A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Tank Accidentally Shot a Friendly Tank

6 days ago 49

A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams main battle tank accidentally engaged another Abrams tank during gunnery practice, striking the second tank and injuring a crew member. The injured tanker was reported in stable condition and expected to recover. The incident is remarkable in that the two tanks were more than a mile apart, highlighting the extreme distances tanks can shoot accurately on the modern battlefield.

The incident was originally reported by Defence Blog and later confirmed by Army Times. A public affairs officer assigned to the 1st Armored Division announced there would be no further comment from the Army until an investigation of the incident is complete.

The M1A2 Abrams is the U.S. Army’s longest serving main battle tank. First introduced in the early 1980s, the Abrams has received several upgrades over the past four decades to keep it relevant on the modern battlefield. Upgrades have included a larger, 120-millimeter gun, digital communications system, and now the Trophy active protection anti-missile system. The latest version,the M1A2 SEPv3, is rolling out to combat units this summer.


It’s not clear how the “friendly fire” incident took place. One possibility is that the M1002 Target Practice Multipurpose Tracer (TPMP-T) training round fired during the incident, designed to mimic the ballistics performance of the M830A1 anti-tank round, ricocheted and accidentally hit the Abrams. That would be a case of spectacularly bad luck. The second possibility is that the Abrams was deliberately, though accidentally, targeted as it passed through the gunner’s field of view.

The two tanks involved in the incident were 2,600 meters apart when the shooting took place. That’s a distance of 1.6 miles. The advent of digital ballistic computers capable of projecting the impact point of a tank round has made tanks much more dangerous and lethal at greater ranges than ever before.

The M1 is reportedly so accurate it has a ninety percent hit rate at 1,000 meters while on the move.