The first tanks M1A1 Abrams American manufacturing was handed over toUkraineTwo anonymous US defense officials, Al The New York Times. The actual number of this first batch is unclear, but the same sources reported that other Abrams tanks will be sent in the coming months, confirming that those who arrived in Ukraine on Saturday represent the first batch of 31 aircraft that the Biden administration promised to send.
Thursday, September 21, immediately after the summit meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, the highest US official. He declaredHe added, during a joint press conference at the White House, that the tanks would be sent to Kiev.next week“. Mid-AugustInstead of that, Pentagon It was announced that the training course on Abrams aircraft for the first batch of soldiers ended after 12 weeks of intensive training in which about 200 soldiers from the Ukrainian army participated. However, last month, the personnel remained in Germany, at the US Army’s Grafenwoehr base in Bavaria, to receive further training, apparently at the express request of the General Staff in Kiev.
Last week Gen Budanov, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, in an interview with a US military blog, actually confirmed that if the tanks arrive once they have finished training, they will not be able to stay for long on the battlefield and will therefore be used in the combat theater. must be”Very well prepared“.
Just a year ago, the possibility of sending tanks to Ukraine was the subject of much debate among the Western Allies, fearing that the presence of modern main battle tanks (Main battle tank) could lead to uncontrollable escalation, but in the same period, in September 2022, the United States announced thatThe choice was on the tableWhich raises confusion, especially in Germany.
A few months later, in the face of a winter stagnation in hostilities – which lasted until last summer – this situation changed radically and modern Western-made main battle tanks began to arrive in the ranks of the Ukrainian army.
When the first 31 Abrams aircraft are delivered to Kiev, they could be used for a breakout attempt Russia’s last lines of defence In the southern sector, or along the eastern front where the Ukrainians are advancing south of Bakhmut, but generally without significant progress.
Budanov has always warned of the necessity of deploying Abrams missiles.”“In a very personal way, for specific and well-thought-out processes.”They may therefore be used as an elite unit at points considered to be the most important or vulnerable on the front.
The M1A1s being delivered to Ukraine are not exactly like those in service with the US Army and Marine Corps, but they were. It has been refurbished To remove some of the more sensitive parts and equipment, in this case it is believed that composite armor is also used Poor uraniumwhich protects a large part of the main battle tank’s hull and turret, was eliminated so that this construction solution would not be revealed to the Russians.
Abrams tanks are very different from those used by Ukraine and Western armies because they are powered by Turbo engines Of aviation origin, they therefore require special maintenance measures and an appropriate logistics chain for their maintenance.
From this latter point of view, there is actually a possibility that Ukraine will have difficulty dealing with the crisis Logistics services Necessary for Abrams, for example, to obtain spare parts, storage and general maintenance. The Ukrainian army will probably use them exactly as they use other Western main battle tanks (Challenger 2, Leopard 1 and 2), that is, distribute them along the entire front line according to the tactics that have been demonstrated since the first day of the new counteroffensive.
Without going into technical details, the goal of the General Staff in Kiev is Consume resources The Russian army is on the battlefield, thus generally forcing it to give up ground, while at the same time exhausting its supply lines through an air and sea interdiction campaign using drones of various types, long-range artillery systems and cruise missiles.
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