think both new SPHs, if fielded, would have made a difference in the GWOT.

Every drone or Loitering Munition requires a Human Operator to pilot it. And while you’re technically correct in that tanks are very vulnerable to drones, Loitering Munitions and airpower (always have been), tanks and AFVs are still used because nations produce A LOT of them and they act like ants so they can spread out and conquer land. No drone, Loitering Munition, or airpower can “Hold the ground.”

It’s very similar to a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and Anti-Ship tactical ballistic missiles. The enemy has to find the moving CSG and target and track it to launch missiles at it. All the while the CSG is launching weapons and warplanes all during that time.

So a drone still has to find, track, and fix on a moving tank and that takes time and the drone has to be in the general vicinity of the AFV. All the while the tank can fire a main gun round in 5-6 seconds and machine gun rounds in seconds, meaning a tank can still do more ground combat damage compared to a drone or Loitering Munition sent out to seek it that takes minutes to hours to fly to get there. Meaning, a tank can still kill several tanks, infantry, and structures way before any drone or Loitering Munition reaches it…and there are many AFVs and tanks out there spread all over the place.

I kind of noticed that the Russians aren’t “popping smoke grenades and turning on their smoke generators” when in combat…neither did the Armenians and Azerbaijanis…and no artillery smoke was fired and laid down either. However, I do also notice that the Russian tanks and AFVs are indeed firing away so they’re causing more damage before being hit by anything.

it was the green one, but also painted the tan color. The Crusader may have been designed on the Abrams hull, but the power pack was completely different. Add to this there were at least three different versions. and one that was similar to the prototype, but also had a different gun (all that I know of were 155mm). One used a liquid propellant, and they like the way it shot. That one was later modified to test thermo magnetics. The drive system reminded me of the AAAV. Also damned expensive and a pain to manufacture. They built the prototypes about forty feet from my bench at work. TACOM insisted on a titanium/magnesium alloy for the main case, and just machining the case was a major fire hazard. I don’t know who did the electrical end on it, but we didn’t. Might have been Guide Lamp or even Raytheon. There are videos of the thermo magnetic gun shooting in it. Went thru Chobam armor like a punch press!
The X1100 power pack was never designed with the option of a complete internal lock up. Been a long time but the Crusader gear box might have been the X1150 or even the X1200. Still think it was much different yet in concept than the last two. I know they had a lot of problems with the electrical power supply in very humid weather. There was yet another prototype TACOM wanted to try, but it never got past the CAD system. By the way, last time I was in Experimental Test; one of the power packs was still in the racks they store them in. Going in that area was like going back thru time

Nice photos

that’s it! Did they actually build any?

never saw that or heard anything about it. May have came around in the mid 1990’s, and in the winter of 94 I went across the street. Of course I walked right into the Stryker program when I got there.

According to wiki 39 of them.

Why wouldn’t you have some hi-tech awacs way above? Those could easily direct drones. The awacs could easily be protected by ‘other’ forces. Real time satellite imaging would also allow the use of drones.

Yes with on the ground forces accounting for all of them would be an issue. But that’s the case now. Besides we have seen what happens to moral when folks have to keep looking up instead of ahead.

there’s a lot more to the Crusader program than just weight. It was a totally new concept in several designs that looked the same on the outside. It really was too hi tech for the time frame. Plus the added goal was yet another completely different drive system that was way out there. We could build it now, but not thirty years ago.

There are issues with the current SPG that few like to talk about. (politically) They accepted them at Hood, but don’t love them. Other units are begging for the older guns. Whatever pleases the lobbiest I guess

P.S. PC crashed in the middle of this response, so sorry it took so long to answer you

Here is an article on the M1A2 Abrams replacement pursuit…

The Army’s M1 Abrams Tank Replacement

And here are the different versions of the M1 Abrams…

Abrams Tank Upgrade

folks in Lima once told me that the M1 tank was in a constant upgrade path from day one. They add something new to make it better and right behind that newest and greatest thing is something new and better in the works. A constant learning experience.

Makes sense to keep the Lima, Ohio, tank plant workers employed, but then it bottles up the renovation process and M1A2SEP Version tanks are undergoing constant upgrades. In some ways that is good in that the best and the most elite Army units get the newest upgrades, but it also means that the tank force has several versions that aren’t always state-of-the-art that money can buy due to the constant upgrades. Eventually, one needs a new tank.

If you take a look at the “The Army’s M1 Abrams Tank Replacement” story’s conceptual graphics, I wonder if the Loader gets the CROWS II and the Tank Commander (TC) gets the CITV (ball turret) or that is a laser (sure looks like a laser ball). Or the M1 Replacement has an autoloader and the TC gets the CROWS II and a laser ball is also added next to the CROWS II because CROWS can be CITV, meaning if a laser ball, there will be Loitering Munitions and rooftop defense. The Gunner’s Primary Sight is now on the left (compared to on the right on the M1 Abrams) and so is the rooftop machine gun, meaning that there is a possible autoloader on the right side.

Note the two Iron Dome Active Protection System (APS) on the rear sides of the turret for four APS grenades—four is not a lot but something is better than nothing so there is rear APS protection. So this new tank turret does factor in rooftop protection.

That is a very old conceptual M1 Replacement graphic that may or may not be reality in its ideas and concepts.

you know I have no idea what they are thinking about right now. I left that program just before Christmas 1994, and honestly never missed it. The Stryker was very generic from my view point as everything was the same old thing. The interesting stuff like the AAAV, and at least one unmentioned SPG project were way ahead of me, but also interesting.

You want to know what the next tank looks like? Then sneak into the G.M./Allison/TACOM proving grounds in Yuma AZ. If you get bored you can watch the NASCAR cars practice drafting. A very secretive place that seems to be owned by everybody