M1 Abrams Reach Ukraine
A trainload of America’s main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, has arrived in Ukraine. “Abrams are already in Ukraine and are preparing to reinforce our brigades,” President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a post on Telegram.
The internet and Western publications are a little bit all over the place about the number of Abrams that arrived in Ukraine. The NYTimes thinks it is “between eight and 10 tanks.” The official promise made earlier this year was a delivery of 31 tanks.
The US Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson, Colonel Martin O’Donnell, said last month that “200 Ukrainian servicemen were completing the final phases of training to operate the Abrams tanks”. The Abrams requires a four-member crew, and there will be a long list of support staff who will need training to keep the 70-ton vehicle that loves to drink jet fuel. So, there is no way the current supply of tanks is going to be in the single digits or barely there double digits.
It drinks a ton of fuel, but in return, it offers “faster acceleration and faster cruising speed.” The cruising speed of the German Leopard tanks and the British Challenger is 25–30 mph, but American Abrams can hit 42 mph.
The Abrams is also the heaviest, which is also why it drinks fuel faster than the rest. However, for that tradeoff, it offers greater stability while firing on the move and can have additional armor protection.
There is also one additional factor that needs to be mentioned here, and I believe this one is extremely important due to prevailing battlefield conditions in Ukraine. The German Leopard tanks, according to multiple sources (here and here), do not use depleted uranium shells (ammunition).
The British and the United States have agreed to deliver depleted uranium shells for their tanks used in Ukraine.
The United States announced an aid package for Ukraine on Sept. 6 that for the first time included ammunition made with depleted uranium to Ukraine, raising concerns over the material’s potential health and environmental effects.
The munitions — 120-millimeter anti-armor ammunition — are for use in 31 U.S.-provided M1 Abrams tanks, the first of which reached Ukraine in recent days…