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Iraqi Armored Brigade Ditches U.S. M1 Abrams For Russian T-90 Tanks
The Drive ^ | JUNE 8, 2018 | JOSEPH TREVITHICK

Posted on 06/10/2018 8:00:47 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

With assistance from Russia, one of Iraq’s armored brigades has swapped out its American-made M1 Abrams tanks for new T-90s. The change comes after the United States complained about M1s ending up in the hands of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias and could be another sign that the Kremlin is looking to lure Iraqi authorities into its sphere of influence.

Iraq’s Ministry of Defense announced the change on its official, Arabic-only website on June 8, 2018. According to a translation of the information by Jane’s 360, the 9th Division’s 35th Brigade took delivery of 39 T-90S tanks. The unit’s remaining Abrams went to the 34th Brigade, another one of the 9th Division’s units, which has operated M1s, as well as older Soviet-era types.

Iraqi officials added that Russian specialists had retrained the 35th Brigade’s officers and crews to operate the new tanks. They did not say whether these individuals were members of Russia’s military, employees of the manufacturer UralVagonZavod (UVZ), or private contractors.

Iraq finalized a contract with UVZ in 2016 for a total of 73 T-90S and SK tanks. The Iraqis began taking the deliveries of the first examples in February 2018.

The T-90S types that Iraq has received are among the most recent iterations of the design, itself an outgrowth of the Soviet-era T-72, and appear to share some features with Russia's newest T-90SM variants. The vehicle remains largely unchanged in terms of its basic configuration and has a modernized version of the 125mm main gun found on the original type.

The new design does have a significantly more powerful engine, giving the vehicle a top speed of nearly 40 miles an hour on roads and a range of approximately 340 miles on a single tank of gas.

ALEKSEY KITAEV VIA WIKIMEDIA

A T-90SM tank, which notably differs from the Iraqi tanks in that it has a remote weapon station on top of the turret, but shares some other features, especially in the configuration of the hull.

The tanks also have a blend of steel and composite armor that offers improved protection over the old T-72, as well as improved fire control systems, night vision optics, and communications equipment. It’s worth noting that Iraq’s past experience with the T-72-series is, at best checkered. Those tanks were notably poor performers during both the first Gulf War in 1991 and the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003, but for various reasons.

The T-90SK is a variant for unit commanders, which differs only from the standard type in that it has additional radios and navigation equipment. We don’t know how many S versus SK types are in Iraq’s total order.

Iraq’s variants of the T-90 also feature additional defense systems. These include a system that can detect laser designators and rangefinders, found on a number of modern anti-tank weapons, and alert the crew, giving them at least a chance to either maneuver behind cover or deploy a defensive smoke screen.

There is also an extensive explosive reactive armor (ERA) suite to defend against anti-tank guided missiles and other infantry anti-armor weapons, such rocket-propelled grenades. They also have slat armor screens around the engine compartment at the rear for additional protection against the latter type of threats.

ERA involves blocks of explosives positioned around the vehicle that explode outward on impact, absorbing the blast of an incoming round before it hits the actual hull of the vehicle. Slat armor either pre-detonates the projectile before it can do significant damage or physically stops it from hitting its target.

Neither of these defenses are designed to stop high-speed kinetic penetrators. And in the case of ERA arrays, each individual explosive block can only defeat one threat before it needs replacement and can potentially pose a hazard to any nearby friendly infantry or innocent bystanders. This can be a significant problem during urban operations where accompanying infantry units are essential to protecting heavy armor from getting flanked or falling victim to sudden ambushes.

But regardless of these improvements over older T-72 tanks, the 48-ton T-90s are simply not in the same class as the 70-ton Abrams. As such, the decision to refit the 35th Brigade with T-90s raises questions about whether Iraq sees the larger, more advanced M1s as being more expensive and complex to operate both practically and politically.

US ARMY

One of the Iraqi 9th Division's M1 Abrams west of the city of Mosul in March 2017.

There is no question that the Abrams is more costly to sustain, but in 2018, they’ve also become the source of a complicated dispute with the U.S. government. Since at least 2015, there had been reports that some of the M1s, as well as other American-supplied vehicles and equipment, had found their way, either by quasi-official transfer or unofficial agreements, into the hands of Iraqi militias, such as Kata'ib Hezbollah – not to be confused with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah – and the Badr Organization.

These Shi’ite Iraqi groups, which receive significant support from Iran, have operated under official sanction as members of the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) since 2014. In 2016, PMUs officially became part of Iraq’s armed forces.

