80 M1's destroyed in Iraq




 
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April 2nd, 2005  
Snauhi
 

Topic: 80 M1's destroyed in Iraq


http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...OE=click-refer


WASHINGTON The U.S. military's Abrams tank, designed during the Cold War to withstand the fiercest blows from the best Soviet tanks, is getting knocked out at surprising rates by the low-tech bombs and rocket-propelled grenades of Iraqi insurgents.
the all-out battles of the 1991 Gulf War, only 18 Abrams tanks were lost and no soldiers in them killed. But since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, with tanks in daily combat against the unexpectedly fierce insurgency, the Army says 80 of the 69-ton behemoths have been damaged so badly they had to be shipped back to the United States.
At least five soldiers have been killed inside the tanks when they hit roadside bombs, according to figures from the Army's Armor Center at Fort Knox, Ky. At least 10 more have died while riding partially exposed from open hatches.
The casualties are the lowest in any Army vehicles, despite how often the Abrams is targeted about 70% of the more than 1,100 tanks used in Iraq have been struck by enemy fire, mostly with minor damage.

The Army will not discuss details of how tanks have been damaged by insurgents, lest that give tips to the enemy. "We have been very cautious about giving out information," says Jan Finegan, spokeswoman for Army Materiel Command.

Commanders say the damage is not surprising because the Abrams is used so heavily, and insurgents are determined to destroy it.

"It's a thinking enemy, and they know weak points on the tank, where to hit us," says Col. Russ Gold, who commanded an armored brigade in Iraq and now is chief of staff at the Armor Center.

Because it was designed to fight other tanks, the Abrams' heavy armor is up front. In Iraq's cities, however, insurgents sneak up from behind, fire from rooftops above and set off mines below.

A favorite tactic: detonating a roadside bomb in hopes of blowing the tread off the tank. The insurgents follow with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and gunfire aimed at the less-armored areas, especially the vulnerable rear engine compartment.

It's "a dirty, close fight," says an article in Armor, the Army's official magazine of tank warfare, by a group of officers led by Maj. Gen. Peter Chiarelli of the 1st Cavalry Division.

"Be wary of eliminating or reducing ... heavy armor" as the Army modernizes, the officers warn, arguing it is crucial against insurgents' "crude but effective weapons."

The Army says most of the "lost" tank hulls can be rebuilt and returned to battle someday. Meanwhile, the Army is upgrading the Abrams, including better protection for the tank's engine compartment.



Discuss
April 2nd, 2005  
LIBERTY
 
 
I dont see how a third world country could take out that many M1s but I guess there is a possiblity.
April 2nd, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
A MBT is not primarily designed for urban, low-tech, warfare, with the possible exception of the Merkava series. So whilst I am surprised at the high total I'm not surprised they are being knocked out if they are being targeted from below and the rear.

The Leopard 2 A6 incorporates mine protection to help protect against roadside attacks - is there any equivalent or one being planned for the M1?
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April 2nd, 2005  
WarMachine
 
 
If there's no other improvements being made to the abrams, it should be an anti mine set up. What i'm wondering is how the insurgents are getting these weapons to damage them, didn't we find most of the weapons stockpiles when we first invaded?
April 2nd, 2005  
Shadowalker
 
 
Most weapons are probably improvised, with explosives from stolen iraqi stocks, unexploded ordanance, bought on the black market, smuggled from iran, syria along the routes the insurgents are getting in.
April 2nd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Quote:
the Army says 80 of the 69-ton behemoths have been damaged so badly they had to be shipped back to the United States.
Quote:
The casualties are the lowest in any Army vehicles, despite how often the Abrams is targeted about 70% of the more than 1,100 tanks used in Iraq have been struck by enemy fire, mostly with minor damage.
Quote:
The Army says most of the "lost" tank hulls can be rebuilt and returned to battle someday.
That doesn't say "destroyed".
April 2nd, 2005  
r031Button
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarMachine
If there's no other improvements being made to the abrams, it should be an anti mine set up. What i'm wondering is how the insurgents are getting these weapons to damage them, didn't we find most of the weapons stockpiles when we first invaded?
You have to think tough, the entire Iraqi Army was demobolized; that's alot of weapons to have floating around a country. Also, Saddam probly had set up hidden cache's for his para military forces.
April 3rd, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
In Iraq, weapons are about as previlent as bread. Insurgents have had no problems in arming themselves. In fact it was part of Saddam's battle plan to stash weapons in open areas prior to the the invasion to arm his populace... his game plan was to enable exactly what is going on.

As for the M1, I agree with Charge_7 that you notice it doesn't say "destroyed" not a single M1 was destroyed from enemy fire in the first gulf war although 16 where damadged. So I'd say that especially considering the disparity in what the M1 was designed for and how it is currently being used, it is performing extremely admirably.

Besides, we're talking 80 damaged tanks over 2 years... that's a pretty damned low rate I'd say.
April 3rd, 2005  
FO Seaman
 
 
I'm agreeing with Charge_7 and Whispering Death, the M1 was made so that it could be only damaged and not totally destroyed, it takes 10 155mm rounds to have the turret destroyed. And from the comparison between the tank battles of 91' and the CQB-Unconventional combat today, the media doesn't gather infomation or research very well.

Besides like Death said 80's a small number for two years.



Quote:
If there's no other improvements being made to the abrams, it should be an anti mine set up. What i'm wondering is how the insurgents are getting these weapons to damage them, didn't we find most of the weapons stockpiles when we first invaded?
Not insulting Warmachine but how are they going to anti-mine a tank? They can't put more armor on an A2 SEP, its weight would be to much, the A2 weighs a ton more then the A1 and it has an RPG net for the rear weighing two tons, so if you put on three more tons of armor to the bottom for anti-mine use you would putting more stress on the engine and have to refurbish the tank. But I'm guessing 2% of the M1's damaged where by mines. RPG can't penatrate or barly graze the armor on the chassis or turret they mostly ricochet, but the turbine is what gets hit.
April 3rd, 2005  
SHERMAN
 
 
when did the soviets fight in iraq?