US to Provide Ukraine with Stripped Down Abrams Tanks in Support Efforts

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 07/31/2023
According to several Western news media outlets, some of the advanced equipment on the US-made Abrams tanks that Washington promised to Kiev may not make it to Ukraine. These parts are allegedly deemed to be too "sensitive" and "sophisticated" to be given to the Ukrainian military.

According to Newsweek's report from Monday, the tanks "might lose some of their most sophisticated electronics before seeing combat in Ukraine." The US tanks are thought to be "complicated platforms" that require more training to operate than other Western heavy armor, the outlet said.


The tanks' equipment may be downgraded so that Kiev's forces can use them before they are delivered to the Ukrainians as early as this fall. Given the time constraints, "a simpler variant is better suited," post-doctoral researcher Marina Miron of King's College London's Department of War Studies told the media outlet.

The M1A1 Abrams tank, which has less modern electronics than its successor, the M1A2, will be delivered to Kiev, according to Newsweek. The commander and gunner both benefit "some" from the M1A2's electronics, it continued. Miron contends that this, however, also makes these tanks more challenging to operate and maintain while on the battlefield.
The M1A1 is a "better choice" for Ukraine, she claimed, adding that "the systems are more complex and require more training and sustainment."

Politico reported last week that out of a battalion promised by the White House in September, the US might provide the first six to eight tanks. In addition, the source asserted that "the older vehicles are being stripped of their most sensitive technology, including in some cases secret depleted uranium armor, before they can be sent to Ukraine."

The Pentagon initially intended to send Ukraine the more advanced M1A2 variants, but in March it decided to send the more traditional M1A1. The list of "sensitive" technologies Kiev will not be permitted to possess reportedly includes the fire control systems for the tanks. Russian capture is reportedly a concern for the US.


Approximately half of the 190 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) promised by Washington have already been delivered to Kiev. During a largely unsuccessful Ukrainian counteroffensive that was launched in early June, many of them have been destroyed or captured by Russian forces. Reportedly, Ukrainian troops used the wrecked American IFVs as food.

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