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M1A2 TUSK - Tank Urban Survival Kit

During the Iraq War of 2003 and the subsequent occupation, the M1 Abrams served as the main tank of the US military. While the M1A2 SEP was a highly modernized version including electronics improvements and so on, the US military found that it faced a new threat during the occupation from 2004 onwards, namely in close-quarters urban situations with weapons such as mines and hand-held weapons.

The tank was a Cold War design, aimed at a threat that was always to its front. Itís still the most survivable weapon in the arsenal from the front. In a 360-degree fight, and these systems are designed to improve survivability in that urban environment.

M1A2 TUSK I - Tank Urban Survival Kit

In order to improve Abrams survivability in urban environment, M1A1/M1A2 was fitted with Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK). With this kit, Abrams tanks became more deadly. The TUSK improves protection, firepower, and Situation Awareness of the tanks. The TUSK includes such components as add-on explosive reactive armor and a slat armor, which provides protection against RPG rounds, 32 dischargers for 66-mm defensive grenades, which loaded with a combination of smoke and anti-personnel grenades, a transparent shielding around vehicle commanderís 12.7-mm machine gun that allow vehicle commander to be protected from enemy fire.

The TUSK also has a thermal weapon sight for a shielded loaderís 7.62-mm machine gun that allows him to locate targets and fire from his machine gun at night, additional remotely controlled 12.7-mm machine gun over the main gun that is fitted with a spotlight. In addition, the TUSK includes a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun, a 360-degree camera for a vehicle commander that improves SA, new safety sear and rear vision camera for a driver, and an infantry phone that allows the nearby infantry to communicate with the tank commander and coordinate their actions in combat.

The TUSK includes additional protection at the loaderís gun station on the turret and the commanderís gun station, reactive armor to protect the tankís side from attack by rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and slat armor to protect the tankís rear from the same weapon, and the tank/infantry telephone to allow infantry and armor soldiers to work together in combat.

All the upgrades use off-the-shelf technology, and the goal is for the entire TUSK to be applied by units in the field, without requiring a return to a depot for modification. The reactive armor, for example, is a product similar to whatís on the Bradley (Armored Fighting Vehicle). Itís explosive armor that protects the vehicle. Another example would be the slat armor designed to protect the tankís rear from RPG attack. It is similar in design and concept to the slat armor used on the Stryker armored vehicles for the same purpose.

The first TUSK component to reach the field was the Loaderís Armored Gun Shield, which provides protection to the loader when the soldier is firing the 7.62mm machine gun on the Abramsí turret.

The Abrams Reactive Armor Tile system is a component of the Tank Urban Survival Kit that was mounted on Abrams tanks during deployments to the Middle East. It consists of a set of two types of reactive armor tiles. Maneuvering the Abrams on the European continent requires different armor configurations. Using the ARAT and not the TUSK will allow the tanks the maneuverability and operability they will need in more verdant areas. ARAT retains the cross-country abilities of the tank because it is not completely loaded down with extra armor. This has the added benefit of being more capable against things like heat rounds and things like explosive ordinance that get fired at the tank.

Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK)


Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) were developed to counter such threats, and the original TUSK I added block-shaped reactive armor to the tank sides as well as an anti-mine underplate, additional M2 heavy machine gun above the main gun, and shields for the loader. The TUSK II upgrade further added shields for the commander and the distinctive tile-shaped reactive armor, although these were not fitted to all M1A2 SEPs.

Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II

Tank Urban Survival Kits (TUSK) TUSK II

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