By Michael Green
Since entering U.S Army service in 1980, the M1 Abrams tank in all its various versions has proven itself to be the finest main battle tank in the world combining the optimum balance of firepower, mobility and protection.
These design features allowed the M1 Abrams series tanks based in Western Europe during the Cold War to serve as an important deterrent to the Warsaw Pact threat. The M1 Abrams' combat effectiveness was convincingly demonstrated during Operation DESERT STORM in 1991 and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in 20003, completely dominating the Iraqi Army's Soviet-designed tanks. During the post-2003 insurgency, the M1 Abrams tank series evolved into highly successful urban assault vehicles.