America’s Top Weapon Arrives in Ukraine

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The first American M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks are making their way to Ukraine. The weapon system has an excellent track record in its Middle Eastern conflicts. During the initial invasion of Iraq, it sustained no fatal losses.

The Abrams tank is not the first 4th generation Western tank to make its way to Ukraine. The German Leopard and British Challengers are already in Ukrainian service, and have not been able to break through Russian anti-tank missile screens. Breaking Defense reports:

At first glance the Monday announcement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the first US M1 Abrams main battle tanks have arrived in Ukraine ahead of schedule looks to offer much needed firepower for Kyiv to spur on a slow-moving counteroffensive.

But two defense analysts told Breaking Defense that while the arrival of the Abrams is surely a welcome sign to Kyiv and could help consolidate some gains, they alone are unlikely to significantly alter the strategic landscape any time soon compared to other main battle tanks already in service, including the German-made Leopard 2 and the British-made Challenger 2s. The Abrams also likely won’t have as much of an effect on the current fight as long-range fires and air defense, according to one of the analysts — at least until there’s a breakthrough in the Russian lines.

Russia’s response has been defiant, saying that it will destroy the tanks. The current Ukrainian offensive is not producing the intended results among Western leaders, and this new hope could end up sinking morale even further. The Hill reports:

Russia vowed Tuesday to “burn” the first of the U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks that arrived in Ukraine a day prior, insisting the weapons will not help Kyiv in the fight.

“All this can in no way affect the essence of the special military operation and its outcome,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told members of the media, as reported by multiple outlets. “There is no panacea, no single weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield.”

A large reason for the Abrams’s success in Iraq was the high level of training among American crews. Ukraine is not able to train its own forces to the same level, since it desperately needs its units in the field. Faced with a peer adversary, the Abrams will likely not be a wonder weapon, though it could contribute to Ukrainian victory is applied with proper tactics.

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