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C-17 Globemaster Opens Wide, Eats an M1A2 Abrams Whole

The M1A2 Abrams is a beast of a machine. America’s main battle tank has a hull of 26.02 feet (7.93 meters) long and 12 feet (3.66 meters) wide and is 8 feet (2.44 meters) tall. Oh, and it weighs over 70 short tons.
M1A2 Abrams loading into a C-17 Globemaster 8 photos
Photo: USAF/Master Sgt. Matthew Plew
M1A2 Abrams loading into a C-17 GlobemasterC-17 Globemaster III cold start in AlaskaC-17 Globemaster III taking off from runway in AlaskaC-17 Globemaster III taking off from runway in AlaskaC-17 Globemaster III taking off from runway in AlaskaC-17 Globemaster III taking off from runway in AlaskaC-17 Globemaster III taking off from runway in Alaska
It’s so big, four people can get inside, together with armor, systems, weapons, projectiles, you name it. And yet, it can easily fit inside a C-17 Globemaster.

Transporting tanks to where they’re needed is not easy business. The military can’t simply drive them down the road, for a variety of reasons, including because they’re slow and heavy enough to damage asphalt, so more often than not, trains are the main means of transportation for tanks.

Transport airplanes come into the picture as well, but a lot rarer, especially during what still is, at least officially, peacetime. So, as soon as our eyes fell on a photo of an Abrams being loaded into a Globemaster, we knew we just had to have this featured as the Photo of the Day.

The image you see here was snapped at the end of August and recently made public by the USAF, and it shows a loading operation at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait. We’re not told where the tank is going, or why is it doing it.

Abrams tanks and Kuwait have a long history behind them. The machines helped liberate the country from Iraqi invading forces back in the early 1990s, and have been around ever since.

Produced by a company called General Dynamics Land Systems (formerly Chrysler Defense), Abrams tanks now count over 10,000 units made. They are used primarily by the U.S., but also serve the military needs of Australia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Poland, among others. Over the years, the tank saw action in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other Globemasters.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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