Ukraine received the first Abrams tanks: what is special about this equipment and why was it so much awaited?
American Abrams tanks have finally arrived in Ukraine. They will soon start performing combat tasks at the front. Find out how many tanks Kiev received as part of the first tranche and whether the Abrams will be immediately thrown on the line of counteroffensive
Allies continue to support Ukraine with military aid. For example, the United States finally shipped the first long-awaited Abrams tanks. Most importantly, the equipment was in time to be used by the country during the counteroffensive. Here's why these tanks are so important for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and how they will help.
The news that the tanks had already arrived in Ukraine first appeared in the Western press. In particular, the New York Times reported, citing two unnamed US Defense Department officials, that the heavy combat vehicles had been delivered to Kyiv several months earlier than initially estimated.
This information was later confirmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
"Abrams are already in Ukraine and are preparing to reinforce our brigades. We thank our allies for fulfilling the agreements! We are looking for new contracts, expanding the geography of supplies," he wrote on his social media.
How many tanks have arrived in Ukraine?
Recently, American media reported that Ukraine was to receive 6-8 American tanks initially. However, the same media later clarified that Kyiv had received a little less than half of the total.
It is worth noting that the US presidential administration assured that more M1 Abrams tanks will be shipped in the coming months.
The most interesting thing is that after the first tranche, the media began to leak information about the White House's plans to send up to 30 additional Abrams to Ukraine.
Why are these tanks so long-awaited and what is so special about them?
As you know, the United States announced the transfer of its tanks in early 2023. At the same time, Washington warned that it would take months to deliver the equipment, as it would be necessary to train the Ukrainian crew and prepare the equipment itself.
In addition, it should not be forgotten that the Abrams are not easy to maintain, so the United States had to think about where this equipment could be repaired in case of emergency.
It is worth noting that experts call Abrams tanks one of the best in the world, and these vehicles are essential for Ukraine's offensive potential.
As for the characteristics, the tank has excellent armor penetration and mobility, and is armed with a powerful 120 mm gun.
The tank weighs about 67 tons and has a top speed of 68 km/h. The Abrams has 1500 horsepower under the hood.
The cost of one such tank, according to open sources, is more than $6 million.
Another important fact is that these tanks are regularly modernized, mainly by further strengthening armor and adding new digital systems.
The most modern version of the Abrams, the M1A2 SEPv3, uses air-launched projectiles and a new generation of NGAP armor. In addition, this version has improved communications equipment and software.
Obviously, Abrams is now a generation ahead of any tank in the russian army.
How will Abrams help Ukraine?
In the 9 months since the activation of the tank coalition with the participation of Western countries, the Ukrainian army has received hundreds of tanks that are already in use on the battlefield. Among them are Leopard 1/2, Challenger 2, and the Swedish version of the Leopard Strv 122.
However, this set of equipment lacked only one heavyweight, the Abrams.
It cannot be argued that the delivery of American tanks will dramatically change the situation on the battlefield, but such powerful equipment will definitely help the Armed Forces in the face of a difficult advance in the south of the country.
According to Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in an interview with The War Zone, the American Abrams will be used to break through russian defenses.
He added that the Abrams should be used in "too well-planned operations" as the russian invaders are actively mining fields and using a significant number of kamikaze drones.
We remind you! Recently, Ukraine celebrated the Day of Tank Troops. Since the beginning of the war, tankers have become an integral part of the army during the most difficult operations. Read here to find out why Ukraine's tank troops can be considered the most unique in the world.
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