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American, German and British tanks to Ukraine: Will increase the capabilities of the army
The United States along with Germany and Britain promised to send Abrams, Leopard and Challenger battle tanks to Ukraine to help Kiev's war efforts against Moscow. Voice of America correspondent Steve Redisch provides an analysis of the capabilities and differences between these advanced tanks.
With a 1,500 horsepower engine, the American Abrams M1 tank is widely regarded as the most technologically advanced tank in use. It is run by a team of four. The Abrams M1 is equipped with a 120mm cannon to destroy enemy tanks and other heavy armored vehicles.
This tank also has three machine guns, one heavy to destroy lightly armored vehicles and two others that are considered weapons to attack enemy personnel. It can move at a speed of about 65 kilometers per hour, at a maximum distance of about 425 kilometers. The Abrams M1 tank engine runs best on jet fuel, affecting the costs and logistics of its use. The German tank "Leopard 2" with a motor power of 1,500 horsepower runs on diesel, a fuel that is more easily obtained. This tank has most of the features of the American tank, such as the 120 millimeter cannon and light machine guns. German and American tanks are designed to better protect their crews of four, unlike the Soviet-made tanks now used by Ukraine and Russia.
"In the M1A1 and Leopard 2 tanks, soldiers are much safer, because the ammunition of these tanks is outside the place where the crew is. In a Soviet tank, the shells are inside the cabin where the soldiers are. Their explosion can cause catastrophic damage to the crew and the tank itself," says Gian Gentile, former US Army tank commander.
With a crew of four, the Leopard 2 moves at speeds similar to the Abrams tank, but its maximum range is about 340 kilometers.
Over 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks are located in many European countries, making it highly available, which is its main advantage. Britain's Challenger 2 tank has a 120mm cannon as its main weapon, along with several light machine guns, similar to other tanks. Its ammunition is also stored outside the crew cabin. Its diesel engine is smaller, 1,200 horsepower. Challenger 2 is not as fast as the other two. But its maximum range of over 500 kilometers is significantly better than tanks produced in the United States and Germany.