The U.S. government apparently only decided to make clear that it did not approve of the Abrams going to the PMUs sometime after October 2017. At that time, PMUs that had acquired Abrams took part in the Iraqi government’s swift and violent campaign to crush a push for independence in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish Region.

In February 2018, the U.S. military finally acknowledged publicly that the Iranian militias had gotten at least nine M1s, some of which Kurdish forces reportedly immobilized during the fighting in and around the strategic city of Kirkuk. By that time, the Pentagon insisted that the Iraqi Army had already recovered all of the tanks from the PMUs.

“We have discovered incidents where some U.S.-origin equipment, including M1 Abrams tanks, came into the possession of certain PMF groups,” Eric Pahon, a U.S. spokesperson, told Military Times on Feb. 8, 2018, using another term for PMUs. “We continue to stress to the Government of Iraq, as we do to all allies and partners, their obligation to maintain U.S.-origin equipment under the operational control of the designated end-user,” he added, stressing that the United States did not support the Iranian-linked groups.

In a report to Congress it released in May 2018, the Pentagon confirmed all of the M1s were back in the custody of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. In addition, it noted that the U.S. military had begun requiring regular reports about the tanks and their whereabouts and had put unspecified restrictions on maintenance and other support of the vehicles in order to help ensure they didn’t find their way back to the militias.

There is no indication that Russia has put any similar restrictions on who gets the T-90s or how those units employ them. By freeing the 35th Brigade of M1s, the Iraqi government may have effectively made the unit more readily able to pursue its agendas without American interference.

This could be particularly important to the forthcoming Iraqi coalition government, which will almost certainly be led in part by a political bloc with Muqtada Al Sadr at its head. Parties aligned with Sadr’s Alliance Towards Reforms won a plurality of seats in the country’s parliamentary elections in May 2018, but not enough to form a government by themselves.

Sadr, a Shi’ite cleric and long-time Iraqi political figure, led a militia against the American-led occupation of Iraq and continued to be a major power-broker afterward. He has strong ties himself with Iran, but has also sought to develop a more diverse set of allies inside the country and out, including taking a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Even before the election, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi and his administration had maintained close connections with the regime in Tehran and had begun to signal a willingness to seek partners beyond the United States and its allies. It was Abadi’s government that signed the T-90 deal with Russia.

Under Abadi, Iraq has also purchased Mi-28NE Havoc gunship helicopters, Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft, Pantsir-S point air defense systems, and is now looking to buy the increasingly popular S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system. His government has also bought advanced weapons, including light attack jets and armed drones, from China, the Czech Republic, and South Korea, in addition to acquiring more arms from the United States.

Iraqi deals with Russia are only likely to grow if the Kremlin continues to prove more willing than the United States to sell more advanced weapons without significant restrictions to whoever forms the next government in Baghdad. And the Russians will almost certainly be happy to try and present themselves as an alternative to the Americans beyond just military deals at the same time.

As we at The War Zone have noted many times in the past, Russia is eager to expand its influence in the Middle East and has been keen to exploit any potential rifts between the United States and its traditional regional partners. The Kremlin under Russian President Vladimir Putin has made significant efforts to improve and expand ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, already.

During the skirmish between authorities in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government in 2017, Russia joined Iran and Turkey in siding with the former. In April 2018, officials from Iraq and Russia, along with representatives from Iran and Syria, met in Baghdad to discuss regional counter-terrorism efforts.

And as time goes on, and if the immediacy of the threat from ISIS or other terrorist groups continues to recede, Iraq’s various political factions may be more inclined to pursue their agendas in general. These, in turn, may find themselves increasingly at odds with the interests of the United States and further push the two countries apart, presenting more opportunities for Russia or Iran to fill the gap.

Depending on how and where its T-90s end up employed, the 35th Brigade may become one of the more visible indicators of just how much Iraq’s allegiances may or may not be shifting.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: armor; iraq; iraqiarmy; m1; russia; t90; tanks; treadhead; usarmy
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More videos/pix at source
1 posted on 06/10/2018 8:00:47 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I thought ISIS got all of Iraq’s good equipment when Iraq’s army turned tail and ran from them.


