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Ukraine-Russia war live: 100-mile US glide bombs fail in Ukraine



Modern battle tanks are weapons of shock and awe. They are best used manoeuvring around the battlefield at speeds of up to 50mph and delivering devastatingly accurate strikes with their 120mm cannons.

But in Ukraine they have been deployed on the frontline more as mobile pillboxes or as 60-ton sniper rifles.

This is why it should come as no real surprise that Ukrainian tank crews are pulling their American-made Abrams from frontline action.

Five of the 31 donated to Kyiv by Washington have been damaged, largely by Russian drones that hover over the battlefield seeking prized targets to strike. There is no greater prize for Moscow than an American, British or German-made tank.

These Nato-standard tanks are no more susceptible to drones than their Soviet-era counterparts. The Western models in fact offer better all-round protection. However, they were designed in an era when drone warfare, especially first-person view systems that are used to dive-bomb RPG munitions into targets.

It is therefore likely that Ukraine has opted to withdraw what is remaining of its fleet of Abrams to first modify them with drone protective cages and armour, just as the Russians have been doing, and secondly waiting for more ideal conditions for the tanks to be used.

Heavy, Western tanks operate much better hunting in a pack, supported with artillery and aerial fire, something in short supply for the Ukrainians. With the US package of aid promising more 155mm shells and the introduction of F-16 fighter jets incoming, the Abrams might just be offered better conditions to be used in genuine combined arms warfare to punch through Russian lines. 

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