How the 2K25 Krasnopol shell redefines Abrams myth with one shot

Each passing day brings the Ukrainian army closer to potential losses that could surpass those of the German Leopard as they continue to deploy American-provided Abrams tanks. First seen on Ukrainian soil in early February after their delivery in late 2023, these tanks were rapidly deployed by late February. Regrettably, within a week or two, the Ukrainians had already lost as many as five of these tanks. 

How the 2K25 Krasnopol shell redefines Abrams myth with one shot
Photo credit: MWM

News of a sixth loss came to light just a few days ago. This unfortunate event underscores the statements by BulgarianMilitary.com regarding the Abrams tank since the announcement of their delivery to Ukraine. Their observations draw attention to the serious deficiencies in the armor and capabilities of these American tanks on Ukrainian soil. 

Recent drone footage confirms another loss for the Ukrainian Army – one more M1A1 Abrams tank has fallen in combat with Russian forces. Significantly, the vehicle was abandoned by its crew shortly after it was struck.

Russia boosts 152mm Krasnopol artillery shell output 20-fold
Photo credit: Zvezda

The tank was neutralized with just a single shot from a 2K25 Krasnopol precision-guided artillery round. Launched from Russian 152mm cannons, these rounds utilize fin stabilization and base bleed assistance, along with semi-automatic laser guidance, facilitating high precision. 

The 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled guns deploy the artillery rounds developed since the 1980s for strategic confrontations with targets such as adversary artillery guns and tanks. From their debut on the battlefield in 1986, their combat capabilities have seen substantial enhancements. 

In the theater of warfare, Russian resources have proven successful in neutralizing Abrams tanks. Previous footage released on March 6 during a frenetic phase of warfare highlighted a T-72B3, a highly modernized Soviet tank equipped with an advanced 2A46M-5 125mm smoothbore gun and innovative types of ammunition and fire control systems, dismantling one of the aforementioned tanks.

How the 2K25 Krasnopol shell redefines Abrams myth with one shot
Photo credit: MWM

Facing the escalating threat of Russian strikes, the Ukrainian Army felt compelled to withdraw its Abrams tanks from frontline positions in late April. A U.S. military personnel member, as reported by the AP news agency, noted that this strategic shift was in response to significant enhancements in Russian targeting capabilities that eliminated the possibility of “just driv[ing] across…open ground” without triggering detection. Another anonymous source corroborated these claims, stating that “Russian drone warfare has made it too difficult” for the Abrams tanks to maintain operations without being spotted or assaulted. 

Elaborating on the Ukrainian Army’s decision, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Christopher Grady, told AP, “Given the way the conflict has transformed, heavily armored deployments can be vulnerable in a domain where unmanned aerial systems are commonplace.” 

In a somewhat surprising sequence of events, Ukraine’s 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade challenged the validity of an Associated Press [AP] article suggesting a pullback of U.S.-provided Abrams tanks from the combat zone. “Our tanks have been performing remarkably in battle, and there’s no backing down from what keeps our adversaries on their toes. It’s unthinkable to rob our infantry of the robust firepower they currently wield,” the unit operating the U.S. tanks communicated via Telegram.

Russia boosts the 152mm Krasnopol shell to engage moving targets - Msta howitzer
Photo credit: Russian MoD

Despite an uptick in losses of the Abrams tanks, the Ukrainian military has remained tight-lipped about the situation. To maintain its standing, the army seldom openly discloses its losses. 

Drone footage first confirmed the deployment of Abrams tanks for combat on February 23. This was followed three days later by the official confirmation of tank destruction. Given the considerable losses, it’s also been confirmed that Russian forces have seized an Abrams tank and an M1150 ABV Assault Breacher Vehicle, which is designed based on the Abrams chassis.  

The M1A1 Abrams tank is a main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and commander of U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War. The tank has a length of 32.04 feet, a width of 12 feet, and a height of 8 feet. Its combat weight is approximately 63 tons, making it one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service. 

US M1A1 Abrams might get 'hunter-kill' anti-helicopter sensors
Photo: Wikipedia

The M1A1 is equipped with a sophisticated fire control system. The system includes a laser rangefinder, a thermal imaging night vision system, and a ballistic computer. This allows the tank to target and engage enemies accurately in various conditions, including at night and in poor visibility. 

The Abrams tank is equipped with a variety of equipment to enhance its combat effectiveness. This includes a nuclear, biological, and chemical [NBC] protection system, a battlefield management system for communication and coordination, and a powerful 1,500-horsepower gas turbine engine that allows it to reach speeds of up to 45 mph.

The main gun of the M1A1 Abrams is a smoothbore 120mm M256 cannon, capable of firing a variety of ammunition types. The tank typically carries a blend of APFSDS [Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot] rounds for engaging armored targets, and HEAT [High Explosive Anti-Tank] rounds for confronting a range of other targets. 

M1A1 Abrams tank was spotted near Kupiansk front contact line
Photo credit: Telegram

The M1A1 also features secondary armament, including a .50 caliber M2 machine gun and two 7.62mm M240 machine guns. The tank’s ammunition storage is designed with blow-out panels to safeguard the crew in the event of a hit that triggers the ignition of the stored rounds.

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