TechUS Abrams tanks are serving in Ukraine, with top-tier technology

US Abrams tanks are serving in Ukraine, with top‑tier technology

Abrams in Ukraine
Abrams in Ukraine
Images source: © X | Ukrainian Front

10:19 AM EST, February 17, 2024

The Abrams tanks first made their way to Ukraine in 2023. Since then, they have seldom been seen in images with American machinery at the frontline. This lack of visibility could be due to the tanks being used not primarily for direct combat but rather in a supporting role for other machinery used on the frontline.

As pointed out by Forbes in January this year, Abrams tanks are often absent from online photos because they function as observational tools for defenders, owing to having "the best sensors of all Ukrainian tanks".

The sophisticated thermal imaging system, SADA-II, enables the Abrams to detect enemy units from up to 5 miles away. Coupled with a view that provides a 50x digital magnification, the Abrams can perform surveillance even at night. This excellent detection range sets the US Abrams apart from others.

Abrams tanks equipped with additional armor package

A recent video from the frontline showcases the M1A1 Abrams in Ukraine, along with yet another vital tool for the defender's army. This is the additional armor package ARAT-1 from the TUSK suite. In simple terms, it's a single-layer reactive armor, with explosive material sandwiched between two steel plates. This design aims to reduce the impact of attacks, whether from anti-tank grenades or anti-tank ammunition.

The additional armor blocks are designed to absorb the shock wave triggered by an internal charge detonation, according to Przemysław Juraszek, a journalist from Virtual Poland. Along with this shockwave, the ARAT also absorbs shrapnel from the explosion.

To recap, the American M1 Abrams tank’s key weaponry includes a 120mm caliber gun, as well as 0.5 inch and 0.3 inch caliber machine guns for neutralizing enemy personnel and lightly armored targets. The massive machine weighs approximately 63 tons and spans almost 33 feet. Now, tanks boasting modified armor modules have arrived in Kyiv. The standard depleted uranium panels have been replaced with tungsten inserts in the vehicles intended for Ukraine. This change is prompted by US concerns about its high-tech American technology accidentally falling into Russian hands.

See also