Ukraine Loses First United States Supplied M1A1 Abrams Tank

Drone footage has captured the first alleged loss out of thirty-one American-made M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks that were sent to Ukraine earlier today.

The Abrams was near Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, a site that has recently seen several successful Russian advances.

Exact details regarding the cause of the destruction, such as the munition used or if the crew survived, are not confirmed at this time. According to Russian sources, the tank suffered a hit topside from a Russian Lancet loitering munition. However, clues in the fire and smoke seen in the photo can tell us more.

Photograph from a Russian drone showing an aerial view of the burnt shell of the Abrams.

There is a possibility of the ammo inside being cooked off given that the blowout panels were deployed, which could suggest the crew survived. Blowout panels are devices placed into many modern-day vehicles such as tanks and aircraft to vent the fire from an ammo explosion away from the cockpit where the crew are. It’s also apparent that the hatches on top of the tank are open, further lending credibility to possible crew survival. The fire on the rear of the tank is also likely to be a fuel leak.

While it is impossible to tell without taking a closer look at the wreckage, most analysts suggest the tank is not salvageable for repair.