Power Projection: The Current and Future Relevance of the M1A1Tank to Marine Corps Capabilities
Student research paper
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Since their development, tanks have been employed irrespective of the level of intensity, or terrain, of the conflict. Tanks have been employed in highly urbanized areas, forests, and jungles, as well as the more commonly thought of open plains and desert. Despite the technological changes that have occurred since World War II, tanks continue to function effectively across a broad spectrum of conflict. The modern main battle tank is the result of technical trade-offs between firepower, protection, and mobility, balanced against affordability. Tactically, the M1A1 Abrams represents an optimized combination of these parameters. Current Marine Corps doctrine recognizes the continuing need for the tank or tank-like capability. The Marine Corps warfighting concept is based on the combined-arms teams, and the M1A1 Tank clearly has a role to play in that team. There are currently efforts underway to develop a replacement for the M1A1 by fiscal year 2020. But until a replacement for the capabilities that the M1A1 provides is fielded, the Marine Corps must continue to invest in its improvement. The armored protected, heavy firepower that the M1A1 provides to a MAGTF commander will remain critical for the next two decades.
- Combat Vehicles