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    Why the US Flipped on Sending Tanks to Ukraine

    Why the US Flipped on Sending Tanks to Ukraine

    — For months, U.S. officials balked at sending M1 Abrams tanks to , insisting they were too complicated and too hard to maintain and repair.

    On Wednesday, that abruptly changed. Ukraine's desperate pleas for tanks were answered with a sweeping, trans-Atlantic yes.

    The dramatic reversal was the culmination of intense international pressure and diplomatic arm-twisting that played out over the last week. And it resulted in in a quick succession of announcements: The U.S. said it will send 31 of the 70-ton Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, and announced it will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks and allow other countries to do the same.

    A look at the massive battle weapon, why it is important to Ukraine's war with , and what drove the Biden administration's tank turnabout.

    What are the Abrams?

    M1 Abrams tanks have led American battle assaults for decades.

    Carrying a crew of four, the Abrams was first deployed to war in 1991. It has thick armor, a 120 mm main gun, armor piercing capabilities, advanced targeting systems, thick tracked wheels and a 1,500-horsepower turbine engine with a top speed of about 42 miles per hour (68 kilometers per hour).

    Crews interviewed in a 1992 Government Accountability Office review after the Persian Gulf War praised its high survivability and said “several M1A1 crews reported receiving direct frontal hits from Iraqi T-72s with minimal damage.”

    More recently,…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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