105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

Features visible on the front left of the tank are labeled in this sketch. 1. Driver's hatch. 2. Headlights. 3. Skirt step, left and right side. 4. Hand hold, left side only. 5. Skirts, six on each side. 6. Sponsons, left and right side. 7. External fire extinguisher T-handle. 8. Fuel filler caps. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

9. Sprocket. 10. Support rollers. 11. Compensating idler wheel. 12. Track adjusting link. 13. Roadwheels. 14. Roadarms. 15. Rotary shock absorber housings. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

16. Taillights. 17. Rear grille doors. 18. Air intake port. 19. Precleaner doors. 20. Top deck left grille doors. 21. Engine access cover. 22. Top right grille doors. 23. Battery covers. 24. Crosswind sensor. 25. Receiver antenna. 26. Receiver/transmit antenna. 27. Turret stowage boxes, left and right side. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

28. Bore evacuator. 29. Main gun - 105mm. 30. Muzzle reference sensor (collimator). 31. Thermal shroud. 32. Flash suppressor. 33. Gunner's primary sight ballistic shield cover. 34. Commander's weapons station (CWS) machinegun. 35. Commander's hatch. 36. Loader's machinegun. 37. Loader's hatch. 38. Smoke grenade discharger. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The crew and some interior features are shown in this cross-section. 9. 105mm bustle ammunition compartment. 10. 105mm turret floor ready rack. 11. Main gun breech. 12. Driver's instrument panel. 13. Steer-throttle control. 14. Driver's alert panel. 15. Driver's master panel. 16. Powerpack. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The slab-faced turret dictated by the special armor within is perhaps the M1's most striking contrast from the cast turret tanks fielded before it. (Picture taken 1 Jan 1983; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

This early tank features the track retaining ring on the rear drive sprocket and the original rear track skirt. This design allowed dirt to build up underneath and resulted in thrown tracks, so it was redesigned to incorporate a notch around the drive sprocket. The rear of the turret was ringed with tie downs for external stowage; this was also replaced later with a stowage rack in the rear. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

This tank features the track retaining ring on the rear drive sprocket, but has the newer notched rear skirt design that helped prevent dirt buildup. T156 tracks with integral rubber pads are on this tank. There are antenna mounts on the rear corners of the turret, and the crosswind sensor is folded over in the middle of the turret bustle's rear. (Picture taken 15 Aug 1984 by SPC5 Vincent Kitts; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

This image details where the special armor arrays were arranged: the forward armor skirts, turret front and sides, and the lower hull front. (Picture from "Special Armor Security Classification Guide.")

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The structure of the gun shield is diagrammed here. The internal diagonal plates would offer some movement when struck, helping to destabilize and break up incoming projectiles. (Picture from "Special Armor Security Classification Guide;" sanitized for release on 2014/03/04.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The hull front armor array differs in detail from the gun shield, but functions in a similar manner. (Picture from "Special Armor Security Classification Guide.")

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The turret sides were also protected by a composite armor array. (Picture from "Special Armor Security Classification Guide.")

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The forward ballistic skirts are cross-sectioned in this sketch. The right side of the tank featured additional protection to guard the hull ammunition bin located in the right rear of the fighting compartment. (Picture from "Special Armor Security Classification Guide.")

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The difference in thickness between the special armor skirt panel on the left and the regular skirt panel on the right is obvious.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

