Russia revealed Ukraine's first Abrams tank destroyer weapon
The Piranha drone frame has not yet been fitted with propellers and explosives. Photo: Ulyanovsk Express

Piranha Design Institute revealed that their suicide drone was used in the raid and fire on Ukraine’s first Abrams main tank near Avdeevka.

“I received information from the battalion that destroyed the Abrams. They said that our first-person view (FPV) drones helped shoot down the target,” said a representative of the Piranha Design Institute in the city of Ulyanovsk. Russia said on February 28 but did not disclose further information.

Piranha Design Institute has developed two FPV drone models, including Piranha-7 and Piranha-10, with a flight range of 15 km, can carry a maximum load of 4.5 kg and can install a thermal imaging probe. This line of drones has attacked many targets in Ukraine, such as tanks, armored vehicles and fortification systems.

“Piranha operates on its own frequency; no other drone receives and transmits video signals at this frequency. During testing with electronic warfare systems, it was the only type of drone not jammed,” The design institute representative added.

Russia’s RusVesna page on the same day published a video recorded by a drone (UAV), showing the moment an Abrams main battle tank was destroyed on a road near the village of Berdychi in the northwest of the city of Avdeevka in Donetsk province.

“Soldiers of the Central Military Region followed and used a cheap suicide drone to hit a multi-million dollar tank,” this news site said.

In the video, the Abrams stands motionless on the road; it is unclear whether the crew is aiming at the target or the vehicle has a problem. A large explosion erupted behind the turret and created a column of smoke before the shells in the compartment ignited and sparked a fierce fire.

The Russian Ministry of Defense and the Ukrainian army have not commented on this video.

Russian reporter Vladimir Soloviev announced on February 26 that soldiers of the 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade used an FPV drone to attack an Abrams tank before launching a shell from an RPG anti-tank gun to finish it off. Close-up photos from the Russian UAV show that the Abrams’ artillery compartment has been detonated, and some fires have not been completely extinguished in the engine compartment. The fate of the Ukrainian crew is unknown.

The incident took place three days after Ukraine’s 47th Independent Mechanized Brigade posted a video of M1A1SA tanks moving near the urban area of ​​Avdeevka and opening fire at a suspected location of Russian forces, marking the first time images of real combat appeared. of Abrams tanks in this conflict.

The US has transferred a total of 31 Abrams tanks of the M1A1SA version to Ukraine, enough to equip an armored battalion. But for many months before that, this main battle tank model had not participated in any battles, and their images were also very rare on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Ukrainian Abrams tank after being attacked by Russian forces on February 26.  Photo: Telegram/SolovievLive

Ukrainian Abrams tank after being attacked by Russian forces on February 26. Photo: Telegram/SolovievLive

The M1 Abrams is considered one of the best tanks in the world today. However, the M1A1 version donated to Ukraine is not equipped with modern armor like the US military version, making them more vulnerable to many popular anti-tank missiles.

The M1 Abrams also has the disadvantage of being very gas-hungry and requiring complex maintenance procedures, such as cleaning the air filter daily to avoid engine damage. This is something Ukrainian soldiers can hardly do on the fierce battlefield.