M1 Abrams tank vs Leopard 2 and Challenger 2: What are the differences?


The USA, Germany and extra Western allies are poised to affix Britain in sending heavy tanks to Ukraine in a transfer that might show a gamechanger in Kyiv’s struggle effort.

Washington is predicted to ship 30 of its fast-moving M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, whereas Berlin will initially provide at the very least 15 Leopard 2 tanks and provides permission to different NATO international locations – together with Poland, Finland and Denmark – to ship their very own to Ukraine.

Britain was the primary NATO nation to announce it might ship 14 next-generation battle tanks to Ukraine within the type of the Challenger 2 tanks.

And French President Emmanuel Macron stated on Sunday that he requested his defence minister to ‘work on’ the thought of sending a few of France’s Leclerc battle tanks to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been struggling to achieve a bonus after battlefield successes as they’ve the identical Soviet-era T-72 tanks that Russia has – which means a supply of Western tanks may very well be a gamechanger for Kyiv after 11 months at struggle.

Kyiv has pleaded for months for Western tanks that it says it wants to provide its forces the firepower and mobility to interrupt via Russian defensive traces and recapture territory. 

Right here MailOnline seems to be at how the West’s tanks measure up towards Russia’s and what this would possibly imply for Ukraine’s struggle effort.

LEOPARD 2 

Germany’s 55-ton Leopard 2 tank combines points of firepower, safety, pace and maneuverability – making it adaptable to many varieties of fight conditions.

The tank’s producer, Krauss-Massei Wegmann, has touted it as ‘the world’s main battle tank’ with a 120mm easy bore gun and a fully-digital fire-control system.

The £5million tank has a crew of 4 and a spread of 342 miles in addition to high speeds of about 45 miles per hour (68km/h). Now with 4 major variants, its earliest model first got here into service in 1979.

Germany's 55-ton Leopard 2 tank combines aspects of firepower, protection, speed and maneuverability - making it adaptable to many types of combat situations

Germany’s 55-ton Leopard 2 tank combines points of firepower, safety, pace and maneuverability – making it adaptable to many varieties of fight conditions

The Leopard 2 can be diesel-powered – not pushed by jet gas that powers America’s M1 Abrams – and is less complicated to function than the large US tanks, and thus has has shorter coaching occasions, army analysts say. 

Rheinmetall AG, a German protection contractor that makes the 120mm smoothbore gun on the Leopard 2, says the tank has been deployed by ‘extra nations than another’, with 3,500 items being provided to 19 international locations. Greater than 2,000 of these have been despatched to over a dozen European international locations and Canada.

It’s this sheer variety of Leopard tanks that has meant they’re seen as the best choice for Ukraine – as they’d be simply deployable to Ukraine.

The Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research estimates that three to 6 weeks of coaching could be wanted for working crews and assist workers to achieve primary proficiency.

Ralf Raths, director of the Panzer Museum in Munster, Germany, stated skilled Ukrainian tank crews would possible be capable of study to make use of the Leopard 2 pretty rapidly, and coaching may very well be shortened to deal with important information.

Western deliveries of Leopard 2s might assist equip Ukraine with wanted high-caliber munitions to switch its personal dwindling Soviet-era stockpiles, opening a brand new avenue for provides of Western firepower to get to Ukraine, Yohann Michel, a analysis analyst on the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research, stated. 

M1A2 ABRAMS

The US is predicted to ship its M1A2 Abrams tank to Ukraine within the coming weeks to assist with their war-effort. 

The £5million tank is provided with a 120mm easy bore cannon which is loaded manually by one of many 4 crew members and has a spread of efficient hearth in extra of two.5 miles (4km). 

The 26-ft lengthy tank additionally has a goal acquisition system with hunter-killer functionality in addition to two 7.62 machine weapons and one other 12.7mm machine gun.

The US is expected to send its M1A2 Abrams tank to Ukraine in the coming weeks to help with their war-effort

The US is predicted to ship its M1A2 Abrams tank to Ukraine within the coming weeks to assist with their war-effort

The tank can be well-protected towards all-known anti-tank weapons because it has Chobham composite armour, which is made up of metal and uranium. 

The 71-ton Abrams tank, which was first produced in 1990, additionally has a spread of 265 miles in addition to a high pace of about 42mph. Its additionally options caterpillar tracks which helps it carry out effectively because it strikes throughout nation.  

However the tank, which is powered by jet gas, is taken into account much less appropriate than the Germany’s Leopard 2 and the UK’s Challenger 2 tanks because of its excessive gas consumption and upkeep wants. 

Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s high coverage adviser, stated final week the Abrams tank is a ‘very sophisticated piece of kit’. He added that it is costly and exhausting to coach on.’ 

CHALLENGER 2

Britain introduced it might deploy 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine within the coming weeks and practice Ukrainian troops to make use of them.