A machine gun rests in the commander's mount, although the loader's weapon is absent. Likewise, the bracket for the smoke grenade launcher can be seen in front of the stowage box on the turret side, but the launcher itself is not mounted. The shape of the front turret and size of the main gun on this tank can easily be contrasted with the 120mm gun tanks below.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The hatch is in place in this picture, flanked by two fuel fillers. The driver's left-side wiper is missing, but its base can be seen atop the central periscope. The crosswise weld line in the foreground is related to the construction of the special armor in the front hull.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The extreme slope of the tank's glacis forced the driver to sit in a reclined position. Details of the 105mm gun mount are also visible, including the aperture for the gunner's auxiliary sight on the bottom and the base of the barrel shroud for the 7.62mm coaxial MG directly above this. The opening for the gunner's auxiliary sight can be contrasted with tanks below whose armor has been strengthened (beginning with the IPM1), where it became a channel on the underside of the gun mantlet. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The driver's supine orientation is illustrated here. 1. Seat. 2. Seat locking lever. 7. Headrest. 8. Headrest adjusting knob. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-2.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The interior of the driver's station is drawn in this image. 1. Alert panel. 2. Steer-throttle control. 3. Transmission shift control. 4. Service brake pedal. 5. Parking brake pedal. 6. Hatch opening crank. 7. Parking brake system hydraulic pressure gage. 8. Hatch lifting handle. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

9. Driver's master panel. 10. Periscope adjustment knobs. 11. Fire detector sensor. 12. Driver's instrument panel. 13. Remote intercom switches. 14. Fire extinguisher bottle pressure gage. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

15. Parking brake release handle. 16. Driver's periscope wiper lever. 17. Periscope washer pump. 18. Hull power distribution box. 19. Drain valve handles. 20. Intercommunication control (C-10456/VRC). 21. Hull networks box. 22. UTIL OUT electrical outlet for light extension cord. 23. Engine hour meter. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

Features of the left side of the driver's compartment are shown here. 24. Turret seal pressure gage. 25. Inflatable turret seal pump. 26. Personnel heater duct control lever. 27. Night vision viewer stowage. 28. M3 heater. 29. Open/closed hatch seat control lever. 30. ENGINE FIRE T-handle. 31. CREW FIRE T-handle. 32. Air direction control knob. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The driver's panels are reproduced in this image. 1. FUEL CONTROL FAULTY light. 2. GAS OVERTEMP light. 3. ENGINE OVERSPEED light. 4. Driver's instrument panel. 5. Driver's master panel. 6. VEHICLE MASTER POWER switch. 7. VEHICLE MASTER POWER light. 8. START switch. 9. STARTED light illuminated for 10 seconds when the electronic control system sensed the engine had reached idle speed. 10. ABORT light illuminated for 10 seconds if the electronic control system aborted an engine start.

From top to bottom, the indicator lights above the FUEL CONTROL FAULTY light were ENGINE OIL LOW; major hull electrical CABLE DISCONNECTED; CIRCUIT BREAKER OPEN; HYDRAULIC SYSTEM MALFUNCTION; TRANSMISSION OIL LOW; clogged filters for the ENGINE OIL, TRANSMISSION OIL, PRIMARY FUEL, and AIR CLEANER; REAR FUEL PUMP R[ight] INOPERATIVE; and REAR FUEL PUMP L[eft] INOPERATIVE. To the left of the ENGINE OVERSPEED light was the ENGINE OIL PRESS LOW light, and to the left of this was the OIL TEMP HIGH light. To the right of the ENGINE OVERSPEED light was the TRANSMISSION OIL TEMP HIGH light, and to the right of this was the TRANSMISSION OIL PRESS LOW light. The largest dial was the speedometer, and the smaller dial to the left was the tachometer. Centered directly above the tachometer was the light indicating that the engine fire extinguisher's 1ST SHOT DISCHARGED; to the right of this was the engine FIRE light. To the left was the switch for the second shot of the engine fire extinguisher. This shut down the engine and discharged the fire extinguisher after 18 seconds. The dial below the tachometer was the fuel gage. The TANK SELECTOR switch picked which tank to indicate on the gage, and this also turned on the front fuel pump when the LOW FUEL LEVEL light, under the fuel gage, was lit. To the right of the fuel gage was the voltmeter, and below this was the LOW BAT CHARGE light.

