The Omega Concern’s M1A2 TUSK Manual

Product: M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK) v1.1.2
Scripter, Modeler and Animator: April Heaney
Support Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Product Revision Date: 2011-09-25
Manual Revision Date: 2011-09-25


Thank you and congratulations on your purchase of M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK). Please read this manual before invading your nearest urban centre.


The Omega Concern is dedicated to producing quality work at affordable prices, and we support everything we sell. April Heaney is the creator and your Technical Contact for this product, and can assist you with any problems with your product. All of our products are designed with the balance of impact on sim performance and ease of use in mind. If you find one of our products to be causing lag, behaving in unexpected ways, difficult to use, or otherwise being a pest, we need to know so we can correct it. (We can't fix it if we don't know about your problem.)

There is a technical support passphrase somewhere in this manual, which you must use when first contacting your Technical Contact about this product. We do this because other people (not you!) don't bother reading the manual which contains the answers to their questions, thus taking our time and attention away from thoughtful questions not answered in the manual, such as yours. As always, emailing the support address above is preferable to IMs and notecards, both of which often get lost in the shuffle when IMs get capped or April is offline for a couple of days.

You are eligible for all upgrades on this version, being version 1. Also, your feedback is valued! If there's something you love, hate, or just think would be better if it were just a little different, we want to know. Your input directly influences the course of development and future features of Omega products.

Your passphrase is "Street Fighter."

  1. Unpacking and Setup

    1. Package Contents
      Your brand new main battle tank comes in a surprisingly small box. Inside this box you will find your tank, seven (7) gestures bound to various F-keys for control over tank systems, a note card referring you to this online manual, and a landmark back to The Omega Concern's main store.

    2. Rezzing the Tank
      The first step to using the M1A2 is to create it in-world. Drag the object "M1A2 TUSK 1.0" onto the ground or other suitably large open surface. The tank's footprint is about 10 meters by 5 meters, just to give you an idea of how much space you'll want. You will get two dialogue boxes asking you for attach permission.  Select 'Yes'.

      The tank will rez two attachments, one for the turret and one for the tracks and reactive armor. These are a lot of prims. To help prevent headaches for you, these two parts are temp-on-rez when first rezzed by the tank, so they won't really count as used prims, thus if you need to, it allows you to (temporarily) have more prims on that parcel than you ought to. If the parcel you are on has more than enough prims free, these will automatically switch off their temp-on-rez status. However, if the parcel does not, they will remain temporary, meaning they will be deleted by the sim in about 60 seconds. Boarding the tank and starting it up will cause them to attach, and they will remain attached until you stop or otherwise cease operating the tank. Also, while in operation, the tank really only counts for 27 prims, as the attachables are not included in a parcel prim count.

      If you happen to not board in time and the attachables are deleted, don't fret. You can re-rez them via the Tank Menu, described below.

      1. Tank Menu
        While you are not seated in it, clicking on the body of the tank will bring up the tank menu. This menu allows you to change the camouflage scheme between NATO woodland camouflage or desert tan, re-rez the attachables and delete the entire tank and attachments without having to use the HUD. Re-rezzing or switching camouflage patterns will cause you to be prompted (twice!) again to grant attach permissions. Select 'Yes'.

  2. Driver/Commander and Gunner Roles

    1. Driver/Commander
      The driver/commander is primarily interested in driving the tank to wherever the action may be, defending against threats via defensive maneuvering, application of the remote M2 machine gun and use of countermeasures, and setting up the vehicle such that the offensive weapons can be applied to a target while minimizing the risk of becoming a target themselves. In the case of a single operator of the M1A2 TUSK, this operator will also be kept busy with the gunner duties.

    2. Gunner
      The gunner obviously is there to shoot targets, bringing to bear upon them SABOT rounds, high-explosive rounds with either impact or proximity fuzing, anti-personnel canister rounds and the M240 coaxial machine gun. The gunner's job (and accuracy) is greatly enhanced by an on-board Fire Control System (FCS) which is described in section 10.2.

