M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank Manual

Product: M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank v1.0.5
by The Omega Concern
Scripter, Modeler & Animator: April Heaney
Support Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Product Revision Date: 2008-09-09
Manual Revision Date: 2008-09-09


Thank you and congratulations on your purchase of the The Omega Concern's M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. This tank's weapon systems are designed to work with the Omega Combat System, the premier combat simulation system in Second Life. When not in OCS mode, the tank will still drive and fire, but the shells will be little more than special effects. Really cool special effects.

The Abrams can be operated by a single driver/gunner, or by a separate driver and gunner in a cooperative, team-oriented mode.

Please read this manual before using your new tank.

If you are experiencing issues with the HUD not appearing to have all of the buttons it should, you can fix it by following the instructions in this article.

You are eligible for all upgrades on this version, right up until version 2.0, which will be delivered automatically to you by the Omega Concern's update servers.

THERE IS A TECHNICAL SUPPORT PASSPHRASE SOMEWHERE IN THIS NOTECARD, WHICH YOU MUST USE WHEN FIRST CONTACTING YOUR TECHNICAL CONTACT ABOUT THIS PRODUCT. We just do this to make sure you've read the instructions so that we can assist people with truly vexing problems not already answered within.

The Abrams HUD

As you will interact with the tank via the HUD virtually all the time, it is worth your time to become familiar with it. The features of the HUD are as follows:

Minimize: This button causes the HUD to hide most of itself, leaving you with a very small display which shows only arming info.

Rez Tank: Rezzes a tank just in front of you, facing in the same direction you are. Be careful not to rez the tank in such a way that it appears interpenetrated with another object or on top of other people. This button also shows you how long you have to wait before you can rez another tank, as it enforces a 5 minute wait period between tanks.

Drivetrain Disabled Warning: The tank can be disabled by certain weapons, typically very powerful ones. If disabled, the tank will not be able to move, but the guns will still work. This is commonly called being "pillboxed."

Eject Gunner: If someone unwelcome hops into your tank, or your gunner's non-stop jibber-jabber is driving you crazy, this button will solve that.

Tank Hit Points: A numeric indication of the hit points (health) remaining in the tank before it bursts into a brilliant fireball and incinerates the occupants.

Arming: This indicates if the main gun is loaded, or in the process thereof.

Speed: Speedometer, in kilometers per hour. Yes, it does work when you're just walking around.

Derez Tank: This button will delete the existing tank which you have rezzed. Upon first click, it will begin to flash and ask you to click again to derez the tank. If you do, the tank goes away. If not, it will reset in 10 seconds and the tank will remain.

Shell Count: The number of shells of the current type you have remaining. The current loadout for the Abrams is 20 HEAT and 20 sabot rounds. (These are explained below)

Shell Type: Indicated the type of shell you have loaded into the main gun.

Deploy Smoke: Discharges two smoke canisters from the launchers on either side of the turret.

Ammo Switch: Currently switches between HEAT and sabot rounds. Switching does take a certain amount of time to complete.

Main Gun: Selects the 120mm main gun as the active weapon.

MG: Selects the 7.62mm machine gun as the active weapon. (These bullets will deliver 150 points of damage to OCS targets.)

Gunner Select: This switch selects who has control over the turret and guns. It cycles through driver, gunner, and off. Selecting gunner allows a person in the gunner's seat to control the turret while the driver drives.

Start/Stop: Starts and stops the tank.

Starting and Driving the Abrams

  1. The first step to using the Abrams is to attach the HUD. The HUD will attach to the bottom screen attachment point by default. You may attach it to any point you wish, but keep in mind its method of minimizing to get out of your way is to rotate and place the normal HUD face below your field of view.
  2. Next, find preferably a flat area with about 12 meters of clear space in front of you. If the Rez Tank button is completely green, you will be able to rez a tank. Keep in mind also that you may only have one (1) tank out at a time. Rezzing a second tank when the first is still in-world will cause the first one to delete itself.
  3. Click the Rez Tank button. The tank will appear in front of you, nose facing in the same direction you are. The tank body appears first, and from it rezzes the turret and tracks. The turret and tracks will ask for permission to attach to you. It will insist you say yes, or the tank will not function. The tank is 245 prims in total. However, the tank body is only 27 of these. The rest make up the turret and tracks, which attach to the driver and don't really count anymore. But at 245 prims for an initial rez, this tank is not practical to rez on a 512 square meter plot.
  4. The Abrams enforces a 30 second countdown before you can board and take control. The team flag on the back will show a clock flag to let you know, and it will announce the countdown until its ready. If you have an OCS HUD on, and belong to a team or faction, the tank flag will display that flag.
  5. Before you board the tank, be sure to turn off any animation overriders (AOs) you may be using. To board the tank, right click on the tank body (not the turret or tracks) and select "Board" from the pie menu. You will be seated in the driver's position and the turret and tracks will attach to you. You may see them bounce a bit as they attach.
  6. If you have a gunner, now is an excellent time for them to join you. The driver always has to get into the tank first, and its preferable to have the gunner get in before the tank is started, because SL can be flaky with vehicles.
  7. Press the start switch. You will hear the engine start, and the tank will settle as it goes to a physical state. If you intend to be the gunner, one click of the gunner switch will give you control and the tank will say that the turret is tracking you. Two clicks will request permission from your gunner to track their camera.

