When a $770 drone can shoot down a $15 million tank, it puts the future of war in doubt

Cairo: Hani Kamal El-Din


The drone combat in Ukraine that is transforming modern warfare has begun to take a deadly toll on one of the most powerful symbols of American military power – the tank – and threatens to rewrite how it will be used in future conflicts.

Over the past two months, Russian forces have destroyed five of the 31 U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks that the Pentagon sent to Ukraine late last year, a senior U.S. official said. At least three others have suffered moderate damage since the tanks were sent to the front earlier this year, said Col. Markus Reisner, an Austrian military trainer who closely follows how weapons are used (and lost) in the war in Ukraine.

A destroyed Russian tank near the village of Sulyhivka, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine.Credit: The New York Times

They are a small part of the 796 Ukrainian main battle tanks that have been destroyed, captured or abandoned since the war began in February 2022, according to Oryx, a military analysis site that counts losses based on visual evidence. The vast majority of them are tanks of Soviet, Russian or Ukrainian manufacture; only about 140 of those eliminated in battle were handed over to Ukraine by NATO states.

Russia has so far lost more than 2,900 tanks, Oryx data shows, although Ukraine claims the figure is more than 7,000.

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  • Source of information and images “brisbanetimes

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