Are Abrams Designations "HC" and "HA" the Same Thing ?

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Are Abrams Designations "HC" and "HA" the Same Thing ?

Joined: November 14th, 2005, 3:00 pm

August 9th, 2012, 3:56 pm #1

Hi all.

I've seem the designations Heavy Common and Heavy Armor used to subvariants of the Abrams. It seens to me that they are used to the same kind of vehicle. Am I right or there's a difference between them ?

Any input will be wellcome.

Best regards.

André Lutti.
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Joined: May 18th, 2004, 2:57 pm

August 9th, 2012, 4:55 pm #2

During the summer of 1990, we were picking up brand new Heavy Armor M1A1s and turning in nearly brand new one year old regular M1A1s, but I do not know if the new HA tanks we were getting incorporated the changes requested by the Marine Corps. I believe once the changes they wanted hit the production lines, the tank became "common" to both the US Army and USMC.

I don't know when the Marines decided to get M1A1s and when the changes were made to the production lines. Even the new HAs we were getting were made the year before (1989). So HA may have existed prior to Heavy Commons, or they may be virtually the same thing.

RobG
RobG
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Joined: August 13th, 2009, 8:53 pm

August 9th, 2012, 10:05 pm #3

http://208.84.116.223/forums/index.php?showtopic=26751

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/sh ... fe653521b2

From what I gather, both variants use an A2 turret. The difference is that the jarhead version (HC) has an electro-optical jammer installed in the, for lack of better term, hole where the CITV would be mounted on the turret roofs of the Army HAs. The A1 HA has a cover plate bolted over that hole.
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Joined: July 13th, 2004, 1:39 am

August 9th, 2012, 11:35 pm #4

"From what I gather, both variants use an A2 turret. The difference is that the jarhead version (HC) has an electro-optical jammer installed in the, for lack of better term, hole where the CITV would be mounted on the turret roofs of the Army HAs. The A1 HA has a cover plate bolted over that hole."

The turret on both the US Army M1A1 HA/HC/AIM and the USMC M1A1 HC/AIM are the same and all are M1A1 turrets with the manhole cover bolted over the opening where the CITV is installed on the M1A2. The manhole cover was introduced in M1A1s in anticipation of a later variant with the CITV. The USMC HC/AIM simply has the mounting strips for the MDC bolted on top of the manhole cover.

Gino P. Quintiliani

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Joined: August 13th, 2009, 8:53 pm

August 9th, 2012, 11:41 pm #5

I meant to write where the CITV would be mounted on A2s. I'm playing catch up with everything since I ETS'ed in '85. Too much time spent on Axis stuff in the interim.
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Joined: February 8th, 2012, 11:39 pm

August 11th, 2012, 4:45 pm #6

During the summer of 1990, we were picking up brand new Heavy Armor M1A1s and turning in nearly brand new one year old regular M1A1s, but I do not know if the new HA tanks we were getting incorporated the changes requested by the Marine Corps. I believe once the changes they wanted hit the production lines, the tank became "common" to both the US Army and USMC.

I don't know when the Marines decided to get M1A1s and when the changes were made to the production lines. Even the new HAs we were getting were made the year before (1989). So HA may have existed prior to Heavy Commons, or they may be virtually the same thing.

RobG
HA stands for Heavy Armor and represents the addition of depleted uranium armor to the M1A1. From what I undersatnd there is not visible difference between a vanilla M1A1 and the HA. It's my understanding the depleted uranium armor has continually improved since its introduction before the Gulf War. So, updated M1A1s and M1A2s have better armor than those employed in the early 1990s.

HC stands for Heavy Common. The M1A1 Heavy Common was introduced after the HA and was intended to unify the requirements between the Army and the Marines. It includes additional tie-down points and a deep water fording kit among other things.

The HCs started arriving just before ODS in small numbers. In ODS, the Marines mostly used M60s, but 2nd Tank Battalion borrowed M1A1 HAs from the Army and the Marines Reserve 4th Battalion had two companies of M1A1HCs according to Steven Zaloga's excellent book "M1 Abrams vs T-72 Ural".
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Joined: May 18th, 2004, 2:57 pm

August 11th, 2012, 6:02 pm #7

For one, the serial number on the tanks was a weld bead on several areas of the tank. The number could be D1234 or L5678 (D=Detroit Army Tank Plant, L=Lima, Ohio tank plant). A heavy armor variant included the letter U for Uranium after the serial number, i.e. D1234U or L5678U.

The heavy was also when they added the "anti-sleeping bag mines" to the turret ammo blast panels. The original M1A1s had flat panels. HA and afterwards had three raised, circular lift points that were intended for a never-used quick ammo resupply ability. After several years, these vanish and reappear based on if the original tank had them during rebuild periods.

There were also some access panels added to the back deck and some weld differences on the turret forward edge of the roof based on where the DU armor was added.

We also had the one piece T-156 track blocks on the originals and the HAs got the newer T-158 tracks, but older tanks could have received newer tracks later in life so this isn't to be used as a positive visual ID.

I know the regular non-HA tanks I was turning in in August of 1990 that were supposed to go to a POMCUS site in Italy, but when I got to Bremerhaven, they took the entire battalion of tanks plus the two FSB float tanks (60 tanks total) signed for them without inspection, put them on a boat and sent them to Saudi.

Having turned in a company of M60A3TTS tanks just a year before, I was expecting a battle turning in the M1A1s, but the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait made them take them as quick as possible. As I understand it, the former 5-77 Armor tanks I dropped off at the port were the first Abrams tanks to arrive in Saudi. I swear I saw tanks being offloaded on CNN that still had our various company logos on the front slopes of the turrets.

RobG
RobG
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Joined: November 14th, 2005, 3:00 pm

August 12th, 2012, 7:21 pm #8

Hi all.

I've seem the designations Heavy Common and Heavy Armor used to subvariants of the Abrams. It seens to me that they are used to the same kind of vehicle. Am I right or there's a difference between them ?

Any input will be wellcome.

Best regards.

André Lutti.
Thank You Very Much for All Your Input ! (n/t).
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