On the master panel, from left to right on the top row were switches to activate the personnel heater high or low temperature settings and fan; switch and indicator light to supply power to the driver's night periscope; switch and indicator light to supply power to the gas particulate filter; switch and indicator light to supply power to the bilge pump; switch and indicator light to supply power to the engine smoke generator; and the external lights and high beam switches. To the right of the VEHICLE MASTER POWER light, the PARKING/SERVICE BRAKES light illuminated when the parking brake was not released or when the service brakes were engaged for more than 2 minutes while the engine was on. To the right of the START switch was the TACTICAL IDLE switch to set the engine idle at ~1350rpm. To the right of this, the SHUTOFF switch cut fuel supply to the engine, and to the right again was the STARTER ONLY ENGAGED switch that provided power to turn the engine starter without igniting the engine. A test button for the panel lights and a brightness control knob was in the bottom right. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

Another view of the tank's glacis and weld line is shown from above. Construction of the gun mantlet and coaxial machine gun flash hider can also be seen. The flap on the rear of the gun mantlet is a cover for the joint between the gun mantlet and turret that is held down by sprung hinges. The mounting lug on top of the gun shield extends straight forward, which would be changed in later models of the tank.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The blowoff panels atop the ammunition stowage in the turret bustle allowed the conflagration caused by detonating ammunition to vent into the air away from the crew. This tank has been retrofitted with a turret bustle stowage rack.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The turret bustle and hull ammunition stowage racks are drawn here. The bustle ready stowage incorporated standard racks, four swing tubes, and a four-round rotary rack. A rotating disc on the tube allowed the loader to keep track of which ammunition type was which; the disc was rotated so that a letter indicating the ammunition type was at the top (S for sabot; B for beehive; P for high-explosive, plastic; and H for high-explosive antitank). 1. Ready ammunition compartment. 2. Semi-ready ammunition compartment. 3. Hull ammunition compartment. 9. Rotary rack. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-2.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

Once the stowage basket was introduced, it was commonly retrofitted to earlier tanks. The mount for the crosswind sensor can be seen in the lower left, while a fuel filler is at the corner of the hull in the opposite corner.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The fuel system is shown here. There were two front fuel tanks and one rear tank that was divided into four interconnected fuel cells. The engine was fed from the rear tank only; when the LOW FUEL LEVEL light was illuminated and the driver selected a forward tank with his TANK SELECTOR switch, fuel was transferred from the selected tank to the rear tank. 1. Right front fuel tank. 2. Left front fuel tank. 3. Right sponson fuel cell. 4. Right engine fuel cell. 5. Left engine fuel cell. 6. Left sponson fuel cell. 11. Rear tank fuel pumps. 12. Forward tanks fuel pump. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

Details of the mounted crosswind sensor can be seen in this image. Note the hinge at the base to allow it to be folded over when not in use, as in the image above. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

