M1A1SA Abrams in Ukraine: prospects for the much-hyped miracle weapon

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M1A1SA Abrams in Ukraine: prospects for the much-hyped miracle weapon
M1A1 tank in Ukraine. Photo Telegram / BMPD


After a long period of requests and waiting, the Kiev regime finally received basic combat weapons from the United States. Tanks M1 Abrams. A few weeks ago, three dozen such armored vehicles of one of the older modifications arrived in Ukraine. Now local crews are mastering the equipment they received and boasting about it on social networks, but, apparently, they are in no hurry to go into battle. This lack of enthusiasm is understandable and appropriate to the current situation.



Waiting for a miracle weapon


The Kyiv regime is characterized by a special attitude towards US-made weapons and equipment. They are perceived and presented as some kind of miracleweapon, capable of quickly and easily radically changing the situation at the front. Since the beginning of last year, American M1 Abrams tanks have been considered in this way, and a great desire to receive this equipment has been regularly expressed.

Despite all the requests, the United States decided to help Ukraine with its tanks only at the beginning of 2023. Initially, it was said about the possibility of providing a limited number of modern M1A2 Abrams MBTs, but they could not be transferred earlier than mid-2024. In March, the plans were revised. It was now proposed to ship older M1A1s after repairs. It took only a few months to prepare the tanks, and in the fall they could go to new owners.

In April, Washington announced the shipment of a number of old Abrams to one of the bases in Germany. Using this technology, they planned to organize the training process for Ukrainian crews. The first “release” of tankers was expected over the next few months - until the equipment was shipped to the Kyiv regime. However, at the beginning of September the training period was extended due to a delay in deliveries.


One of the Ukrainian M1A1SA. A commander's optical device is visible on the turret, allowing the modification to be identified. Photo Telegram / "Military Chronicle"

Despite reports of some problems and delays, it was during this period that the American side began shipping the promised equipment. A few weeks later, at the end of September, they announced the completion of the delivery. In total, the White House and the Pentagon were going to transfer 31 M1A1 tanks to the Kyiv regime, and all of them are already in Ukraine.

Until recently, the availability of Abrams MBTs in Ukrainian forces was known only through statements by officials. Now other evidence has appeared in the form of several photographs. They show American tanks somewhere on Ukrainian training grounds, probably in the process of being mastered by crews. Despite the poor quality, these photographs allow us to determine the condition and configuration of the equipment.

It should be noted that American tanks arrived in Ukraine at least two months ago, but have not yet been involved in combat operations. Various explanations can be found for this, and the most likely of them imply a low assessment of the equipment and its new owners.

Transferred vehicles


Back in the spring, official Washington announced the first details of the future delivery of tanks. Subsequently, new information appeared. Finally, the other day the first photos of Abrams in Ukraine became publicly available. In general, all available data allows us to understand exactly what kind of equipment the Kiev regime received and in what form – and what it can count on with it.


A batch of M1A1s transferred to Poland in June 2023. Photo by the Polish Ministry of Defense

In order to speed up deliveries, the Pentagon sent M1A1 tanks to Ukraine. This is far from the newest version of the Abrams MBT - vehicles of this version were mass-produced from the mid-eighties to the early nineties. They planned to take the old M1A1s for the Kyiv regime from storage bases, repair them and retrofit them with some new devices.

According to the latest information, based on the results of the activities carried out, the appearance of the tanks corresponds to the M1A1 AIM v.2 / M1A1SA modification. This version of the Abrams was created in the nineties and was supposed to surpass all previous modifications in terms of overall combat qualities. However, by that time more advanced modifications had been created, and the AIM v.2 project was supposed to reduce the gap between the M1A1 and them.

Tanks of the M1A1SA / M1A1 AIM v.2 version are generally similar to other modifications of the Abrams product, but have their own characteristic features. Thus, the general architecture, armored units, power plant and chassis have been preserved. At the same time, M1A1s for export receive combined armor without depleted uranium elements.

One of the main objectives of the M1A1 AIM (Abrams Integrated Management) and M1A1SA (Situational Awareness) projects was to improve the crew's situational awareness and improve the tank's control systems. In this regard, MBTs of these modifications received a new SCWS commander's optical-electronic device, improved gunner's sights, a satellite navigation system, an FBCB2 "battlefield control" system, etc.


Previously, M1A1s were used by the USMC. Photo by US Department of Defense

In general, the M1A1SA tank is a vehicle from the eighties, improved according to the requirements of the late nineties. In terms of equipment and related capabilities, the M1A1SA tank is similar to the next modification of the M1A2 tank of early series. However, it is significantly inferior to the latest versions of the Abrams and foreign-made equipment of the same level. First of all, there is a moral lag in the used devices and components. In addition, in the following modifications the protection, power plant, etc. were improved.

