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The 1st Armoured Regiment Association held an open day to view the Abrams Battle Tanks

This day was only open to members. It was held at the Puckapunyal Tank Museum, and we were given access to climb all over and into a Abrams Gun Tank and also a Hercules M88A2 ARV. The only restrictions were no photos inside the tanks, otherwise it was all there to see

We moved into the tank hangers passed a heap of Leopards and inside was an Abrams gun tank and an ARV, complete with walk up steps. Beside the right wall were five more gun tanks.

We climbed aboard and my first impression was --- small--- inside! I went to the ARV first as the gun tank was covered with people. You had to enter from the side hatch and crawl around to your position---and that was more or less where you stayed. Access through the top cupola and hatches would be a bit better I imagine. Every thing was white and clean, looked great.

The Hercules M88A1 -- note the old men steps, boy were they needed

Rear view of the Hercules M88A1

Side on view


The right headlight assembly---everything looks like its meant to stay

The front winch note the two hatches above

The hangers looked over size but all the Leopards are now outside and only about seven Abrams were inside

They sure have a nice emblem

Across on the Gun Tank it was all go -- a steady stream of people into the drivers seat and the turret -- everyone seemed to feel it was cramped

The operators hatch -- note the lock down device and the 360 swing on the scope

The operators machine gun mount -- note slide at the bottom

The slide that the Machine gun runs on

The drivers compartment the steering yoke is pulled right out - it just slides in and out as required --Gear change is an auto selector on the front of the hatch No double the clutch or stick change on these beauties -- but where has all the fun gone!

The drivers position!

The drivers hatch just swings aside

I have the opinion that unless the gun is pointing at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock the driver cannot exit the tank --I would not feel all that comfortable in there

The Abrams is around 64 tons and is powered by a derivation of the Iroquois helicopter turbine. It is governed but capable of over 80 Kms per hour.
2x 7.62 and 1x 50 cal MG's. Crew commander has 50 cal and operator and coax are 7.62.
It has air conditioning and a fridge but is extremely cramped inside due to heavy armour ( it is reported to be world's safest tank) and has an incredible computerised battle management system which eliminates any guess work.  Main gunnery sight is capable of Times 50 magnification either night or day.

As these are all shot on my digital camera I was able to upload them today, I have some more on my 35mm which I will have developed tomorrow and may add a couple more !