2 posted on 06/10/2018 8:07:20 PM PDT by McGruff (There's a new sheriff in town.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

A not so talked about country, but still kinda related:

‘Bulgaria To Replace Soviet MiG Jets With NATO Allies’ Planes’

https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-replace-soviet-mig-29-figher-jets-nato-allies-planes-armoured-vehicles/29281002.html


3 posted on 06/10/2018 8:08:53 PM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: sukhoi-30mki
After all of the US sacrifice in Blood and Treasure, this only proves that the Shi'ite Muslims are unappreciative and unreliable Barbarians.

And thanks to the Obamster, their Iranian mentors are billions of US dollars richer with our M1 Abrams thrown in for good measure.

4 posted on 06/10/2018 8:09:11 PM PDT by wmileo
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Get this Chrystal CLEAR .George bush created a living night mare in Iraq by attacking them for no reason on false pretext. Shiites hate sunnis. Saudi Sunnis are the number one exporter of terrorism by far ( Al qaeda and isis , for example) , We screwed things up and the Christian Russians moved into support the Shiite Iraqis that now rule, Very wise. Now the Iraqis sell oil to the Chines that should have gone to us for our 5000 dead and 40,000 wounded and take those billions and buy Russian tanks, How stupid were we?


5 posted on 06/10/2018 8:10:34 PM PDT by raiderboy (" we’ll close down the country because we need border" DJT NOW !!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Very informative and interesting.

Yeah, the Middle East is turning to China. China has need of a peaceful ME, and- through Russia and Iran- is willing to invest in getting it.


6 posted on 06/10/2018 8:11:53 PM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat/RINO Party!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Not really related, since Eastern Europe have ‘hated’ the Russians since the end of the Warsaw Pact. The only reason why it took Bulgaria this long was its finances; it’s doing something its neighbors started doing a decade ago.


7 posted on 06/10/2018 8:15:41 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I would say they are probably much cheaper to operate than the M1. The current military guys in Iraq are probably used to operating Soviet era tanks anyways. You really need a well trained crew to maximize the M1.


8 posted on 06/10/2018 8:18:24 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: wmileo

“After all of the US sacrifice in Blood and Treasure, this only proves that the Shi’ite Muslims are unappreciative and unreliable Barbarians.”

I’ve said the very SAME thing over the years on FR, even back in 03’. We should have confiscated the damn oil wells and made money for ourselves, and to give the proceeds to the fallen soldiers families. The damn Iraqis then sold the oil wells rights to those “allies” who didnt help us during the Invasion like France etc.


9 posted on 06/10/2018 8:19:36 PM PDT by max americana (Fired libtard employees 9 consecutive times at every election since 08'. I hope all liberals die.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

LOL, the the Russians has stolen the Israeli Merkeva wedge turret design. So at least that proves that the wedge is helpful in deflecting incoming rounds.


10 posted on 06/10/2018 8:29:16 PM PDT by prophetic (Trump is today's DANIEL. Shut the mouth of lions Lord, let his enemies be made the Cat Food instead.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Shifting allegiances or practicality?


11 posted on 06/10/2018 8:40:28 PM PDT by BBell (not drinking, just a smart a$$)
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To: wmileo

The main problem is the Iraqi Army cannot maintain US equipment and Russian gear is designed for uneducated peasants. The Afghan Army did the same thing.


12 posted on 06/10/2018 8:42:11 PM PDT by ClayinVA ("Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it")
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To: raiderboy

Well-stated.


13 posted on 06/10/2018 8:45:43 PM PDT by logi_cal869 (-cynicus-)
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To: wmileo

Almost correct. You have a redundant word in there which actually subtracts from your post.


14 posted on 06/10/2018 8:46:42 PM PDT by MrEdd (Caveat Emptor)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Who cares? I don't want the US giving anything to Iraq. Let them pay cash.

Iraq is a backwards shiite hole whose best soldiers throw down their weapons and run away at the first sign of trouble.
 

15 posted on 06/10/2018 8:58:48 PM PDT by Governor Dinwiddie (MAGA in the mornin', MAGA in the evenin', MAGA at suppertime . . .)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The new Soviet tank looks more vulnerable to anti-tank missiles that are aimed between the tank body and the turret, and I don’t just mean the RGPs.

My son’s opinion of the 2003 Soviet T-72 tank was, a pile of aluminum junk. He was attached to the 3rd ID and saw what was left of the Iraqi Republican Guards after we wiped them at out Objective Peach, Hindaya, Eastern Bank of the Euphrates on April 3-4, 2003.

He could have made a fortune by opening up “Josh’s Scrap and Junkyard” near that city. Unfortunately he was rather busy killing enemy terrorists and snipers. I guess someone else got the metal.