  3. Mounting Up

    1. Getting in and out
      To board the tank, right click on the tank body (not the turret or tracks) and select "Board" from the menu. If you see "Not Here" instead, it means you've accidentally clicked on either a part of the turret or the tracks/reactive armor. Just de-select and aim again. To get back out of the tank, do not stand up, as you'll get stuck in the middle of it. Using the EGRSS (i.e. "egress") button (described below) will move the driver or gunner to a position atop the turret.

    2. Attaching the HUD/MFD
      If you don't already have it attached, fear not, as the tank will happily pass you a HUD, which is necessary to control nearly every aspect of the vehicle and weapon systems. If you have a gunner, they will similarly be passed a HUD. Simply locate the HUD in your inventory (the "Recent Items" tab is made for this) and right click and select "Wear" from the menu. It will attach to your bottom screen position. If you have a M1A2 HUD still attached, it will function without issue, and the tank won't try to pass you another. While you are not in the tank, you can minimize the HUD by clicking anywhere there isn't a button, such as just below the "M1A1 TUSK" text and OCS logo.

  4. Multi Function Displays

    1. The Commander (CMDR) Page

      1. Turbine Power Switch
        This switch is an excellent place to start. Pressing it once while it is lit red will start the turbine and activate all of the tank's systems (assuming you haven't had the turbine or other systems disabled). Pressing it again, while it is lit green, will shut the turbine and tank systems back down. You will be prompted again for attachment permissions. Select 'yes.'

      2. Gunner Eject
        If you happen to pick up an unwanted passenger in the gunner's seat, this solves that problem.

      3. De-Rez
        A shielded switch to de-rez the tank and attachments. Clicking it once will lift the red cover, revealing The Button. Pressing The Button will cause your tank to delete itself, regardless of if you're in it. (This is why it has an "Are you really, really sure?" cover.)

      4. OCS Indicator
        The OCS logo will turn orange when you are using an OCS HUD and the tank has switched into OCS mode.

      5. GUNNR
        This Multi-Function Display (MFD) button enables the gunner's MFD page, or if you have a gunner on board, the first press of this will pass control of the main gun and coaxial machine gun to them, and a second press will pass the control to you, the driver/commander. If no gunner is present, this switch will simply toggle control of those systems on and off. If the M2 is armed when the driver/commander takes control of the other weapon systems, it will be shut down.

      6. M2
        Toggles control of the M2HB in the topside Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) by the driver/commander. It has limited traverse, centered on the direction the turret is currently facing, and is aimed in mouselook and fired by pressing the left mouse button.  This indicator will be inverse and blue when active.

      7. SMOKE
        Discharges two smoke canisters in front of the turret for obscuring visibility of your vehicle and for degrading the accuracy of laser guided munitions.

      8. EGRSS
        The classy way to get out. Don't stand up to depart the tank, you'll get stuck in the middle of it. Using EGRSS (i.e. "egress") will move the driver or gunner to a position atop the turret. You can not egress from the vehicle until the turbine has been shut down.

      9. Compass
        The compass displays the tank heading in degrees, but not the turret heading.

      10. Speed
        This is how fast you're going in kilometers per hour.

    2. The Gunner (GUNNR) Page

      1. CMDR
        This button takes you back to the driver/commander MFD page, if you're the commander. In a commander and gunner arrangement, the gunner will be locked out of the commander page.

      2. COAX
        Activates and deactivates the M240 7.62mm coaxial machine gun for control by the gunner.  This indicator will be inverse and blue when active.

      3. M256
        This selects the M256 120mm cannon, the Abrams' main gun. It is aimed in mouselook, which will cause the turret to rotate in the direction the gunner is looking, and fired by pressing the left mouse button.  This indicator will be inverse and blue when active.

        1. Loading Status
          After firing, the M256 needs to be reloaded. If available, it will be reloaded with the same shell type as was just fired. The loading status has three phases, in which the "LOADING" indicator will turn from red to yellow, and then the "ARMED" indicator will turn green when the gun is reloaded and ready to again be fired. You will also hear the sound of the breach being opened, loaded and locked as an auditory cue to loading and arming status.