A note about the attaching and detaching of the turret and tracks: When you press the stop switch, new copies of the turret and tracks appear and the attached copies of the turret and tracks will detach and land in your Objects folder. (You may delete these, as they land there due to a limitation of SL.) The transition should appear nearly seamless. If you stand up before hitting start, the turret and tracks will detach from you, but it will look a bit strange for about half a second as they come with you.

Controls: The Abrams uses the standard arrow keys or WASD keys for tank control. The WASD keys will be used for the examples here. W and S control the tank throttle, forward and backwards respectively. This means you do not have to hold down W to drive forward. One or two taps of W will set your throttle enough to get you moving, albeit slowly. Further presses will increase power to the drivetrain, and under ideal circumstances, your speed will increase.

Your support phrase is "60 tons of fun."

A and D will steer the tank left and right, or even rotate it in place while the throttle is set to zero. However, a bit of forward or backward motion greatly enhances the rate of turn.

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. As the views cycle, the default follow cam will go to a more rigid camera for the Driving Cam mode, and then to an overhead view, and then to a drive-by view of your tank. Very cinematic.

The tank handles hills well, but will move more slowly uphill, and some inclines are simply too steep. It is wise to be aware that the tank can also slide sideways when traversing steep slopes.

Trying Not to Get Shot

A moving target is always harder to hit, so sitting stationary for more than brief periods of time when threats are present is unwise. Clicking the "Smoke" button and deploying smoke canisters will make the job of those employed to destroy your tank a bit harder. A common tactic is to move forward, fire, pop smoke and back up into it, and preferably behind something solid as some wily opponents will take a guess at where you are in all that smoke and follow that guess with a HEAT round. Wind and luck willing, when the main gun is reloaded, you can move forward until you can see and fire a quick second shot, ducking back into the smoke.

Fouling the Plans of Others Who Are Trying Not to Get Shot

Assuming you have gunner control and the turret is tracking you, going into mouselook makes things happen. The turret will rotate and with it, the main gun and machine gun will elevate to aim in the direction in which you are looking. This allows the turret to turn independently of the tank body, allowing one to drive forward but shoot to the side, for example.

Once in mouselook, clicking the left mouse button causes the selected gun to fire, be it the main gun or the machine gun. Sabot rounds (MRM-KE) are high speed and have a negligible ballistic arc. HEAT rounds (M830A1 HEAT MP-T) are heavier and slower and cause more damage, but have a significant ballistic arc and demand some experience or very fast math skills to accurately land at long distances.

Be careful firing the main gun in close proximity to friendly forces. The blast of a 120mm cannon will do harm to those close to the tank.

The main gun will kick and the tank will skid slightly from it. Be careful not to be too close to say, a cliff. The machine gun fires in 5-round bursts. The main gun fires once and takes several seconds to reload, which is dependent on the experience and skill of the crew.

Bear in mind that the shots from the main gun or machine gun will not work against other OCS players unless the driver (and gunner, if aboard) are wearing active OCS HUDs.

Failing in Your Quest to Not Get Shot

Despite the tremendous armor an Abrams has, it can be destroyed. Natural enemies of the M1A1 include other tanks, anti-tank rockets, and anti-tank mines, the last being particularly potent and typically resulting in the destruction of your tank. Your first warning of these dangerous predators will likely be a large fireball surrounding your tank. If the blast is powerful enough, there is a chance that you will shed the tracks and your Abrams will become mobility challenged. If the tank crew is comprised of a driver and gunner, the driver's job is finished now. The gunner can still load and fire the guns, but a stationary and heavily damaged tank is a soft target.