Looking forward from the stowage basket, the loader's hatch on the left and the commander's cupola on the right are just in front of the ammunition blowoff panels. Emerging from the roof between the two hatches is the wiring for the left-side smoke grenade launcher, which then snakes its way around the loader's hatch to the turret side.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The rear of the commander's cupola and the cradle for the .50cal machine gun are seen here. The sight for the machine gun would be found in the vertical guard to the right of the machine gun.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The tank commander's position is highlighted here. 1. Unity periscopes. 2. Frequency selector control (C-2742/VRC). 3. Intercommunication control (C-10456/VRC). 4. Commander's panel. 5. POWER/MANUAL lever. 6. Commander's weapon sight. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The tank commander's position is continued. 7. Forward unity periscope. 8. Commander's power control handle. 9. Commander's weapon station power control handle. 10. Commander's gunner's primary sight (GPS) extension eyepiece. 11. Commander's weapon station manual traverse ring. 12. Commander's remote intercom switch. 13. Commander's elevation crank. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The tank commander's position is continued. 14. Seat height adjustment knob. 15. Platforms height adjustment knob. 16. Operating handle to latch and unlatch hatch in closed position. 17. Locking lever to unlock hatch from protected open and full open positions. 18. T-handle to lock and unlock hatch in yoke assembly. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The loader's hatch is seen in this image from behind the commander's cupola. The skate rail for his machine gun and the periscope guard in his hatch are obvious.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The front of the loader's hatch is shown, revealing more details of the machine gun cradle and his periscope.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The crew hatches are open on this tank, and the roof machine guns are mounted. The loader's weapon is mounted on a skate rail and the empty ammo box cradle is on the gun's left, while the commander's MG was fired from under armor. It was elevated manually, but could be traversed electrically. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The loader's machine gun and mount are detailed in this sketch. 22. Elevation lockpin. 23. Azimuth lock. 24. Skate rail. 25. Skate lock. 26. Spent case lockpins. 27. Trigger. 28. Spade grips. 29. Mounting pins. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The loader's stowage box is shown here; a similar box was found beside the commander. The previously-mentioned wiring for the smoke grenade launcher can be found under the shroud on the roof.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The loader's controls are seen from across the breech of the 105mm gun. 1. Intercommunication control (C-10456/VRC). 2. Turret networks box. 3. Receiver (R-442/VRC). 4. Receiver-transmitter (RT-246/VRC). 5. Main gun spent case ejection guard. 6. Main gun breech operating handle. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The left and rear of the loader's position are highlighted here. 7. MAIN GUN STATUS lights. 8. Fire detector sensor. 9. TURRET BLOWER switch. 10. GUN/TURRET DRIVE switch to set gun and turret drive system to powered, manual, or elevation uncoupled mode. 12. Ready ammunition door lock. 13. Semi-ready ammunition door lock. 14. Loader's knee switch (stowed in up position) to open and close ready ammunition bustle door. 15. Turret traverse lock lever. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The three-round turret floor ready rack is drawn in this picture. 1. Quick-release pin. 2. Cover. 3. Swing tube. 4. Ammunition type disc. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-2.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

In order to transfer main gun ammunition from the semi-ready rack behind the commander to the ready rack, the ready ammunition door was prepared for manual operation by swinging the kneeswitch up and disconnecting the door from the actuator shaft. Then the commander's ammunition door guard was removed by loosening the thumb screws and releasing the door pins from the holes in the turret. The door was unlocked via the locking handle, and then the door was slid to the right using a cutout in the door and the door's left edge. With both doors free, they were both slid left or right as needed when transferring rounds. 1. Door guard. 2. Thumb screws. 3. Release pins. 4. Holes. 5. Lock handle. 6. Cutout. 7. Front of semi-ready ammunition door. 8. Ammunition door. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-2.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

The gunner's primary daylight and thermal sights (GPS) as well as the laser rangefinder were protected by an armored "doghouse," with shutters that could be opened and closed via a lever at his position.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