The £5million Challenger 2, with a 120mm rifled gun and a 7.62mm machine gun, is a battle tank designed to assault different tanks. 

It’s the UK’s solely assured 24-hour, all-weather cellular tank with protected precision direct hearth and anti-tank manoeuvre functionality, the British military says.

Britain announced it would deploy 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine in the coming weeks and train Ukrainian troops to use them

Britain introduced it might deploy 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine within the coming weeks and practice Ukrainian troops to make use of them

An earlier model of the tank claimed the longest-distance tank kill in historical past, with the struggle machine destroying an Iraqi tank from three miles away throughout the Gull Warfare.

The 27ft-long Challenger 2 has a crew of 4 and a spread of 340 miles on-road and 160 miles off street in addition to high speeds of about 37mph (59km), which means it’s barely slower than Germany’s Leopard tank.

The 75-ton Challenger 2 has been described by British army commanders as a contemporary tank which is ‘significantly better protected, extra dependable and faster’ than Russia’s Soviet-era tanks. 

The diesel-powered tank, which weighs 62.5 tonnes, has been in service with the British Military since 1994 and has been deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq.

LECLERC 

France’s £14 million Leclerc major battle tank contains a 120mm smoothbore tank gun, which is 52 calibre lengthy, in addition to 12.7mm and seven.62mm machine weapons.

The fearsome 63-ton tank is claimed to have the ability to interact six targets, positioned round 2km away, inside one minutes with a success chance of 95 per cent, in keeping with Army At the moment. 

A French Leclerc tank of the 501th Tank Regiment based in Mourmelon-le-Grand, takes part in a drill on a shooting field in Suippes, north-eastern France, on December 6, 2018

A French Leclerc tank of the 501th Tank Regiment primarily based in Mourmelon-le-Grand, takes half in a drill on a taking pictures area in Suippes, north-eastern France, on December 6, 2018

The 32-ft lengthy Leclerc tank, which was first produced in 1990, is operated by three personnel: a tank commander, gunner and pilot.

It options superior safety towards mines and rockets with a modular armour system, which may be tailor-made to the menace. 

The armour is made up of a mix of metal, ceramics and Kevlar.

The tank, powered by an 8-cylinder diesel engine, has a most pace of 44mph and a spread of 342 miles. 

The tank can be fitted with a battlefield administration system, which permits commanders to know the tank’s location and the quantity of ammunition and gas they’ve left. 

SOVIET-ERA T-72 

Russia, in addition to Ukraine, have relied totally on Soviet-era T-72 tanks, which have been destroyed of their tons of in 11 months of combating.

The 45-ton tank, which has a spread of 290 miles, is provided with a 125mm easy bore gun in addition to a 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm machine gun that are mounted on high of the roof. 

The T-72, which was produced in 1973 and has three crew, is much less agile than the Leopard 2 and different related Western tanks as it may possibly’t reverse at pace.

Russia, as well as Ukraine, have relied primarily on Soviet-era T-72 tanks (pictured), which have been destroyed in their hundreds in 11 months of fighting

Russia, in addition to Ukraine, have relied totally on Soviet-era T-72 tanks (pictured), which have been destroyed of their tons of in 11 months of combating

Ralf Raths, director of the Panzer Museum in Munster, Germany, stated: ‘Think about a boxer who can’t transfer freely within the ring, however solely in a single course. 

‘The opposite boxer, who can transfer in all instructions, has a giant benefit and that it’s the case with the Leopards.’

The T-72 is by far the most typical battle tank Russia has in operation in Ukraine however Moscow does have extra superior tanks in existence.

Russia has deployed round 1,000 of its superior T-90 tank in Ukraine, in comparison with round 5,000 T-72s. 

The £4million The T-90 is meant to be among the best tanks on the earth, and has upgraded armour and missile safety methods in comparison with the T-72 which make it more durable to destroy – at the very least in concept. 

Pictured: A Ukrainian serviceman walks next to a destroyed Russian main battle tank T-90M Proryv, in Staryi Saltiv in the Kharkiv region on May 9

Pictured: A Ukrainian serviceman walks subsequent to a destroyed Russian major battle tank T-90M Proryv, in Staryi Saltiv within the Kharkiv area on Could 9 

Since Russia invaded, numerous T-90M Russian tank have been destroyed by rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank guided missiles. 

Russia might deploy its most superior tank – the T-14 Armata – to Ukraine however that is more likely to be a high-risk choice for Vladimir Putin, British intelligence chiefs stated in a briefing final week.

The tank has been in growth for 11 years and the programme has been dogged with delays, discount in deliberate fleet measurement and stories of producing issues, Britain’s Ministry of Defence stated.

The T-14 would additionally pose a logistical headache for Russia as it’s bigger and heavier than different Russian tanks.

The MoD stated even when Russia does deploy the tank, it should ‘primarily for propaganda functions’ as commanders are ‘unlikely to belief the automobile in fight’. 

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