MWM: Why won't Germany, US send Leopard 2, Abrams tanks to Ukraine?
Five reasons might explain why the supply of German Leopard II and American M1 Abrams to Ukraine is restricted, among them includes their easy capture due to their frontline roles.
An article published by Military Watch Magazine on September 30 details some of the reasons why it is improbable that the US and Germany would deliver Leopard II or Abrams Tanks to Ukraine.
It was reported yesterday that the White House might sign an order that would provide Ukraine with the most up-to-date Abrams and Leopard tanks.
During a press briefing on Friday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters "I'm not ruling anything out. I will say, I don't have any announcement on US tanks today, and in terms of German tanks, I will refer you to the Germans who are in their own consultations with Ukrainians"
The article published by Military Watch Magazine on September 30 details five reasons explaining why it is unlikely that Ukraine may be armored with Leopard II or Abrams Tanks to Ukraine.
1 - Fear of it falling into Russian hands
The first reason is that NATO and its allies rely heavily on these tanks wherein tanks are among the "easier pieces of equipment to capture due to their frontline roles, as opposed to artillery or aircraft which can still contribute to operations when based far behind friendly lines."
If the tanks fell into the hands of Russian forces, the latter would immensely benefit from studying the technology invested in the production of these tanks.
So it is better to avoid that risk, the article states, just as Russia compromised its most valuable tanks through capture.
Yet Ukraine's outdated tanks remain of little value to Russia in terms of intelligence.
2 - Aleppo scenario was 'shocking'
The second reason, as stated by the article, is that the effectiveness of these tanks is still being questioned because of prior performances that saw both the Abrams and Leopard II suffer heavy losses against non-state actors, such as the Turkish Leopard IIs and Iraqi Abrams tanks both having taken heavy losses to Islamic State and other militia groups.
The Turkish tanks were heavily criticized by media reports across the world, some going as far as saying that they were “not so good armor after all," as described by the National Interest.
3 - Material cost
The third reason highlighted in the article is that they are too expensive, with some older variants of the M1 and Leopard II being far more expensive than the soviet made vehicles already provided to Ukraine.
The US-made Abrams for instance uses maintenance-heavy and fuel-hungry turbine engines.
4 - Non-compatibility
Fourth, the tanks are not as compatible with Ukraine’s existing weapon backlogs as the integration of new calibers of ammunition would generate serious issues.
5 - Worse mobility and logistics
Finally, the fifth reason is that the heavy weight of these tanks does not allow for move easily across bridges or brittle roads.
"Although Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, and Greece all use the Leopard II, none have filed for permission from Germany to supply them to Ukraine nor have Abrams operators shown any greater inclination to supply modern armor," the article mentions.
The article added that the use of older Leopard I and M60 from the early 1960s by Ukrainian forces wouldn't amount to any real losses as the capabilities of these armors is already very limited.
"Although Kiev is expected to continue to request deliveries of modern Western armor, this remains unlikely to materialize for the foreseeable future and potentially long after the war is over should the possibility of a resumption of hostilities with Russia remain," the article concluded.