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“In my first address to the country, I went before the American people to report on the condition of our economy. I also proposed strengthening the Nation's defenses, to restore our margin of safety and counter the Soviet military buildup….A year ago every component of military strength was flashing warning lights of neglect, under-investment, and deteriorating capability. Today, health is being restored….Critical investments in conventional and strategic force modernization are now moving rapidly forward. A new bomber for early deployment and an advanced (Stealth) bomber for the 1990's have been approved to retain our capability to penetrate Soviet air defenses. Development of a new, larger, and more accurate MX missile to preserve our land-based deterrent is proceeding. A 5-year shipbuilding program including 133 new ships and a total investment of $96 billion -- double the 5-year program of the previous administration -- has been launched. Rapid production of new combat systems including the M-1 Abrams tank, the AV-8B Marine Corps attack aircraft and the F/A-18 Navy tactical fighter have been approved. Improvements in our airlift and sealift forces to transport equipment and soldiers rapidly to counter military aggression anywhere in the world, are moving forward.” – Ronald Reagan, February 8, 1982
To highlight President Reagan’s Peace Through Strength Initiatives, the Reagan Library officially dedicated this M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank on December 4, 2021. The Abrams Tank was designed in the 1970s and issued to the United States Army for use in February 1980. This specific tank is named after United States Army General Creighton Williams Abrams, Jr., who commanded military operations in Vietnam and served as Chief of Staff of the Army from 1972 until his death in 1974.
The M1 Abrams Tanks were originally designed by Chrysler Defense, which is now General Dynamics. It was designed as a highly mobile main-battle tank for modern armored ground warfare. Weighing in at 62 metric tons, it’s one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service.
When visiting the Reagan Library, we encourage you to walk our outside grounds to get up close to our three military vehicles – our Abrams Tank, Our F117 Stealth Fighter Jet and our F14 Fighter Jet. Each represents President Reagan’s peace through strength initiatives.