16 posted on 06/10/2018 9:28:16 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: McGruff; SJackson; SunkenCiv
These Shi’ite Iraqi groups, which receive significant support from Iran, have operated under official sanction as members of the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) since 2014. In 2016, PMUs officially became part of Iraq’s armed forces.

The U.S. government apparently only decided to make clear that it did not approve of the Abrams going to the PMUs sometime after October 2017. At that time, PMUs that had acquired Abrams took part in the Iraqi government’s swift and violent campaign to crush a push for independence in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish Region.

Gosh. What else changed between mid-year 2016 and 2017, when the US government began dooing something about the loss of US hi-tech weapons to ISIS-HAMAS-Hezzbollah?

17 posted on 06/10/2018 9:35:19 PM PDT by Robert A Cook PE (The democrats' national goal: One world social-communism under one world religion: Atheistic Islam.)
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To: raiderboy

Saddam was in violation of the cease fire agreement which ended the first Gulf War. Had been for years. Feckless Bill Clinton kicked the can down the road for eight years.


18 posted on 06/10/2018 9:41:02 PM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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To: raiderboy

Iran’s shill crawls out of his dinner of fecal matter. Are you getting paid from the billions Obama paid them>

Shiites AND Sunnis are our enemies. We deal with them only as needed.

We should have nuked all muslim capitals in the Gulf and Mideast & SE Asia on 9/12 and spent these last years hunting down their agent.

And the war with Iraq WAS justified, we should have dealt with them like we did with Germany: FLATTEN THEIR CITIES, close ALL MOSQUES, de-jihaidify and TAKE THEIR OIL TO PAY FOR IT.


19 posted on 06/10/2018 10:11:36 PM PDT by BTerclinger (MAGA)
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To: raiderboy

“in Iraq by attacking them for no reason on false pretext.”

Either you’re one of those ron paul retards, or you’re a commie from DUmmieland.

But whatever you are, let me break it down for you...

Waaaay back in August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The UN Security Council (UNSC) issued 11 resolutions calling for Iraq to leave Kuwait to which Iraq ignored them. Then on 29 November 1990 the UNSC issued a 12th and final resolution (UNSCR 678) that stated among the following:

“gave Iraq until 15 January 1991 to withdraw from Kuwait and empowered states to use “all necessary means” to force Iraq out of Kuwait after the deadline. The Resolution requested Member States to keep the Council informed on their decisions. This was the legal authorisation for the Gulf War, as Iraq did not withdraw by the deadline.”

Gulf War: 17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, adopted on 3 April 1991 set the terms, with which Iraq was to comply after losing the Gulf War. In other words this is known as a CEASE FIRE AGREEMENT that Iraq accepted (signed) the terms of the agreement on 6 April 1991.

For the next 12 years Iraq played cat and mouse with the weapons inspectors, fired on coalition forces and in general ignored all of the provisions of the cease fire agreement that they signed.

During those 12 years the coalition would conduct pin prick strikes that didn’t do anything.

Before those 12 years were up, 9/11 happened and that changed EVERYTHING, and upon further review Iraq not only was violating the cease fire agreement, but they were supporting terrorist groups.

Resolution 1441 stated that Iraq was in material breach of Res 687 paving the way for the resumption of armed conflict per Res 678.

Now, all member nations of the security council have their own intelligence agencies. Those members who voted to authorize 1441, their agencies corroborated the intel we had on Iraq. And thanks to your fellow democrats, Iraq had plenty of time to ship out/hide/destroy the most egregious parts of their weapons program. Iraq had tons of yellow cake uranium that they were not allowed to have. Our troops also found thousands of gallons of industrial grade insecticide stored at military bases. Now you may think insecticide is no big deal but the fact is that chemically there isn’t much difference between an insecticide and a military grade nerve agent except for mix ratios and one or two added chemicals to boost the toxicity to humans.

Read this: https://mobile.nytimes.com/1984/03/30/world/nerve-gases-and-pesticides-links-are-close.html

And this:
https://www.opcw.org/about-chemical-weapons/what-is-a-chemical-weapon/

And this:
https://www.opcw.org/about-chemical-weapons/types-of-chemical-agent/nerve-agents/

And this:
http://hir.harvard.edu/article/?a=1417

Any questions?

Have a nice day


20 posted on 06/10/2018 10:26:21 PM PDT by 2CAVTrooper (Democrats... BETRAYING America since 1828.)
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