A group of 200 Ukrainian soldiers completed training in the operation and maintenance of American M1 Abrams tanks in Germany. These US-made tanks will enter service in Ukraine in the fall.
Colonel Martin O’Donnell, a US Army Europe and Africa spokesman, said to Politico that the military had recently completed one of the last phases of the training program.
Photo: US Army M1A1 SA Abrams tanks for Ukrainian training in Germany, May 2023. Photo credits: 7th Army Training Command.
200 Ukrainian soldiers learned to operate Abrams tanks
200 Ukrainians practised on trainer tanks at Germany’s US Army training grounds. The Ukrainian servicemen are working to ensure they stay proficient in operating American tanks at the Grafenwoehr Army base in Germany until they are ready for the battlefield.
Western officials hope that the arrival of the tanks will give the Ukrainian Armed Forces the edge they need.
Ukraine will obtain 31 Abrams tanks from the US
In early August, the United States officially approved the transfer of the first batch of Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The US will send M1A1 Abrams with ammunition, spare parts, fuel equipment and repair facilities.
The Ukrainian Army is expected to receive 31 Abrams tanks.
Initially, the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative was planned to fund the transfer and purchase of new tanks from the manufacturer. Now, they will be withdrawn from the US Armed Forces reserves.
Before being shipped to Ukraine, the tanks are to be repaired and re-equipped. The United States is also working with European allies to establish heavy maintenance repair facilities for the tanks after their involvement in the fight against the Russian invaders.
In September-October, we can expect to see Abrams tanks with trained crews on the frontline to counter Russian invading troops. Thanks to their technical capabilities, the US-made Abrams tanks will help Ukrainians push back Russian forces from the occupied territories.
Abrams tanks: Capabilities
Abrams is one of the heaviest tanks in service at nearly 63 short tons, with sophisticated Chobham composite armour and computer fire control system.
The M1 Abrams has both turret and hull covered by armour based on a British-developed Chobham, composite armour formed from multiple layers of different alloys of armoured steel, ceramic, plastic composites and kevlar.
Abrams is powered by a 120 mm gun. It can destroy other tanks at a range of 3 km; the maximum range of its main gun is 5km.
The tank can reach a top speed of 72 km/h on the road and 48 km/h in rough terrain. With the engine stroke control off, speeds of up to 97 km/h can be reached on the highway, but this can be traumatic for the crew.
Fuel tanks with a total capacity of 1,900 litres of JP-8 jet fuel provide an operational range of 410 km.