Behind the GPS housing, the wiring for the right-hand smoke grenade launcher assembly exits the turret roof.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The spread of and controls for the smoke grenade launchers are diagrammed here. 1. Commander's control panel. 2. GRENADES READY/SAFE switch. 3. SALVO 1 button. 10. SALVO 2 button. SALVO 1 involved grenades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. SALVO 2 launched the remainder. Both buttons could be pushed at once, launching all the smoke grenades. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The gunner is drawn here ready to fire, with the chestrest in position and his lower back wedged between his seat back and seat cushion. 1. Chestrest. 2. GPS browpad. 3. Adjustment knob. 4. Seat back. 5. Seat cushion. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-2.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The gunner's controls are highlighted in this drawing. 1. Gunner's primary sight (GPS). 2. GPS ballistic door actuator handles; the daylight and laser rangefinder were protected by the left door, while the thermal imaging system was behind the right. The left door needed to be opened before and closed after the right. 3. Intercommunication control (C-10456/VRC). 4. Computer control panel. 5. Manual traverse crank handle. 6. Gunner's power control handles. 7. Gunner's foot intercom switch. 8. Manual elevation crank handle. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The gunner's station is continued. 9. Emergency MANUAL FIRING device (blasting machine). 10. Gunner's auxiliary sight (GAS). 11. GAS control panel. 12. GAS reticle boresight adjustment knobs. 13. Hydraulic pressure gage. 14. Unity periscope. 15. DEFROSTER switch and light for GPS daylight channel. 16. RETICLE knob for GPS reticle brightness. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The GPS is highlighted in this drawing. 1. FIRE CONTROL MODE lights indicating normal, emergency, or manual modes. 2. FIRE CONTROL MODE switch. 3. FLTR/CLEAR/SHTR switch to position filter, clear window, or shutter in the GPS day optic system. 4. GUN SELECT lights. 5. GUN SELECT switch to select main or coaxial machine guns, or trigger safe. 6. AMMUNITION SELECT switch. 7. MAGNIFICATION lever to select 3x or 10x. 8. AMMUNITION SELECT lights. 9. Gunner's GPS eyepiece. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The GPS is continued. 10. NORMAL MODE DRIFT, EL knob corrected for elevation drift in stabilized (normal) sighting system. 11. NORMAL MODE DRIFT, AZ knob corrected for azimuth drift in stabilized (normal) sighting system. 12. RANGE switch selected first return, last return, or safe mode of laser rangefinder. 13. Diopter adjustment. 14. PANEL LIGHTS knob. 15. PANEL LIGHTS, TEST pushbutton. 16. MRS OUT/IN lever controlled the mirror that allowed the muzzle reference system reticle to appear in the GPS optical system. 17. THERMAL MAGNIFICATION lever selected 3x or 10x magnification for the thermal imaging system. 18. FOCUS knob. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

A wider view of the GPS is given here. 1. GPS. 2. GPS periscope eyepiece. 3. Commander's optical relay extension eyepiece. 5. Armor door operating handles. 6. Unity window. 7. Magnification selection lever. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The TIS used heat sensors to detect target scene information, then converted that information to electronic signals processed by the system's electronics unit. These signals were sent to the image control unit which displayed the scene on a cathode ray tube, and this image was then projected into the GPS eyepiece. Since the TIS also used the laser rangefinder, both ballistic doors of the GPS housing had to be open when the TIS was being used. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The ballistic computer was mounted to the gunner's right. 1. Ballistic computer. 2. Computer control panel. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The computer control panel is detailed here. 1. TEST key. 2. NO GO light burned red if a failure occurred during a self-test and the test terminated. 3. AMMO TEMP key set the computer for manual input of ammunition temperature and showed previous data (if any). 4. AMMO SUBDES key set the computer for manual input of ammunition sub-designation code and showed previous code (if any). 5. BS ADJUST key set computer for manual input of battle sight range data and showed previous data (if any). 6. TUBE WEAR key set computer for input of tube wear data and showed previous data. 7. ON-OFF switch. 8. PWR light.

Under the AMMO TEMP key, the BARO PRESS key set the computer for manual input of barometric pressure data and showed previous data (if any). The AIR TEMP key functioned similarly for air temperature. The MRS indicator light showed if the muzzle reference sensor was set in manual adjustment of the fire control system and computer to compensate for gun tube droop. To the upper left, the CROSS WIND key canceled the automatic crosswind data, set the computer for manual input of crosswind data, and showed previous data (if any). The CANT key did the same for cant data, and the LEAD key did the same for automatic lead data. The ZERO key set the computer for input of zero corrections for the selected ammunition type. The BORE-SIGHT key set the computer for input of boresight corrections. The toggle switch in the lower left moved the GPS reticle in the desired direction during boresighting, zeroing, or MRS correction. The numbered keys were used to enter data after an input button had been pressed. The computer display was centered between the LR and UD keys that were used to indicate incoming inputs for left/right and up/down. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-1.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

Weld lines visible on the turret roof highlight the construction of the turret shell.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

A similar view is provided of the turret's right front corner.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

