The Honeywell AGT1500 is a gas turbine engine. It is the main powerplant of the M1 Abrams series of tanks. The engine was originally designed and produced by the Lycoming Turbine Engine Division in the Stratford Army Engine Plant. In 1995, production was moved to the Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama after the Stratford Army Engine Plant was shut down. During the early 1970s, the AGT1500 was developed into the PLT27, a flight-weight turboshaft for use in helicopters. This engine lost to the General Electric GE12 (T700) in three separate competitions to power the UH-60, AH-64, and SH-60.
The AGT 1500 turbine engine has a length, width and height of 67, 39 and 32 inches, respectively and weighs 2500 lbs. The engine has a 1500 hp and can produce 3000 rpm output shaft speed, giving the tank power, speed and quick acceleration. The AGT 1500 turbine engine has five primary fuels: diesel fuels 1, 2, and arctic grade, and jet propellant fuels 4 and 5. In case of an emergency, the engine is also capable of using combat gasoline and marine diesel. The engine has a simple modular design, consisting of three major modules: forward, rear, and accessory gearbox module. This is an important feature for the reason that, if the engine is damaged, each module can be replaced or repaired in the field keeping more vehicles operating.
It provides the power, speed, quick acceleration and quiet operation which have earned the Abrams M1 Tank such high marks across all military theatres. It has maneuvered more than 39 million operating miles, and demonstrated outstanding in-service reliability through the enhancements introduced through the total integrated engine revitalization (TIGER) program. The engine features include compact design, cold-starting capabilities, instant power, multi-fuel capabilities and stealthy operation. This engine is the world standard for tank durability and survivability.
The US Army felt that diesel technology was approaching its limits of development potential. They wanted greater engine power density, reliability and a chance to translate the aviation successes of gas turbines into ground vehicular applications. This led to the development of the AGT 1500 turbine engine. The United States was not the first country to use gas turbine this technology in ground vehicles. The Swedish S-tanks had been using turbines to boost power since the 1960’s . The US Army came to realize that the turbine engine would greatly improve the power density and reliability compared to the diesel engine.