In Development: AbramsX


Today we’d like to tell you more about an upcoming American Premium MBT, the AbramsX.



AbramsX is not as much an actual prototype as it is a demonstrator, a “what if” vehicle (just like the Griffin 120mm Light Tank that preceded the MPF was) showing various technologies that could be used to improve the performance of the now four decades old Abrams.

Not that the U.S. Army is using four decades old tanks per se – the Abrams MBTs in service were all refurbished during their respective upgrades. The oldest service Abrams variant is National Guard’s M1A1 SA (due to be phased out in 2025), the M1A2 SEP v2, and the most recent SEP v3 variant (renamed to M1A2C a couple of years ago). The last one is still in the process of being adopted, the first Abrams Brigade Combat Team was only fully rearmed to this variant in the September of 2022.

And last but not least, yet another upgrade variant called M1A2D (SEP v4) is currently in development (since 2018) and it is scheduled to appear around 2024-2025. The SEP v4 variant is all about FCS upgrades with a new third generation thermal imager available to both the gunner and the commander along with other upgraded sensors. The Abrams is also scheduled to receive an upgrade in the form of the Trophy APS – 336 sets were purchased around 2020 with roughly 200 more to be delivered.

That’s the military procurement side of things, anyway. But there’s also the private sector – or rather the private initiatives of various companies and that’s where AbramsX by General Dynamics Land Systems MBT comes in. The main idea behind this demonstrator is maintaining or improving the current Abrams protection levels while reducing the vehicle’s weight. In the recent years, MBTs in general have grown in weight to effectively unsustainable levels due to the never-ceasing battle between weapons and armor. A 70-ton MBT is simply too heavy to be practical. The protection question requires different answers and AbramsX might just offer some of them.



The AbramsX MBT therefore offers reduced weight – not only thanks to the adoption of new materials, but also its overhauled layout. Instead of a manned turret (such turrets are generally considerably heavier than unmanned ones), the vehicle is fitted with an unmanned combat module and the entire crew – reduced to three men – sits in the front in an armored capsule. This of course means its gun is automatically loaded from a bustle-mounted ammo rack.

The tank is powered by a hybrid variant of the Cummins ACE diesel engine producing estimated 1500 to 2000 horsepower, paired with a SAPA ACT transmission. This way the vehicle can (for a short while) switch to a fully electric drive, which can be an advantage as the electric engines are very quiet and accelerate extremely well. The tracks are also new – the DST (formerly Diehl) 570P3 variant is roughly 30 percent lighter than the currently used Abrams tracks.

The turret is armed with a lightweight 120mm XM360 gun, similar in performance to the M256. It is, however, considerably lighter (3 tons of the M256 against 1.8 tons of the XM360) and produces 30 percent less recoil. It is fed by a Meggitt Defense Systems automatic loading mechanism in the form of a vertical belt system located at the back of the turret. The bustle magazine carries 34 rounds. This way, the gun can fire 12 rounds per minute, can elevate to +10 degrees and depress to -3 degrees.

Additionally, the tank is armed with a remote-controlled Kongsberg Protector RS6 weapons station armed with 30mm M230LF autocannon (called XM914 in American service). The autocannon fires new universal anti-infantry XM1211 HEP air-burst ammunition (High Explosive Proximity – not to be confused with High Explosive Plastic, which is an American term for HESH). Additionally, this weapons station can be fitted with a Javelin launcher.



The turret is fitted with advanced optics, including two Safran PASEO panoramic camera sets (one for the gunner, one for the commander), both of which include:

  • Full HD camera
  • Thermal imager
  • Laser rangefinder (7km maximum range)
  • Automatic tracking systems

While the protection values of the vehicle are unknown, they are intended to be similar to the current generation Abrams (except for the turret, which – being unmanned – does not require so much armor). Additionally the vehicle is fitted with a Trophy hard-kill APS and can be fitted with various sensor upgrades as well as UAV/loitering ammunition launchers, AI control modules and more.

The demonstrator was unveiled in the October of 2022 during the AUSA expo in Washington DC as a vision of what a future generation Abrams could look like. There are currently no plans to adopt or mass-produce this vehicle but it does offer a glimpse into what could come in the 2030s after the SEP v4 Abrams.


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In Armored Warfare, the AbramsX will be a Tier 10 Premium Main Battle Tank.

Design-wise, the AbramsX will be a less-armored, lighter and faster alternative to the XM1A3 with it shares some of its systems. The unique ability will be the use of two weapons – the 120mm gun and the 30mm autocannon, both firing some rather special ammunition. But let’s take a look at this vehicle’s parameters in the usual order.

Right off the bat – the AbramsX is not fitted with any ERA or NERA. It’s just a classic (although durable) composite armor and steel. Its protection advantages will lie in the presence of the following elements:

  • Unmanned turret (takes reduced damage)
  • Armored crew capsule (crew takes reduced damage)
  • AN/VLQ-8A soft-kill APS (similar to that of the XM1A3)
  • Trophy hard-kill APS (similar to that of the XM1A3)
  • 360 degrees smoke coverage

Its three-man crew is located in the hull (right behind the thickest armor). The turret will rotate rather fast (at 50 deg/s). The vehicle will also feature the Supercharged Hard-Kill APS ability.


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Mobility-wise, we’re looking at a 49-ton vehicle powered by a 1630hp hybrid engine, which will offer excellent acceleration (0 to 32 km/h in 4.5s) as well as a decent maximum speed of 75 km/h (the reverse speed will be roughly 35 km/h). Off-road performance will also be good thanks to the vehicle’s excellent tracks.

And finally, there’s the firepower. The AbramsX will offer two weapon systems. The 120mm XM360 gun will be a standard tank cannon (no magazines, no ready rack) with the following values:

  • Reload time: 5.5s
  • Maximum elevation: +20
  • Maximum depression: -10
  • Ammo capacity: 60

It will fire the following ammunition types:

  • M829E4 APFSDS (830mm penetration, 600 damage)
  • XM1111 MRM-KE KEM (similar to the Griffin 120mm’s kinetic missile, 750mm to 880mm penetration and 580 to 680 damage, both increasing with the distance of the target)
  • M1147 AMP HEAT-MP (890mm penetration, 740 damage, 95 non-penetration damage)

You’ll also be able to switch to the (predominantly anti-infantry) 30mm autocannon, which will fire advanced HE ammunition at 350 rounds per minute. The ammunition will have increased penetration (60mm), splash (1m) and will allow for 5 points of non-penetrating damage per shot.


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As for the utility values, we are looking at:

  • 10% camouflage factor
  • 370m viewrange
  • Improved Thermal Imager module (reducing enemy foliage camouflage bonus)

We hope that you’ll enjoy this vehicle and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

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