U.S. Abrams M1A1 tanks arrive in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria. The training of the Ukrainian armed forces is currently taking place there. © Spc. Adrian Greenwood/dpa
Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers are currently being trained at the M1 Abrams in Germany, and it is to be used in the Ukraine war from autumn. But the tank has its pitfalls.
Kyiv – It will take a few more weeks before the Ukrainian military will have a new weapon system: Currently, around 400 Ukrainians are being trained at the M1 Abrams at US military bases in Germany. According to the Pentagon, this will take ten to twelve weeks, and the tanks could be used in the war in Ukraine from autumn. This is reported by the Ukrainian portal Kyiv Independent.
The M1 Abrams is considered a powerful weapon, but it also has its pitfalls. The tank is difficult to operate, ammunition and maintenance are comparatively expensive. Above all, the engine is considered a weak point, a filter has to be cleaned every twelve hours. If this is missed or the engine fails for other reasons, repair on the battlefield is hardly possible, the engine has to be removed and serviced by experts – a gigantic disadvantage in war.
M1 Abrams tanks in Ukraine war: US trains hundreds of soldiers
The US wants to supply 31 M1 Abrams to Ukraine, the strength of a full Ukrainian tank battalion. In order for the Ukrainian armed forces to be able to use the tank more quickly, they are said to have even dispensed with the more modern M1A2 variant, according to several media reports. It would not have been available until 2024.
According to experts, however, this is not a disadvantage, the delivered M1A1 variant is said to have been revised by the manufacturer and is just as powerful as the more modern version. How exactly the weapon system will be used, however, is still unclear, for example, whether the Abrams will be used in direct tank-versus-tank combat. So far, such direct confrontations have occurred only sporadically in the Ukraine war.
Video: M1A1 Abrams for Ukraine – This is what the US tank costs
For Ukraine, however, the Western tanks such as the Abrams, Leopard and Challenger represent a huge technological advance over the old Soviet T-64 and T-72. Military experts believe that the modern tanks, in combination with infantry fighting vehicles such as the M2 Bradley or the CV-90, will support the Ukrainian infantry, thus greatly facilitating breakthrough operations. Thus, the Abrams could become a decisive factor in the announced Ukrainian offensive. (FMT)