Tracked Vehicles "Each war proves anew to those who may have had their doubts, the primacy of the main battle tank. Between wars, the tank is always a target for cuts. But in wartime, everyone remembers why we need it, in its most advanced, upgraded versions and in militarily significant numbers." - IDF Brigadier General Yahuda Admon (retired) Since their first appearance in the latter part of World War I, tanks have increasingly dominated military thinking. Armies became progressively more mechanised during World War II, with many infantry being carried in armoured carriers by the end of the war. The armoured personnel carrier (APC) evolved into the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), which is able to support the infantry as well as simply transport them. Modern IFVs have a similar level of battlefield mobility to the tanks, allowing tanks and infantry to operate together and provide mutual support. Abrams Mission Provide heavy armour superiority on the battlefield. Entered Army Service 1980 Description and Specifications The Abrams tank closes with and destroys enemy forces on the integrated battlefield using mobility, firepower, and shock effect. There are three variants in service: M1A1, M1A2 and M1A2 SEP. The 120mm main gun, combined with the powerful 1,500 HP turbine engine and special armour, make the Abrams tank particularly suitable for attacking or defending against large concentrations of heavy armour forces on a highly lethal battlefield. Features of the M1A1 modernisation program include increased armour protection; suspension improvements; and an improved nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system that increases survivability in a contaminated environment. The M1A1D modification consists of an M1A1 with integrated computer and a far-target-designation capability. The M1A2 modernisation program includes a commander's independent thermal viewer, an improved commander's weapon station, position navigation equipment, a distributed data and power architecture, an embedded diagnostic system and improved fire control systems.