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Abrams M1A1 Main Battle Tanks Soon in Ukraine According to Pentagon.

| 2023

During a press conference, on 21 September 2023, Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder shed light on the ongoing U.S. support for Ukraine. This support is notably manifested through the imminent delivery of Abrams M1A1 tanks and training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. As a reminder, the United States had promised to deliver 31 M1A1 Abrams to Ukraine.
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American Abrams M1A1 Main Battle Tank (Picture source: United States DoD )

The United States initially planned to send Ukraine 31 of the newer M1A2 Abrams tanks, which could have taken a year or two to build and ship. However, the decision was made to send the older M1A1 version instead. The M1A1 tanks can be taken from Army stocks and will be easier for Ukrainian forces to learn to use and maintain. This decision was part of a broader political maneuver that also allowed Germany to announce it would send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and permitted Poland and other allies to do the same. The U.S. administration had previously insisted that the M1A2 Abrams tanks were too complicated and too hard to maintain and repair, but this stance changed as part of the broader strategy.

General Ryder opened the session by recalling the recent meeting between Defense Secretary Austin and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. This meeting provided an opportunity for the United States to reaffirm its unwavering support for Ukraine. Secretary Austin provided an update on U.S. security aid aimed at addressing Ukraine's most urgent battlefield needs.

One of the highlights of the conference was the announcement of the imminent delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Although General Ryder did not provide specific details for operational security reasons, he confirmed that everything was proceeding as planned and that the tanks should arrive in Ukraine in the coming days and weeks.

General Ryder also confirmed that the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s had already begun in Denmark. Additionally, Ukrainian pilots and technicians are expected to arrive in the United States soon for initial English language training, followed by flight training.

A point that caught attention was the imminent delivery of Abrams M1A1 tanks to Ukraine. This tank, weighing approximately 63 tons and measuring nearly 10 meters in length with its cannon, is a veritable rolling fortress. Equipped with composite Chobham armor and reactive armor, it offers maximum protection to its crew of four.

Its main smoothbore M256 cannon of 120 mm is complemented by a .50 caliber M2HB machine gun and two 7.62 mm M240 machine guns. Powered by an AGT-1500 gas turbine engine delivering 1,500 horsepower, the tank can reach speeds of up to 72 km/h on roads and about 48 km/h off-road. It has a range of approximately 426 km.

The M1A1 is equipped with advanced sighting systems, including a laser rangefinder and night vision systems, making it formidable in various combat conditions. It is also designed to withstand nuclear, biological, and chemical environments, providing NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection to its crew. Its off-road mobility is ensured by a torsion bar suspension and a high-performance track system.

The delivery of these tanks to Ukraine marks a significant step in U.S. military support for the country. It adds to the F-16 training that Ukrainian pilots have already begun to receive. These announcements reinforce the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and highlight the importance of their military partnership. With the delivery of military equipment and specialized training programs, the United States continues to play a key role in supporting Ukraine.


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