It’s been 4 months since Ukraine’s counterattack, and US Abrams tanks have just arrived

It's been 4 months since Ukraine's counterattack, and US Abrams tanks have just arrived 0

(Dan Tri) – The first US M1 Abrams have arrived in Ukraine, but how quickly can they enter combat and what impact will they have on the ever-changing battlefield?

A row of M1 Abrams tanks at Fort Carson in Colorado, USA (Photo: AP).

Advanced Western-made tanks and other armored vehicles have become a focal point in debates between Ukraine’s military leaders and their counterparts at the Pentagon.

After following the fighting style proposed by the US and suffering huge losses from Russian minefields and aerial attacks, Ukraine’s military leadership switched to a slow fighting style, which has since faced criticism.

However, the Abrams, one of the world’s most modern tanks, has a number of technical advantages that could make it more useful to Ukraine than other Western tanks.

`Abrams is already in Ukraine and is preparing to reinforce our brigades,` President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on September 25 on Telegram.

Ukraine recently announced that it had breached Russia’s main defense line with armored vehicles and is working to expand this hole.

Difficult to create significant change

The appearance of American tanks is very welcome, but Ukrainian officials admit that, at a time when the counterattack has been going on for 4 months, these vehicles are unlikely to significantly change the battlefield situation.

US Department of Defense officials have also repeatedly warned that no single weapon system can change the outcome of the conflict.

As the autumn rains approach, the ground will soon become muddy, making it more difficult for armored vehicles to move through the fields.

It's been 4 months since Ukraine's counterattack, and US Abrams tanks have just arrived

The Russian army’s minefield slowed down the advance of Ukrainian troops in the southeast (Photo: Reuters).

In addition, the first months of the counteroffensive, when Ukraine advanced with German Leopard II tanks and American armed personnel carriers, these vehicles became Russia’s prime targets.

Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency HUR, recently said that minefields are a major obstacle for tracked vehicles such as tanks.

Heavy armored vehicles are currently mainly used to transport soldiers and rarely participate in combat, Mr. Budanov said.

`They should be used in a way that is appropriate for very specific and well-prepared operations, because if used on the front lines and only in joint combat operations, they will not last very long.`

Ben Barry, a former British tank commander who is now a land warfare expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, said the Abrams tank will make some impact and bring many benefits.

But Mr. Barry added, the Ukrainian side will also face greater challenges in maintenance and repair work.

`Abrams have extraordinary acceleration compared to other tanks, which reduces the likelihood of them being hit,` Mr. Barry said.

It's been 4 months since Ukraine's counterattack, and US Abrams tanks have just arrived

President Volodymyr Zelensky during a recent visit to Washington D.C., USA to call for military aid (Photo: Wall Street Journal).

However, Ukraine will need to be careful when using Abrams tanks and `ground forces will need to be able to counter enemy UAVs and use their own UAVs at a very low tactical level, even at the general level.`

The US pledged in January to send 31 Abrams tanks, after months of refusal.

Ukrainian troops have been training to drive Abrams tanks since the spring, while Leopard tanks have been on the battlefield for months.

The US has also approved the transfer of F-16 jet fighters to Ukraine, one of Ukraine’s long-standing requests.

However, the jets will not appear in the skies of Ukraine until winter.

When asked about the appearance of Abrams tanks and ATACMS missiles, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian armed forces have continuously adapted to the use of new weapons in `military campaigns`.

`All this cannot affect the nature of the SVO and its results. There is no panacea and no weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield,` he said.

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