US to deliver 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine
US to send 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine It is still unclear when the critical delivery will arrive in the war zone. Because: Tanks should be delivered in unique export configuration like US media “The Drive” reported. The first tanks may not arrive until the end of this year or early next year.
It often contains depleted uranium due to the top-secret shielding packages found in US military versions. It is a metal that is a waste product from the enrichment of uranium for use in nuclear power plants. The US does not export it to major allies. Depleted uranium is also radioactive.
Top-secret shielding provides latency
Since the late 1980s, many newly manufactured US Army M1A1 tanks have been equipped with composite armor containing, among other things, depleted uranium (DU). Armor packs with DU were also used on later variants of the A2 series. Many older American M1A1s were later refitted with new armor and other improvements.
According to the portal, to say that the DU shield is highly secretive is an understatement. Development of the original version of this armor, often referred to as “Heavy Armor” or “Special Armor”, was done under a top-secret Special Access Program (SAP) codenamed Green Grape. SAP has additional security protocols in place to protect the disclosure of particularly sensitive national security information.
Where are the Ukrainian Abrams from?
Even today, export regulations for these Abrams tanks are very strict. M1 variants are in service with Australia, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, but none of these countries use DU armor. Instead, exportable armor packs that did not include DU were developed for the M1 series.
With that in mind, it remains to be seen how U.S. officials will try to mitigate these issues as part of moving Abrams tanks to Ukraine. There is also the question of whether it would be possible to buy export variants from other countries for already weak armor and other systems.
The armor issue will limit the pace at which the U.S. government supplies Abrams to Ukraine, regardless of where the tanks come from. Even if M1 tanks are pulled from storage and rebuilt for Ukraine, there’s a good chance they’ll have armor packs that need to be replaced — and that could take time. (chs)
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