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20 Apr, 2024 19:30

$500 Russian drones destroying $10,000,000 American tanks – NYT

Moscow’s forces have destroyed five US-made Abrams in Ukraine and damaged another three, the newspaper has claimed
$500 Russian drones destroying $10,000,000 American tanks – NYT

Expensive American M1 Abrams tanks delivered to Ukraine are increasingly falling prey to Russian drones that cost only a fraction as much, the New York Times reported on Saturday. Even “one of the most powerful symbols of American military might” is not invulnerable to the attacks, it said.

At least five US-supplied tanks out of the 31 provided by Washington have already been destroyed by Russia, the media outlet said, adding that three others were “moderately damaged.”

In most cases, the tanks have been destroyed by first-person-view (FPV) kamikaze drones, also known as loitering munitions. These drones are capable of maneuvering before hitting their targets.

In at least one instance though, an Abrams tank was taken out in a duel against a Russian T-72B3 main battle tank. The Russian military has published upwards of a dozen clips, mostly taken from drones, showing the destruction of US-supplied equipment.

According to the NYT, the tanks turned out to be “more easily taken out by exploding drones than some officials and experts had initially assumed.” The media outlet cited Austrian historian and military expert Colonel Markus Reisner, who described the situation as “unbelievable.” The paper also described the Russian UAVs as “highly-accurate, low-cost tank killers.”

The drones’ accuracy exceeds 90%, the NYT said, adding that they are also capable of hitting heavy armor in its weakest spots. The UAVs “can cost as little as $500,” the paper reported, and are capable of “taking out a $10 million Abrams tank.” The paper noted that there is no “easy, or single” way to defend a tank against a drone attack.

US-made Abrams tanks made their long-expected appearance on the front line in late February amid the Ukrainian effort to halt advancing Russian troops after the capture of the Donbass city of Avdeevka. A batch of 31 M1 Abrams tanks was pledged to Kiev early last year, ahead of the ultimately disastrous Ukrainian counteroffensive. The delivery was made in full by mid-October, when the ill-fated push had already largely been exhausted.

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