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M1 Abrams Tanks from the United States Will Not Get to Ukraine Anytime Soon

Contrary to false reports, Ukraine has not yet received any M1 Abrams tanks from the U.S.

Since Biden's January 25, 2023 announcement that Ukraine would be receiving 31 M1 Abrams tanks, a reversal of previous policy, the U.S. Army has been scrambling to figure out how to get the 31 tanks, plus all the other equipment and supplies necessary to support the tanks, to Ukraine.

As reported by Defense News, Christine Wormuth, Secretary of the Army, acknowledged that getting the tanks to Ukraine prior to Russia's anticipated Spring offensive was unlikely to happen.

“We’re looking at what’s the fastest way we can get the tanks to the Ukrainians,” Christine Wormuth told reporters at a Thursday breakfast. “It’s not going to be a matter of weeks.

None of the options that we’re exploring are weeks or two months... There are longer timelines involved, but I think there are options that are less than two years, less than a year-and-a-half,” she said.

Wormuth indicated that even getting the tanks to Ukraine by the end of the year was not a certainty. Wermuth also indicated that the exact tanks Ukraine would receive is up in the air, with the Army considering putting in orders for brand new tanks or pulling older tanks out of inventory and refurbishing them.

Wormuth emphasized that it is not as simple as shipping 31 tanks to Ukraine, but that the United States will also need to provide training as well as ammunition, [spare parts] and recovery vehicles. This aspect of getting M1 Abrams to Ukraine is extremely important as M1 Abrams are among, if not the most most expensive/logistics intensive tanks in the world and without proper support would be little use to Ukraine.

There's a lot of details still that need to be worked out,” she said. And she stated that the Army will present options to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who will then pass them on to President Biden for a final decision.

The M1A2 Abrams sports the the U.S. produced version of Rheinmetall's 120mm L/44 smoothbore gun, the 120mm M256. In combination with U.S. produced depleted Uranium anti-tank rounds, its is considered to be one of the best tank guns in the world. The Abrams armor is also considered to be some of the best armor to be found on any tanks, and its fire control system is excellent. On the negative side, the M1A2 Abrams gas turbine engine is a gas guzzler and consequently has less range than most other battle tanks. It is also very resource intensive when it come to maintenance. All this adds up to the M1A2 Abrams being perhaps the world's most expensive tank to operate.

Note: Future Abrams will likely mount the longer L/55 version of Rheinmetall's 120mm gun. This will yield a significant increase in muzzle velocity , as well as delivering more kinetic energy to the target.

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