AbramsX: The Incredible New Tank That Could Transform the U.S. Army

AbramsX
February 7, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: AbramsXM1 AbramsTanksTankMilitaryMain Battle Tank

AbramsX: The Incredible New Tank That Could Transform the U.S. Army

General Dynamics Land Systems unveiled a technology demonstrator version of the AbramsX in 2022. Although nothing is finalized yet, the AbramsX will reportedly weigh around 60 tons, or 10 tons less than the operational M1A2 Abrams, which packs an impressive 71 tons.

AbramsX Could Be a Real Game Changer. We Asked a Top Expert to Explain What It Will Mean for the U.S. Military: A couple of years ago, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously predicted that tanks are a thing of the past.

Technological advances in warfare and the advent of cyber operations would turn the heavy and cumbersome main battle tanks obsolete. 

As in many other things, the likable British leader was off the mark. The fighting in Ukraine has shown that tanks are very much part of modern warfare.

Indeed, they are the cornerstone of offensive and defensive ground operations.

That is unlikely to change anytime soon. As such, militaries around the world work on newer tank designs to make the armored behemoths even more deadly on the battlefield. 

The U.S. Army has been working on its own tank of the future. It’s name, at least for now, is AbramsX.

The AbramsX Tank

General Dynamics Land Systems unveiled a technology demonstrator version of the AbramsX in 2022. 

Although nothing is finalized yet, the AbramsX will reportedly weigh around 60 tons, or 10 tons less than the operational M1A2 Abrams, which packs an impressive 71 tons.

The Army is likely trying to rein in on the weight and bring the future tank on par with the first Abrams tank of the family, the M1 Abrams. Less weight means more speed and less fuel consumption, both important features in ground combat. 

The AbramsX will also likely have a new hybrid electric diesel engine that would be more efficient than the fuel-hungry M1A2 Abrams. In addition, the Abrams X will likely have enhanced armor to protect against loitering munitions and suicide drones. 

Another potential feature of the future main battle tank would be an unmanned turret, which would reduce the crew from four to three. Most Western tanks have a crew of four (commander, gunner, loader, driver).

In comparison, Russian tanks have a crew of three (commander, gunner, driver), relying on an automatic loading system. However, that system is highly dangerous as it means that the crew is essentially sitting on top of an ammunition keg.

As footage from Ukraine has shown, it only takes a simple hit to obliterate the tank. 

As a tank that won’t enter service before 2030, the Abrams X will likely incorporate artificial intelligence for defensive and offensive purposes, as well as interoperability with unmanned systems.

The M1A3 Abrams

Until the Abrams X project produces an operational capability, the Army will have to make do with its current fleet of M1A2 Abrams tanks and the new M1A3 version of the combat vehicle. The M1A3 is still under development and will feature technological and weapon upgrades. 

Abrams X

Initially, the Army was working toward upgrading its existing fleet of M1A2 tanks. However, the war in Ukraine and the use of new technologies in warfare—for example, suicide drones—altered the Army’s plans. Instead of upgrading the older Abrams, the Pentagon decided to go with a newer capability. 

Abrams Tank

The Abrams X program is likely to incorporate useful data from the development and operation of the M1A3.  

About the Author  

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP. Email the author: [email protected].

Image Credit: Creative Commons.