      4. EGRSS
        Identical to the functioning of the driver's EGRSS switch, this is the best way to exit the vehicle.

      5. M829A3
        Selects and loads into the M256 a M829A3 SABOT shell.

      6. M830A1
        Selects and loads into the M256 a M830A1 high-explosive shell.

      7. M1028
        Selects and loads into the M256 a M1028 canister shell.

      8. MODE

        1. Fuzed
          Indicates proximity fuzing mode for M830A1 shells. The number below this display shows the number of meters from the tank at which the shell will detonate. (See

        2. Impact
          Indicates impact mode for M830A1 shells. Impact is as simple as it sounds; the shell explodes on contact with any solid surface.

      9. RANGE

        Toggles use of the fire control system rangefinding mode.

      10. Proximity Fuzing Distance Entry

        The keypad is for direct entry of the proximity fuzing distance. Just click on the numbers to enter the desired value. The valid range is from 75 to 500 meters.

        1. DEL
          Deletes whatever entry is being entered at the time. Handy if you make an entry error.

        2. ENT
          Commits the entered fuzing value, which will display on the MFD below the fuzed mode indicator.

  5. Driver Controls
    The Abrams uses the arrow keys or WASD keys for gear selection and steering/pivoting control. The WASD keys will be used for the examples here.

    W and S control the tank gearing, shifting forward and backwards respectively. You do not have to hold down W to drive forward, simply tapping the key will increase your gearing, which will increase power to the drivetrain, which will move the tank forward. The M1A2 has four forward speeds, neutral, and two reverse.

    A and D rotate the tank left and right, or pivot it around when it is sitting still.

    The C or Page Down key will reset your throttle to zero and apply full brakes, stopping the tank.

    The E or Page Up key cycles the driver's camera between the default 'loose follow', rigid 'driving', overhead and drive-by camera modes.

  6. Starting
    Starting the Abrams after you’ve boarded is done by hitting the Turbine Power Switch. The turret and armor skirt/reactive armor will attach to the pelvis and stomach respectively, and the tank will likely settle a bit as it starts. Once running, tap the W key once or twice to get moving.

  7. Maneuvering
    The A and D keys rotate the tank left or right respectively, and used in combination with the W and S keys to control gearing, the M1A2 can get up inclines of over 45 degrees and over most any object lower than its nose and forward track wheels.

  8. Fording Water
    The M1A2 has a maximum fording depth of approximately 2.5 meters.  Attempting to cross water deeper than this can result in water entering the turbine intake, the turbine being inundated with water and a complete loss of power.

  9. Stopping
    You can stop the Abrams by either deicrementing the throttle (S key) until you have reached neutral, or by pressing the C key while either in a forward or a reverse gear and you will brake to a stop. If you wish to disembark, press the Turbine Power Switch (you will be prompted attachment permissions. Select 'Yes'.) and then the EGRSS button.

  10. Weapons

    1. Commander

      1. Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)
        The CROWS carries a .50 caliber machine gun in place of the tank commander's original .50 caliber machine gun mount in the M1A1 variant, wherein the commander had to expose himself to fire the weapon manually. The M2 has limited traverse, centered on the direction the turret is currently facing, and is aimed by the driver/commander in mouselook and fired by pressing the left mouse button.

        Sustained or high-density fire may result in the barrel overheating. You will be able to again fire the weapon after several seconds to allow the barrel to cool down.

      2. Gunner

        1. M256 120mm Smoothbore Cannon and Fire Control System (FCS)
          The Abrams' 120mm main gun. It is aimed in mouselook, which will cause the turret to rotate in the direction the gunner is looking, and fired by pressing the left mouse button.

          By default, the M256 functions under a Fire Control System (FCS) in an automatic rangefinding mode. Normally this will mean after pressing the left mouse button, there will normally be a slight pause and then the gun will fire. The FCS calculates a firing solution taking into account the following:

          • Shell selection
          • Tank (Your own) motion
          • Target range, elevation and motion
          • Wind deflection

          This is a three-dimensional targeting solution, meaning that if you fire against a target that is in motion and airborne, the shot will be calculated to meet the target at the precise point the target will be when the shell arrives. When using the M830A1 High Explosive shells, they will be fuzed for the distance to the target, so in the event the shot is not a direct hit, the shell will still detonate near to the intended target.