Details of the tracks and rear road wheel can be seen here. The outer hubs of the road wheels are clear plastic, which facilitates checking the lubricant level. The drive sprocket teeth can just be seen behind the track retaining ring. Note the compression of the rubber pad of the track block under the road wheel. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

A close-up of the track retaining ring is offered in this photo. During tests, tanks tended to shed tracks at the sprocket due to dirt buildup and quick turns. Fixes for this problem included the track retaining ring, increasing track tension, a mud scraper for the drive sprocket and a sprocket hub with mud chute cutouts, and steel plates welded to the hull to keep the tracks aligned and to prevent tracks from coming off to the inside. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

More details of the track retaining ring are provided here. The road wheel hubs have been painted on this tank.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

This image highlights the evacuation holes in the drive sprocket as well as the mud scraper.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

A second view of the mud scraper and one of the guidance blocks is provided here. The guidance block can be seen just to the inside of the track end connectors. Another guide that wraps around the rear of the final drive is hidden by the track and sprocket ring.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The guidance block not visible in the image above can just be seen emerging from under the rear fender.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The idler wheel arm and the link connecting it to the first road wheel can be seen between the track and hull.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Looking forward from above the final road wheel arm, the rotary shock absorber at this position, return rollers, and skirt supports can be seen. The side hull is thickened above the forward six road wheel stations as well.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

A similar view is provided from between the idler and front road wheel. The rotary shock absorber stations are larger than those of the center four undampened wheels. The increased side hull armor is easier to see in this image around the rotary shock absorber station.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The turret ring and construction of the underside of the turret are highlighted in this image.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams.

The hull ammunition stowage is illustrated in this image. The cutouts were gripped to open and close the door. 1. Door. 2. Door cutouts. 3. Back of door. 4. Cutout on back of door. 5. Door cutouts. (Picture from TM 9-2350-255-10-2.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The hull ammunition compartment featured blowoff panels on the top and bottom of the hull.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams at the First Division Museum.

Weld lines visible on the hull floor show where the tanks' underside blowoff panels would be located.

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams, Improved Performance in Turkey.

With increased protection, the shape of the turret front and gun mantlet on these tanks is subtly different from the earlier tanks above. Note that the aperture for the gunner's auxiliary telescope is no longer totally contained by the gun mantlet armor. The detachable stowage rack introduced on the IPM1 can be contrasted with the original bustle tie-downs on the tank at the top of the page. These 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) tanks were participating in NATO Exercise Display Determination '87; pyrotechnics have been mounted on the bore evacuator to simulate the main gun firing, and the machine guns have blank adapters fitted. (Picture taken 1 Jan 1987 by MSG William B. Belcher; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams, Improved Performance in Turkey.

Another view of the enhanced turret front is provided here. The mounting lug on top of the gun mantlet no longer extends straight out, but rises upward to the horizontal section. The "Boogie Men" were 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) tankers who were participating in NATO Exercise Display Determination '87. (Picture taken 1 Jan 1987 by MSG William B. Belcher; available from the National Archives.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams, Improved Performance in Fort Irwin, California.

The near tank has the redesigned rear skirt, while the rear skirt section has simply been removed from the machine in the background. They both still have the track retaining rings on the drive sprockets, however. These tanks belonged to the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and were taking part in an exercise; MILES sensors are attached to the turrets, and pyrotechnics are mounted on the gun mantlet. (Picture taken 1 Nov 1988; available from the National Archives.)

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105mm Gun Tank M1 Abrams, Improved Performance in Fort Irwin, California.

A closer look at the tank's turret front shows a bit more detail about the changed shape. (Picture taken 1 Nov 1988; available from the National Archives.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams in Iraq.

The larger main gun marks this vehicle as an M1A1. The vent for the overpressure NBC system can be seen above the number 5 track skirt. The smoke grenade launchers have been changed by the US Marines from those typically used by the Army, and an external auxiliary power unit is visible in the turret bustle stowage basket. (Picture taken 1 Apr 2003 by CPL Mace M. Gratz; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams in Baghdad.

