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Tank Urban Survival Kit

Upgrade kit for Abrams series main battle tanks

TUSK

Once fitted the Tank Urban Survival Kit improves fighting ability in urban environment

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 2006
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 59 ~ 64 t
Length (gun forward) ~ 9.8 m
Hull length ~ 7.9 m
Width ~ 3.7 m
Height ~ 2.5 m
Armament
Main gun 120 mm smoothbore
Machine guns 2 x 12.7 mm, 2 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 9 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 42 rounds
Machine guns 1 600 x 12.7 mm, 12 400 x 7.62 mm rounds
Mobility
Engine Honeywell AGT1500 gas turbine
Engine power 1 500 hp
Maximum road speed 68 km/h
Range 425 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.7 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 2 m

 

   The invasion of Iraq in 2003 exposed vulnerability of the Abrams tanks to rocket propelled grenades and mines. These problems were partially resolved by fitting the tanks with the Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK). This kit was developed to improve survivability in urban environment. M1A1, M1A2 or M1A2 SEP tanks equipped with this kit become even more deadlier. Once the kit is fitted the tanks have improved protection, firepower and situational awareness. This kit can be applied by the units in field conditions. Tanks do not need to return to depots for modifications. In 2006 US Army ordered a total of 505 kits for the tanks deployed in Iraq. By 2008 all tanks fielded in Iraq were equipped with Tanks Urban Survival Kit.

   It is worth noting that urban battles are worst places for the tanks to fight. Tank's front armor is much stronger than that on the sides, top or rear. Yet in urban environment attacks can come from any direction and from the top, hitting weak spots of the tank.

   The TUSK includes add-on explosive reactive armor, fitted to side skirts. It provides protection against RPG rounds. A slat armor is added to the hull rear. It also provides protection against RPG rounds.

   Additionally this tank is fitted with 32 dischargers for 66 mm defensive grenades. These dischargers are loaded with a combination of smoke and anti-personnel grenades. Previously US Army tanks were fitted only with 12 grenade dischargers.

   Vehicle commander has got a transparent shielding around his 12.7 mm machine gun. The latest M1A2 SEP tanks are fitted with remotely controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun. It is controlled by the vehicle commander from inside of the turret. So vehicle commander is no longer exposed to enemy fire. Loader uses a shielded 7.62 mm machine gun. The loader has also got a thermal weapon sight. Now he can locate targets and fire from his machine gun at night.

   The tank is fitted with one more remotely controlled 12.7 mm machine gun over the main gun. It is fitted with a spotlight. This machine gun is referred as counter sniper and anti-material weapon. It fires single shots or in full-auto mode. It is aimed using the main gun.

   There is also a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. So in total the tank has got four machine guns.

   Vehicle commander has got a 360 degree camera. It improves situational awareness. The driver is fitted with new safety sear and rear vision camera.

   The tank is fitted with an infantry phone. It allows the nearby infantry to communicate with the tank commander and coordinate their actions in combat.

   It is worth noting that sometimes tanks are fitted with only some components of the TUSK kit. It is done depending on situation and mission requirements.

 

Video of the M1A2 main battle tank, fitted with the TUSK

 

 
TUSK

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TUSK

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TUSK

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TUSK

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TUSK

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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