Romania on May 16 announced that it is negotiating to buy 54 modern M1A2 Abrams tanks from the US.

These MBTs will help enhance the country’s army power. Since the beginning of April 2022, the Romanian Ministry of Defense has started a plan to procure tanks as well as ammunition and training equipment from the US. The value of the deal is estimated at 1 billion euros (equivalent to 1.1 billion USD).

The Abrams is expected to replace some of Romania‚Äôs outdated Soviet-era tanks. The M1 Abrams tanks are combat proven and currently serve as the main battle tank of the U.S. Army.  The export version is used by the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Poland and Iraq. Romania will likely become the second M1A2 operator in Europe after Poland, which worth around $4.75 billion to procure 250 M1A2 Abrams.

Military experts agree, M1A2 Abrams is one of the most powerful main battle tanks in the world today. Well-armored, powerful, modern, and quick to maneuver, the M1A2 Abrams has excelled in many conflicts. The M1A2 Abrams is an upgraded version of the M1 Abrams main battle tank produced by General Dynamics in 1980, designed by Chrysler Defense.

The M1A2 Abrams is fitted with a 1,500 hp gas turbine engine that powers the 70 ton tank to reach speeds in excess of 64 km/h on both paved roads and challenging off-road terrains. This remarkable mobility allows the Abrams to swiftly maneuver across various landscapes, ensuring rapid deployment and effective battlefield repositioning.

When it comes to protection, the M1A2 Abrams’ composite and modular armor, reinforced with depleted uranium, provides protection in both conventional and asymmetrical warfare scenarios. With the incorporation of reactive armor and advanced Active Protection Systems (APS), the tank can effectively counter incoming projectiles and mitigate the risk of damage.

The fearsome M256 120mm smoothbore cannon, capable of firing a wide array of projectiles, including armor-piercing depleted uranium rounds and anti-personnel high-explosive shells. The tank’s cutting-edge fire control system, incorporating thermal imaging and laser rangefinders, ensures unparalleled accuracy and target acquisition capabilities. It also has a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun that provide powerful auxiliary fire.

However, when sold to a number of allies, namely Iraq, the depleted Uranium armor was removed, and the Active Protection System was absent. This explains the destruction of M1A2 Abrams tanks on the battlefield. In recent years, the Romanian government has been accelerating the procurement of weapons, including new armored vehicles, missile systems, warships, 155 mm self-propelled guns and F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

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