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The M1A1 Abrams is an American third generation main battle tank equipped with a 120mm smoothbore cannon, and a coaxial machine turret and is encountered numerously throughout the Black Mesa compound. The Abrams is used as the primary attack and defense vehicle by the HECU during the Black Mesa Incident to combat against the invading Xen and Race X aliens.



In Half-Life, the Abrams is first encountered in the chapter Surface Tension, providing fire support for a group of entrenched HECU soldiers. Another is stationed near the end of the chapter "Forget About Freeman!", blocking the entrance to the Black Mesa Central Complex. It differs from the first in a way that it also fires a machine gun. The tank is seen a third time near the end of the same chapter, this time with a mounted M2 machine gun on top, and the hatch open. It is unmanned, allowing the player to fire the 120mm cannon and the M2 at the incoming Vortigaunts and Alien Grunts.

Half-Life: Blue Shift

In Blue Shift, one Abrams is encountered in the Freight Yard, in the chapter Captive Freight. It is the first and only boss in the game, and is placed on a train wagon, with a nearby truck conveniently stocked with rockets and one rocket launcher. It is not encountered for the rest of the game.


  • The tank's turret is, unrealistically, not bullet-proof. It is possible for the player to shoot at the turret with the MP5 (M4) and eventually destroy the tank. Explosive or experimental weaponry (such as the Tau Cannon) are more effective at destroying the tank in less time. Its body, however, is invulnerable to all weaponry.
  • The tank will continuously fire at the player with its shells from the main cannon and bullets from the machine gun turret. The best approach is to take cover behind an object that cannot be destroyed, to emerge after the tank has fired a shell, and to shoot at the turret repeatedly with the RPG or the Tau Cannon's secondary attack. It will take three rockets to the turret to take it down.


  • Surprisingly, the Abrams is vulnerable to the crowbar, and can be destroyed with a little over two dozen whacks to the turret. This is not a practical attack method, however, since going into melee range gives the tank more than enough time to retaliate, and the death explosion can deal massive damage.
  • The turret can only rotate 90 degrees to the left and right instead of 360 like it should in real life. This was presumably done to make it easier to destroy. In fact, should the player approach the front of the Abrams after the turret is rotated at 90 degrees in Blue Shift, the turret will be stuck and will not rotate to attack the player.
  • The M2HB is incorrectly mounted on the top of the tank. It should be located just above the hatch. This may have been intentional because the player fights the tank in tight spaces, which makes it's barrel impossible to cross ( E.g., one at end of " Forget about Freeman! " ).


List of appearances

See also

External links