The Ukrainian military may complete training on Abrams tanks by the end of this summer. The Pentagon voiced such anticipation.
According to defence sources of CBS, around 200 Ukrainian soldiers are anticipated to complete US-led training on Abrams tanks by the end of the summer.
Abrams training program ends just before expected tanks delivery to Ukraine
The training program’s conclusion will coincide with the projected autumn delivery of the 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks promised to Ukraine earlier this year.
Ukrainians are currently training in Germany with specially adapted tanks while the promised 31 tanks are refurbished.
200 Ukrainian soldiers follow 12-week Abrams training program
According CBS sources, the 200 Ukrainian soldiers are in week three of a 12-week training program.
They are currently focusing on individual skills in Germany. They will eventually proceed to various unit skills, concluding in battalion-level power-on-force training.
Since February 2022, the United States has instructed almost 11,000 Ukrainians across a range of platforms. According to one of the officials, the US is now training approximately 1,700 Ukrainians.
According to a Canadian defence officer participating in international training efforts, the United States and its allies have trained 57,000 Ukrainians.
Approximately 6,000 Ukrainians are presently training in 40 locations outside of Ukraine. According to the official, this number is down from the high earlier this year, when approximately 12,000 Ukrainians were training at the various facilities in March.
Abrams tanks: Capabilities
The Abrams tank has several modifications, the most advanced of which is the M1A2 SEPv3, which is equipped with new-generation NGAP armour and updated communications and software equipment and can use airborne projectiles. This modification also received the Trophy active protection system from destroying enemy shells on approach.
The Abrams is built according to a classic tank layout with a four-man crew (commander, gunner, loader, driver mechanic) and with a high-ballistic cannon as the main armament.
The M1 Abrams tank is powered by a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine with a six-speed (four forward, two reverse) Allison X-1100-3B automatic transmission.
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.
Ukraine will obtain 31 Abrams tanks from the US
There are three main versions of the M1 Abrams: M1, M1A1 and M1A2, which differ in weaponry, protection systems and electronics improvements (please note that the name M1 Abrams is a generic name for all models).
The M1A1 is the most mass-produced version of the tank. It was produced from 1985 to 1992. In addition to improved armour, more advanced electronics, and a WMD protection system, the M256A1 120mm smoothbore tank gun – an American licensed copy of the German L44 gun – was introduced.
The M1 Abrams is considered one of the world’s most heavily armoured tanks, with both turret and hull covered by armour based on a British-developed Chobham, which is composite armour formed from multiple layers of different alloys of armoured steel, ceramic, plastic composites and kevlar.
On 25 January, US President Joe Biden officially announced the shipment of the first batch of Abrams to Ukraine. It is 31 units of combat vehicles worth $400 million.