The Abrams' armor is strongest from the front, and thinner at the back and sides. So, if you must take a hit from a rocket or tank shell, try to take it in the front. Anti-tank mines are particularly vexing, as the overpressure generated by the explosion is trapped between your tank belly and the ground, greatly increasing the effect.

If the tank is destroyed, there is a chance that a rapid egress from the burning tank may allow the crew to survive. The five minute re-rezzing wait applies even if your tank was destroyed.

The End

In short, having your own Main Battle Tank is fun. And it acts as a strong deterrent, working tirelessly to defend the values your personal rogue nation holds in the highest regard. It's also a giant monument to your excellent taste for buying a quality Omega Concern product. The Omega Concern promises to support your Abrams for the lifetime of the product, with free upgrades for all of version 1.x, lifetime bug fixes, and a warehouse full of spare parts.


M1 Abrams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The M1 Abrams main battle tank is the principal combat tank of the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps, with three main versions being deployed starting in 1980: the M1, M1A1, and M1A2. The latest versions of the M1A2 have a new armor and electronics package. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and commander of the Army's 37th Armored Regiment.

The M1 Abrams replaced the M60 Patton in U.S. service, as well as the M48A5. It did, however, serve alongside the M60A3, which had entered service just two years before the M1 (in 1978), for over a decade.


The Abrams is protected by Chobham armor, a type of composite armor formed by multiple layers of steel and ceramics. It may also be fitted with reactive armor if needed (as in the Urban Survival Kit). Fuel and ammunition are in armored compartments with blowout panels to protect the crew from the risk of the tank's own ammunition cooking off if the tank is damaged. Protection against spalling is provided by a Kevlar liner. Beginning in 1988, M1A1 tanks received improved armor packages that incorporated depleted uranium (DU) mesh in their armor at the front of the turret and the front of the hull. Armor reinforced in this manner offers significantly increased resistance towards all types of anti-tank weaponry, but at the expense of adding considerable weight to the tank.

Main armament

The main armament of the M1A1 and M1A2 is the M256 120 mm smoothbore gun, designed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany. The M256 is a variant of the Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44 gun manufactured under license in the United States by General Dynamics Land Systems Division in their plant in Lima, Ohio. It is the same armament carried by the German Leopard 2 tank up to the version A5 until replaced by the longer L/55 gun in version A6.

Rounds like the M829A2 were developed specifically to address the threats posed by a T-90 or T-80U tank, given their high level of protection provided the tanks by kontakt-5 Explosive Reactive Armor, and high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shaped charge rounds such as the M830, the latest version of which (M830A1) incorporates a sophisticated multi-mode electronic sensing fuse and more fragmentation which allows it to be used effectively against both armored vehicles and personnel and low-flying aircraft. Unlike the Soviet-built tanks it was designed to go up against, the Abrams uses a manual loader rather than an automatic device, due to the belief that having a person reload the gun is faster and more reliable. This decision was proven out as the Soviet-era automatic loading system proved troublesome and even dangerous to the tank crew in some cases.

In addition to this the new MRM-KE (Mid-Range-Munition Kinetic Energy) is also in development. Essentially a cannon-fired guided round, it has a range of roughly 12 km and uses a KE warhead which is rocket assisted in its final phase of flight. This is intended to be the best penetrator yet, an improvement over the US 3rd generation DU penetrator (estimated penetration 790 mm).


The M1 Abrams is powered by a 1500 hp (1119 kW) Honeywell AGT1500 (originally made by Lycoming) gas turbine, and a six speed (four forward, two reverse) Allison X-1100-3B Hydro-Kinetic Automatic transmission, giving it a governed top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) on paved roads, and 30 mph (48 km/h) cross-country. With the engine governor removed, speeds of around 60 mph (100 km/h) are possible on an improved surface; however, damage to the drive train (especially to the tracks) and an increased risk of injuries to the crew can occur at speeds above 45 mph. The tank can be fueled with diesel fuel, kerosene, any grade of MOGAS (motor gasoline), or JP-4 or JP-8 jet fuel; the U.S. Army uses JP-8 jet fuel in order to simplify logistics.

M1 Abrams Camouflage

Like all modern US combat vehicles (with the exception of the Stryker), the M1 series of Tanks come in two configurations of camouflage: an overall desert tan camouflage pattern and a three-color forest camouflage pattern used by other NATO combat vehicles consisting of brown and black on a green background. Replacement parts (roadwheels, armor skirt panels, drive sprockets, etc.) are painted overall green, which can sometimes lead to vehicles with a patchwork of green and desert tan parts. Prototype and early production M1s had the overall olive drab paint scheme of older US military vehicles from World War II through Vietnam.