From the rear to the front


Thus, the Kiev regime received the long-awaited American tanks, and its formations are mastering them at their training grounds. However, they are in no hurry to send this equipment into battle - other armored vehicles are operating at the front, incl. foreign production. Apparently, the Ukrainian command and its foreign patrons understand the prospects of the transferred Abrams and are trying to delay the predictable end, as well as save their reputation.

There are several major factors that degrade the capabilities and prospects of the transferred M1A1SA. First of all, there is a small number of them. Three dozen tanks are only enough to equip one battalion, which is extremely small in the scale of current military operations. Any losses of such a unit will be overly sensitive, and it will quickly lose its combat effectiveness.

In this case, equipment losses are practically guaranteed. Ukrainian Abrams will have to work on the battlefield without sufficient cover and support, while the Russian army will use all available means. Both specialized anti-tank systems and various UAVs, artillery, etc. will be used. The M1A1 tank is of particular interest as a target and/or trophy - and will receive appropriate attention.


M1A1 one of the latest versions. Photo by US Department of Defense

The survivability of American-made MBTs in such conditions is highly questionable. M1A1SA are supplied to Ukraine with a simplified version of the armor, which has a reduced level of protection. In addition, combined anti-ballistic armor is available only in the frontal projection of the vehicle, while other angles are less well protected. Accordingly, such a target can be hit and destroyed by various fire weapons.

In general, it can be assumed that attempts to use Abrams tanks in combat will end in the same way as battles involving other NATO-style equipment. In the summer, the Kiev regime tried to use German Leopard 2 and British Challenger 2 tanks - and this technology naturally suffered losses. Modern foreign MBTs have been blown up by mines, attacked by attack UAVs, hit by anti-tank systems, or come under artillery fire. The Russian army competently prepared the defense and did not allow the enemy to effectively use the new armored vehicles.

Advertising tasks


Thus, the Kiev regime still managed to beg for American tanks, but there would be little benefit from such help. The small number of M1A1SAs delivered will not affect the course of hostilities and will not live up to expectations. At the same time, it should be expected that such tanks will even add operational and other problems.

Negative image consequences should also be expected. The M1 Abrams tank was carefully created to create the image of one of the best MBTs in the world, with unique characteristics and capabilities. Now these machines may find themselves in the most difficult conditions and suffer losses that will certainly hit their “bright image.” However, there is a way to preserve the image - to refuse to solve combat missions and keep the equipment in the rear, showing it only for advertising purposes.
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34 comments
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  1. +7
    28 November 2023 05: 57
    Why discuss something that doesn’t exist yet. Once the Abrashs appear at the front, they show themselves from any side (be it bad or good), then we’ll discuss it. request
    1. +6
      28 November 2023 06: 03
      Quote: Amateur
      Abrash will appear at the front

      It is desirable that they appear burnt and with broken towers wink
      1. 0
        28 November 2023 07: 22
        Another "prodigy"? And how many more of them will be placed at the test site codenamed “Ukraine”?
        1. +3
          28 November 2023 10: 14
          The mines will take out anything - be it Abram or Leoperd.
    2. +4
      28 November 2023 09: 21
      Well, it would be preferable that they should not appear there at all.
      1. 0
        29 November 2023 00: 17
        The Abrams were sent in that direction to force the Germans and other continental Europeans to send their tanks. Like following the hegemon. But according to the good old tradition, another scam happened and the Germans were sent forward to bury the export potential of leopards. And the Americans apparently don’t want to lose even ten tanks in vain
    3. AUL
      +3
      28 November 2023 15: 03
      Quote: Amateur
      Why discuss something that doesn’t exist yet.