The discolored grille on the rear hull of this tank is the engine exhaust, and visible surrounding it is a mounting bracket with holes for attaching a fording stack. The other two grilles are for engine and transmission oil cooling. The tank commander is CPT William T. Cundy. (Picture taken 13 Nov 2003 by TSGT John L. Houghton, Jr.; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The Abrams tank was fitted with a six-barrel smoke grenade launcher on each side of the turret. These could be fired individually or both at once.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The rear deck of the M1A1 features engine air inlet grilles and various access hatches.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The turret bustle features blowoff panels over the ammunition stowage, so that if an ammunition explosion occurs, the energy and gases will be dispersed into the atmosphere instead of into the crew compartment. The tank's crosswind sensor is visible in the lower right corner of this picture.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The device on the end of the gun tube is part of the vehicle's muzzle reference system. This allows the gunner and ballistic computer to account for artificial boresight loss. The thermal shroud on the barrel was intended to help alleviate droop caused by uneven heating.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The shutters of the gunner's primary sight doghouse are open in this view. Note the difference in construction versus the one pictured above.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The coaxial machine gun on the Abrams was provided with a flash-suppressing barrel shroud.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The loader was provided with a hatch in the turret roof across from the TC, and a periscope was installed in his hatch door.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The TC's position was ringed with six vision blocks, as well as the 3x sight for the .50cal machine gun. The cupola hatch door could also be positioned so that it provided overhead protection while still allowing the TC outside vision.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

This view into the turret shows the gunner's seat, and just to its left, the breech for the 120mm main gun. The gunner was provided with a chest support, and it is folded off to the right. The coaxial machine gun's ready ammunition box is labeled, and the belt of ammo would snake across the top of the main gun's breech.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The opposite side of the turret interior is shown here. The loader's seat is visible, as is the vehicle's radio setup behind the padded shoulder guard. When in action, the shoulder guard would be swung down to protect the loader from the recoil of the main gun. Below the radio is stowage for field boxes of 7.62mm ammunition.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The ready rack of 120mm ammunition is shown here. The turret bustle ammunition is placed behind blast doors, so that if there is an ammunition detonation, the roof blowoff panels will vent the blast away from the crew compartment. There is a semi-ready rack behind the commander's position, and rounds are transferred to the ready rack as it is depleted and as time allows.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The loader's control panel is shown here, and would give indications of the main gun's status as well as operate the turret ventilation blower and turret drive. A blue night light is visible towards the top of the image.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The bustle ammunition blast doors were operated by this padded kneeswitch.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

A look at the gunner's position is provided here. The chest support is folded out of the way, and a kneepad is provided on the turret basket. The red handle is the main gun's manual firing handle, and just above that is the gunner's auxiliary sighting telescope.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

This image provides a close look at the gunner's control cadillacs. The large switches on the front of the handles are the palm switches to engage the tank's stabilization system, the thumb buttons are for firing the laser rangefinder, and the index triggers are for firing the weapons.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The gunner's control panel is shown here. His primary sight and its browpad can be seen at the top of the picture.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The TC was able to see what the gunner was looking at via the gunner's primary sight extension. The gunner's controls are visible low in the background, and above those are the handles that open and close the armored shutters for the gunner's primary sight.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The .50cal machine gun cupola was elevated manually with this handwheel, and the red trigger fired the weapon.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The tank commander was provided with a turret control handle as well, and could override the gunner's inputs if necessary. The TC's override was equipped with triggers for the laser rangefinder and weapons, so the TC could fight the tank if the need arose. The black handle in front of the turret control handle was for the powered traverse of the commander's cupola, and the handle with the black knob allowed the commander to switch between powered and manual traverse of the cupola. The gunner's chest support is visible near the bottom of the picture.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The TC's control panel is shown in this image.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The driver's instrument panel is shown here.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The driver's master panel is on his right side.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The driver controlled throttle and steering with a motorcycle-style T-bar. Throttle was controlled by twisting the handle, and therefore an accelerator pedal was not needed. The transmission selector is placed below the T-bar, and the black parking brake release handle is to the driver's right.