          When fired in rangefinding mode, the FCS will give you feedback about the firing solution, which will look similar to this:

          RNG: 142 @ 106 T: 0.74 s VC: 2.75 @ 350 WC: 0.52 @ 295

          This means the target is 142 meters away at a bearing of 106 degrees. Time for the shot to travel to the target is 0.74 seconds. This is a moving target, so it is compensating for that (Velocity Compensation) by leading (aiming ahead) 2.75 meters at a bearing of 350 degrees. Also, to compensate for wind deflection, it is adding 0.52 meters at a bearing of 295 degrees to the solution. As an approximate (and not to scale) kinematic diagram, it would look something like this:

          1. M829A3 SABOT
            The SABOT round is a high speed kinetic energy weapon and is best suited for heavilty armored targets, i.e. other tanks, though it will be highly effective against light armor. As it is a non-explosive round, blast damage is minimal, making it a poor choice for anti-personnel engagements.

          2. M830A1 High Explosive
            The M830A1 is a high explosive round intended for use against dismounted infantry, light armored vehicles, helicopters and soft targets such as bunkers. In addition to the local blast effect of the high explosive, this shell will throw shrapnel for a considerable distance which can be lethal to anyone not behind effective cover.

            1. Proximity Fuzing
              Proximity fuzing defines the distance from the tank at which the shell will detonate. This is useful against aircraft, infantry behind cover, area denial, and other soft targets which are susceptible to shrapnel damage. The proximity distance can be set from 75 meters to 500 meters.

          3. M1028 Canister
            The M1028 Canister round can be thought of as a very large shotgun shell. While it has limited effectiveness against any type of armored vehicle or fortified structure, it is highly lethal against infantry.

          4. Overpressure Damage
            Care must be taken in close proximity of an Abrams, as the firing of the main gun results in significant overpressure and blast to the front and sides of the turret, which can wound or even kill dismounted infantry.

        2. 7.62mm Coaxial Machine Gun
          This MG is a high capacity, high rate of fire weapon aimed by the gunner in mouselook. Its range of elevation is from -10 to +20 degrees relative to the vehicle itself. Sustained or high-density fire may result in the barrel overheating. You will be able to again fire the weapon after several seconds to allow the barrel to cool down.

  11. Taking Damage

    1. Compartmentalized Damage Model
      The M1A2 simulates seven separate systems, each of which can take damage and experience degraded performance or outright failure. Damage to a component is detemined by where on the body the tank was hit by an enemy weapon, with splash damage to nearby systems and typically a drain in the 'core' hit points of the tank, which if depleted will result in its complete destruction. As a general rule, if you have to get hit by an anti-tank weapon, taking it to the front of the body is your best bet, as this is where the armor is strongest and where the Abrams is least susceptible to catastrophic damage.

    2. Vehicle Status Display
      This display is a pictogram of the tank systems, colour coded from green to flashing red to indicate the ‘health’ of each system from good to disabled, respectively. If a component suffers a failure or critical damage, it will flash red and you will hear an alert.

      1. "Tracking"
        Tracking is the event of losing one of the (or in exceptional cases, both) tracks. This will generally render your tank “pillboxed” – i.e. you’re not going anywhere, though if you’re fortunate, the weapon systems will still function. Damaged tracks will cause the tank to pull left or right, and reduce the speed at which the tank can travel.

      2. Disabled Turret/Guns
        The turret, M256, M2 and M240 can all be damaged and disabled by enemy fire. Damaged guns are considerably less accurate than undamaged guns. A disabled gun will not fire whatsoever, and a disabled turret will no longer rotate, making aiming the main gun and coaxial machine gun typically futile.

      3. Turbine Damage
        A damaged turbine results in less power being available to the drivetrain and thus a slower tank. If the turbine is critically damaged (i.e. the status display shows it flashing red) you will want to escape the vehicle before too long, because your tank is on fire. You may have as long as two minutes before catastrophic failure of the entire tank, but you may also have only a few seconds before the flames either reach the crew compartment, or the tank simply explodes.

    3. Non-Catastrophic Kills
      A non-catastrophic kill is one from which the crew can generally escape. Having the weapons systems disabled or the turbine catching fire would be considered non-catastrophic.