      Well, who is the author? All his articles are structured according to the same scheme. It looks like he has a template, he only changes the names of the equipment in it! laughing
    4. -1
      28 November 2023 15: 25
      They have already proven themselves in Iraq. Moreover, these were not outdated export models, but for themselves, their loved ones. And then there were no UAVs or copters... They shaved them with all their hearts. There were cases where one RPG-7 shot was enough. There are several videos on YouTube from the collection sites of damaged and destroyed US military equipment in Iraq - very impressive.
  2. -1
    28 November 2023 06: 00
    Abrams in Ukraine: prospects for the much-hyped miracle weapon
    Obviously, the prospects are the same as those of the “Leopard”, the “Bradley” infantry fighting vehicle and other Western “hodgepodge” if Kyiv decides to use them on the LBS. Today I read information that allegedly seven Abrams have already been disabled: four as a result of a strike during delivery (unloading), and three were disabled by Ukrainian crews during training.
    1. +1
      28 November 2023 08: 31
      For downvotes, link: https://oko-planet.su/politik/politikdiscussions/706663-vsu-uzhe-poterjali-7-amerikanskih-tankov-abrams.html
  3. +2
    28 November 2023 06: 01
    Well, the tank is unlikely to show itself better than others like it...
    If someone pins some hopes on him, most likely those will come true... and someone will earn a bonus by burning this pepelats drinks
  4. 0
    28 November 2023 06: 13
    There is a lot of kerosene in it. It will burn well.
  5. +4
    28 November 2023 06: 23
    Well, everything is simple here. The 1st battalion will not change anything, but they want to actively use them next summer.
    The problem with Abrams is that they have a lot of them in storage. and if they wish, they can transfer a couple of hundred tanks to the enemy. This will be much more dangerous. But they very cunningly and carefully regulate supplies, trying to “keep a balance” and trying to ensure that both sides bleed.
  6. +8
    28 November 2023 07: 11
    Nowhere do tanks “burn” so well as in the media space, especially after their recorded defeat. The same Challenger was blazing on TV for a couple more weeks, and that’s only here, abroad I think too...
  7. +10
    28 November 2023 07: 48
    The M1A1 Abrams should not be underestimated. This combat vehicle has enough strengths, another question is whether Ukrainian tankers will be able to make the most of them... Time will tell.
    It is clear that for us the task of destroying them will have to be entrusted to aviation, artillery, engineering ammunition, tanks and other PTS of the Ground Forces
    1. +8
      28 November 2023 15: 30
      Is it worth underestimating Ukrainian tank crews? What about the artillerymen? Leave these chants about backward and downtrodden Ukrainians. Soon there have been stubborn battles for two years for the village, which even before the war had fifty inhabitants... And now even grass won’t grow there for a long time. By the way, the fighting is taking place in “new territories,” that is, in fact, in the Russian Federation.
      1. 0
        3 December 2023 12: 59
        Well, we haven’t “started” to fight yet... and when (if) we start, the grass won’t grow anywhere at all!!!
  8. +1
    28 November 2023 10: 46
    If the Abrams are used for what they were once created for - parrying Soviet tank wedges in defense, then they can drink quite a bit of blood.. If again for the type of counter-offensive - I think everything will not be as bad for them as our opponents want .
    1. +2
      28 November 2023 15: 31
      About tank wedges - this is a test! You can also use horse-drawn mechanized groups.
  9. +2
    28 November 2023 11: 25
    Ryabov as Ryabov
    Too late, too late, won't help

    PS
    prospects for the much-hyped miracle weapon

    I only read about the Abrams being a miracle weapon in VO, and didn’t come across it anywhere else.
    1. +1
      29 November 2023 00: 13
      Also from liberal and Ukrainian bloggers
  10. -2
    28 November 2023 14: 52
    There is an opinion that Ukrainians have already lost 14 Abrams during attacks on railway stations, unloading and concentration areas.
    1. +4
      28 November 2023 15: 32
      There is an opinion that your opinion does not correspond to reality. Because it doesn’t have a single confirmation. None at all.
  11. The comment was deleted.
  12. +1
    28 November 2023 17: 15
    The author often talks about some kind of advertising, but it is obvious that Ambrams and other equipment are bought primarily not because of the performance characteristics, but thanks to various political lobbies. Moreover, no more than a hundred modern tanks were transferred to Ukraine, such a number clearly does not pose any particular danger and, except for Ambrams, they will not even theoretically be able to transfer them anymore
  13. +1
    28 November 2023 17: 23
    Any weapon that appears “on the other side of the front sight” is dangerous. It doesn't matter whether it's a rifle or a tank. May God grant accuracy to our soldiers.
  14. +2
    28 November 2023 20: 33
    Negative image consequences should also be expected. The M1 Abrams tank was carefully created to create the image of one of the best MBTs in the world, with unique characteristics and capabilities. Now these machines may find themselves in the most difficult conditions and suffer losses that will certainly hit their “bright image.”
    Old record again! What does the image have to do with it??? The author himself writes about old modifications and immediately declares their “bright image” and losses. Naturally, in battle any tanks (including ours) are damaged and even destroyed...
  15. -2
    28 November 2023 23: 50
    Will the crews be international? Are black loaders also included in the delivery package?
  16. 0
    1 December 2023 19: 42
    @Ryabov Kirill fool
    I wonder when they beat him, for the bullshit he writes?
  17. 0
    1 December 2023 21: 55
    What a pity that they stopped writing normal articles altogether. You go to the site and it’s like you’re on TV. Everything is fine with us. There are no problems, and if there were, they will already be resolved and so on in everything, including healthcare. Less and less often do you come across at least technically competent material. Eh
  18. 0
    3 December 2023 12: 56
    the loader needs to paint his face (and hands) with shoe polish with a specialist... for authenticity
  19. +1
    4 December 2023 16: 07
    31 tanks per 1000 km of front. Yes, even if it were a super-duper tank like the “Iron Kaput”, nothing would happen. The German “kaputs” are already burning and these ones will burn.
    1. +1
      23 January 2024 18: 26
      Well, if there are 31 tanks per 1000 kilometers, then perhaps there is no need to stretch them over such a distance?
      The Ukrainian Armed Forces may well stage a small tank strike in a narrow direction, for example.
  20. 0
    5 February 2024 07: 13
    There are no armored vehicles that cannot be hit. And Abrams are no exception.

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