Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised Ukraine 14 Leopard tanks.
Jenny WagnerEditor News
After weeks of back and forth, Germany has made its decision: It will deliver Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine – and the USA wants to go along with it. US President Joe Biden (80) plans to send 31 Abrams M1 battle tanks to Ukraine, the White House announced yesterday.
Ukraine hopes the tanks will give them an advantage on the battlefield. The Ukrainian army is battered. There is a lack of heavy artillery. And retrofitting tanks is made more difficult because Russia has destroyed many factories and production lines for tank ammunition, for example.
According to their own statements, the Ukrainians absolutely need the heavy tanks in order to be able to successfully push back the Russian troops. “German tanks are essential for survival,” said the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksiy Makeyev (47), recently. Now the attacked country even gets support from the USA.
It’s very heavy and consumes a lot of fuel
Named after US General Creighton Abrams (1914-1974), the tank was developed in the 1970s and entered service in 1980. Ironically, like the Leopard 2 tank, it dates back to a failed German-American project to develop a joint main battle tank in the 1960s.
The latest version of the Abrams, produced by the armaments company General Dynamics, is considered one of the most modern tanks in the world. The 1500 hp turbine engine gives the tank a top speed of 68 km/h, and the main weapon is a 120 mm cannon. However, the tank is very heavy with a weight of almost 67 tons and swallows enormous amounts of fuel.
Abrams tanks, unlike the Leopard, are not powered by a diesel engine, but by gas turbines. The gas turbine is smaller and lighter than a diesel engine with the same output. In addition, no cooling liquid is required, but any fuel is used – such as petrol, diesel or kerosene. The main disadvantage to the Leopard 2: Abrams tanks consume more fuel. While the Leopard consumes 530 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, the Abrams uses 700 liters of fuel.
Smoothbore gun and two machine guns
Apart from the fuel, the design of the Leopard and Abrams is almost identical. They both convince with three main components: mobility, firepower and protection. On the battlefield, the Abrams can give Ukraine a decisive advantage.
The Abrams M1 has multiple ways to attack. The first is a Rheinmetall 120mm diameter smoothbore gun, also known as the M256. In addition to the cannon, he carries two M240 machine guns and an M48 on the commander’s hatch.
To disable other tanks, the Abrams has a slug that can penetrate any tank. For battles on the field, there are the M830 rounds, which can even hit opponents hiding in buildings. Infantry can be fought with shotgun shells. These projectiles hit targets up to 500 meters from the Abrams.
The tank’s turret rotates on its own axis within nine seconds. Inside the tank there is space for four soldiers.
USA has 6000 Abrams tanks in stock
The modern equipment of the vehicle interior also distinguishes the Abrams from tanks of Soviet design. Data from the All-Vehicle Information System (IVIS) is sent directly to the tank, and it independently receives thermal imaging, allowing it to detect enemy units. No matter the weather conditions on the battlefield.
The Abrams M1 is a real colossus and cannot be easily destroyed. The outer protective shell is made of armored steel. The power supply in the tank has multiple paths so that the device can still be used even if it is badly damaged. In a lightly armored area, a protective shell separates the fuel tank and stored ammunition from the crew. This is to prevent fuel fires and ammunition explosions.
According to the annual report by “Military Basis”, the United States counted 6,000 Abrams tanks last year. 31 of them are now helping Ukraine to defend against the Russian invaders.