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Russian forces took out 5 out of 31 US Abrams tanks in Ukraine in 2 months – NYT

Saturday, 20 April 2024, 19:58
Russian forces took out 5 out of 31 US Abrams tanks in Ukraine in 2 months – NYT
An Abrams tank. Photo: Nurphoto via Getty Images

The New York Times has reported that Russian forces have taken out five M1 Abrams main battle tanks out of 31 that were sent to Ukraine from the US last autumn.

Source: The New York Times, citing a senior US official

Details: The NYT cited Colonel Markus Reisner, an "Austrian military trainer who closely follows how weapons are being used – and lost – in the war in Ukraine", as saying that at least three other tanks were substantially damaged since being deployed to the front in early 2024.


According to Oryx, a military analysis site that counts losses based on visual evidence, a total of 796 Ukrainian battle tanks have been destroyed or captured since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, while Russia has lost 2,900 tanks.

The NYT said that drones can be used to take out tanks.

"The drone combat in Ukraine that is transforming modern warfare has begun taking a deadly toll on one of the most powerful symbols of American military might — the tank — and threatening to rewrite how it will be used in future conflicts," the NYT wrote.

Despite their powerful capabilities, tanks are not invincible; they are most vulnerable where their heavy armour is the thinnest: at the top, where the rear engine block is located, and in the space between the hull and turret. For many years, tanks have been a prime target for mines, explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles.

"The drones that are now being used against tanks in Ukraine are even more accurate. Known as first-person view drones, or FPVs, they are equipped with a camera that streams real-time images back to their controller, who can direct them to hit tanks in their most vulnerable spots," the NYT said.

Colonel Reisner also said that the FPVs have in several cases been sent in to "finish off" tanks that had already been damaged by mines or anti-tank missiles to prevent them from being retrieved from the battlefield and repaired.

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