Russia ‘Knocks Out’ 4th US-Supplied Abrams MBT In Ukraine War; Bahrain To Buy 51 Latest Variant Tanks

Russian troops have reported the destruction of a fourth US-made Abrams tank belonging to the Ukrainian army in the ongoing conflict. The tank was destroyed near Avdiivka, according to a statement released by Russia’s Defense Ministry on March 20.

The operation, which took place in the settlement of Berdychi, involved reconnaissance teams detecting the movement of enemy-tracked equipment. 

Following the identification of the target, a strike was delivered, immobilizing the combat vehicle. Subsequently, a second strike from FPV drones destroyed the American tank, a vehicle which, according to the ministry, Ukrainian troops had placed great hopes upon.

Speaking about the incident, a senior scout operator using the call sign Sokol expressed surprise at the discovery of the American tank, citing poor visibility initially hindering identification. 

“When the weather normalized, our fellow servicemen from aerial reconnaissance were able to distinguish an Abrams from a Leopard and were surprised that this was the much-touted American tank,” Sokol stated.  

“Initially, I also did not expect it to be an American tank. And it made such a sensation inside me that American tanks could be torched even easier than other tanks. This gave me further motivation in my fighting,” he added. 

Echoing similar sentiments, another scout identified as Izai remarked on the underwhelming performance of the American tank in comparison to Russia’s armor.

“There is nothing unusual in this tank in the way it is praised by the West and Ukraine,” Izai asserted. “After sitting inside it, I can say that it is worse than our armor, in particular, the T-90 tank. It left a poor impression, and I expected something more.”  

“We excellently accomplished the objective assigned by our commander. Our military command is glad that we returned safe and sound. We will keep working for the benefit of our country,” he stressed. 

The Defense Ministry has also published compelling footage showcasing the achievement of Russian special forces in accessing an incapacitated Abrams tank located in the village of Berdychi. 

This footage, captured from within the tank itself, serves as a crucial component of the mission assigned to Battlegroup Tsentr troops. The mission aimed to thoroughly examine the damaged Abrams and gather technical samples for thorough analysis by the high command.

Getting to the disabled tank posed significant challenges due to its location near Berdychi, which is close to Ukrainian Armed Forces positions, and the constant presence of kamikaze drones circling overhead. Despite these obstacles, the troops successfully reached the vehicle, the ministry noted. 

Abrams For Bahrain

The United States supplied 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which arrived in the fall of 2023. While considered a welcome addition to Ukraine’s inventory, the relatively small number of tanks did not significantly alter the dynamics of the conflict in Kyiv’s favor, according to experts.

Nevertheless, despite their limited impact thus far, the appeal and significance of these tanks remain undiminished. Recently, on March 19, the US State Department sanctioned the potential sale of 50 M1 Abrams battle tanks and associated equipment to Bahrain, a key ally in the Middle East.  

This transaction, valued at approximately $2.2 billion, includes General Dynamics M1A2 SEPv3 variants, combat recovery vehicles, assault bridges, machine guns, and other military assets. 

Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and a close partner of the US had formally requested these resources to bolster its defense capabilities and enhance its ability to engage in regional operations alongside the US and other allied nations. 

Bahrain, situated in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia’s eastern coastline, has publicly supported the United States in defensive naval operations, notably Operation Prosperity Guardian, aimed at safeguarding against Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. 

Abrams tanks
File Image: Abrams Tank

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced this operation while visiting Bahrain, underscoring the nation’s role as a key US ally in the region. 

The M1A2 SEPv3 is the most advanced Abrams iteration currently in service. Although plans were initially in place for a modest upgrade to the SEPv4 variant, the US Army opted for a more ambitious approach to developing the next-generation Abrams, scrapping the previous plan in September last year.

The details of Foreign Military Sales, including equipment quantities and costs, may evolve during negotiations, and the approval of such deals could be subject to legislative scrutiny.