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams.

The armored skirts have been removed from this tank, allowing a view of the return rollers and supports for the skirts attached to the lower hull side. Note the damage to the skirt on the tank to the left. (Photo by Richard S. Eshleman.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams in Iraq.

This tank is fitted with several features from the TUSK I upgrade kit. Present are the shields for the TC and loader as well as the TC's thermal .50cal sight, the mount for a .50cal MG over the gun mantlet (the Counter Sniper/Antimaterial Mount; CSAMM), explosive reactive armor tiles on the side skirts, and the V-shaped armor applique on the hull bottom. This tank belonged to Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, and was being used to train Iraqi tankers in Joint Security Station Al Rashid, Iraq. The box with the pyramidal top attached to the gunner's primary sight housing is the antenna for the Blue Force Tracker system. (Picture taken 15 Jul 2010 by SPC Gary Silverman; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A1 Abrams in Iraq.

A better view of the CSAMM mount and its attachment to the gun mantlet is provided here. This tank has also been fitted with the TC's and loader's shields and the TC's thermal sight on his .50cal mount. In this image, SGT Anthony Ciofalo of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division is instructing an Iraqi soldier on driving the tank in Joint Security Station Al Rashid. (Picture taken 15 Jul 2010 by SPC Gary Silverman; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A2 Abrams in Biaj, Iraq.

The commander's independent thermal viewer can be seen in front of the loader's position on this vehicle, and it is aimed to the tank's right. A tow bar is stowed on the tank's bow. (Picture taken 26 Jan 2006 by SSG Aaron D. Allmon, II; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A2 Abrams in Iraq.

Features of the TUSK kit present on this tank include explosive reactive armor tiles on the side skirts, shields around the loader's and TC's position, and the CSAMM mount. The .50cal MG has a front shield as well as the armor enclosing the sides and rear. The large antenna at the rear of the turret bustle is part of the AN/ULQ-35 Counter Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (CREW) Duke IED jammer system. This tank belonged to Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and was training on Memorial Range near Contingency Operating Base Speicher. (Picture taken 27 Jul 2011 by SGT Quentin Johnson; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A2 Abrams in Iraq.

Further details of the shielding around the TC's position can be seen here. These men were with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and were training on the Besmaya Combat Training Center range near Baghdad. (Picture taken 9 Jan 2011 by SSG Garrett Ralston; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams at the Joint Multinational Readiness Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

The very tall common remotely operated weapon system (CROWS) has been mounted on this tank. It provides the commander with a thermal viewer, laser rangefinder, and a mount for the .50cal machine gun that can be operated from under armor. The loader's MG is not present, but he has been provided with armored shields. Instead, he is wielding a carbine with a blank adapter. The TC is LTC Carter Price, commander of 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. They were taking part in Operation Combined Resolve II. (Picture taken 25 May 2014 by PFC Daniel Lograsso; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams.

The mount of the CROWS encompasses the gunner's primary sight enclosure. Forward vision for the TC is affected, as can be seen here. The T-shaped antenna to the crosswind sensor's right in the turret bustle rack was for the CREW IED jammer system. The green box with the light top in front of the CREW antenna is the antenna for the Blue Force Tracker system. This tank belongs to D Company, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division and was taking part in exercise Heidesturm Shock. (Picture taken 6 Jun 2015 by Markus Rauchenberger; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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120mm Gun Tank M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams in Kuwait.

"Bruce Almighty" provides us with a rare view of the suspension without the full set of side skirts. The front return roller can be seen. (Picture taken 6 Dec 2016 by SGT Aaron Ellerman; available from the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.)

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Last updated 13 Nov 2021.
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