    4. Catastrophic Kills
      A catastrophic kill tends to be the result of an attack that either exploits a failed component, is against the rear, side or top of the tank, or simply gets lucky and does damage directly to the core and crew compartment. Typically, this is rapidly followed by the detonation of the vehicle and loss of the crew.

    5. Fire
      A destroyed Abrams will burn for a few minutes where it was taken down. Be aware that for OCS play, the flames from the wreck can and will do damage to you and can kill you.

    6. Secondaries
      If the fire wasn’t enough to keep you away from the burning husk, the ammunition left in the tank will ‘cook off’ and explode, which poses a serious hazard to dismounted infantry. Burning wrecks are best admired from afar.

  12. Defense and Risk Mitigation

    1. Hull Down

      "Hull down" describes when a turreted vehicle positions itself on terrain in such a way that only the gun/turret is visible to enemy forces. This has the effect of making for a much smaller target, and the part of the vehicle that is presented as a target, the turret, is the least vulnerable part of the vehicle.

    2. Smoke

      The M1A2 carries eight smoke grenades, which are deployed in pairs. Not only will this help in obscuring the view of your tank, but it will also help decrease the accuracy and locking ability of laser-guided munitions directed your way. Bear in mind that to be an effective defense, a vehicle deploying smoke needs to move after deployment, or a determined opponent may simply fire a shell or anti-tank missile at your last known location in hopes of taking you out of the fight.

  13. Gesture and Chat Control

    There are several gestures included in the package, which correlate with several commands the M1A2 will accept on channel 6. This means commands can be given in the form of "/6 command" such as "/6 gunner " (without the quotes, of course).  Commands which are accepted on channel 6 are:

    • smoke: Deploys a pair of smoke canisters. (Also as F6 in the included gestures)
    • m2 : Toggles selection of the CROWS M2 for the driver/commander. (F7)
    • coax : Toggles selection of the 7.62mm coaxial MG for the gunner. (F8)
    • m256 : Toggles selection of the M256 main cannon for the gunner. (F9)
    • m829a3 : Selects and loads M829A3 SABOT rounds. (F10)
    • m830a1 : Selects and loads M830A1 HEAT rounds. (F11)
    • m1028 : Selects and loads M1028 Canister rounds. (F12)

      Do note that you may have other gestures using the same F-keys as the ones included in this package. To locate and correct these conflicts, press control - G in your viewer and click on the"Key" column header to sort by key assignment. The F-keys are merely my suggested key bindings, feel free to reassign them to whatever works best for you.

  14. Troubleshooting & Frequently Recited Answers

    1. The M1A2 isn't prone to any unusual quirks as far as we have been able to tell in testing. There are some things to keep in mind, however.  The big thing that trips up a lot of people is not being able to rez objects in a given area.  Check your group tag and make sure it is harmonious with the area in which you are in.

    2. All munitions aboard the tank will cause fatal damage in Linden damage areas. However, keep in mind that the M829A3 SABOT round does not have any area effect outside of OCS.  Bullets from the M2 or M240 are 100% damage, as is shrapnel thrown from the M830A1 HEAT and M1028 canister rounds.

    3. If you seem to be doing no damage in OCS, check that OCS mode is actually on. The OCS Logo in the upper left hand corner of the HUD/MFD is there to tell you that OCS is engaged and working.

    4. In your client, you may wish to go to Preferences > Input and Camera and check off "Show Avatar in Mouselook" if you wish to see the turret attachment while you are in mouselook.

    5. If you're totally stumped, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with as detailed description of your problem and the steps to reproduce it, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible with a solution, or we'll be prepping up an update to address the issue you have found.  (Again, we can't fix it if we don't know about your problem.)

  15. Fini

    In short, having your own tank is fun. It's also a giant monument to your excellent taste for buying a quality Omega Concern product. The Omega Concern promises to support your M1A2 for the lifetime of the product, with free updates and bug fixes for all of version 1.x, and a warehouse full of spare parts.

    We wish you much enjoyment from your new tank, and as always, have fun. :)

M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK) v1.0