Some images recorded during a US Army deployment in Kuwait

The curious balancing process that an Abrams tank goes through before boarding a plane

A battle tank is one of the heaviest ground vehicles that can be transported on an airplane, and not all of them can support that weight.

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An M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams weighs 64.6 tons. A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III has a maximum payload of 77.5 tons. However, it would be impossible to transport a tank like the Abrams or the Leopard 2 on an A400M, which has a maximum payload of 37 tons. Even within the limits of the C-17, the weight of the tank needs to be well balanced so that it does not destabilize the aircraft. That balance depends, in part, on the shells and fuel that it carries the Abrams, and even from the position of its gun (the M256A1 the Abrams carries weighs 3 tons).

This week, the US Army Task Force Spartan posted an interesting video of the balancing process to which an M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams is subjected in Kuwait before being put on a plane. The process consists of raising the tank on a concrete barrier to check its balance:

As you can see, the process seems to consist of checking that the center of balance of the tank is at the height of the fourth of the seven wheels that make contact with the ground. It's really fascinating to see a 64.5 ton monster balancing like this.

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