Mystery weapon Disables Abrams Tank

A mysterous, unknown anti-tank weapon disabled an M-1A-1 Abrams tank in Iraq during August.

Damage doesn’t match that of known, existing anti-tank weapons.

Injuries to the crew were light.

So, Saddam is a do-it-yourself-er?

If this is an uprated, yet still cheap, RPG, the Army’s heavy units could be in for ugly nights.

I kinda wonder about that one too. I’m an M1A1 crewman in the National Guard.

Whatever it was (cough, cough!)…

I’ll bet it’s sure giving those guys over in Iraq something to worry about besides civilians in cars full of explosives.

Kin you say “misdirection”? Shoooor you kin!

Reading the article, it didn’t seem all that mysterious. There are apparently a number of “duplex” or “piggyback” shaped charge weapons in existence, which use an initial shaped charge to bore a hole in the target, and then fire a second charge into that hole. I recall reading about preliminary explorations of such technology by the Allies during World War II.

Today the Russians have lead in development in this area. The most detailed info I’ve seen about the various systems was in a GURPS supplement, but regretably I have no better cite at present. The supplement’s bibliography probably does, but I don’t have it handy.

Whatever the specifics of the technology, it seems almost certain to me that the source of it is Russia. That wouldn’t necessarily mean that Putin has some sinister plan afoot to support the Iraqi insurgents, but that either someone in Russia is making a quick buck by doing so, or that lots of this top shelf equipment has been purchased by Iran or Syria, who are in turn supplying the insurgents.

That, in turn, would mean that the insurgency is being supplied much more actively and aggressively than has previously been believed. And if everyone wants to compare Iraq to Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh Trail may run through Syria… and it may be in for an Arclight strike soon…

I read more about it at and a tank forum. The Marine Times article has photos.

It looks like a really luckt shot by a run-of-the-mill RPG. The entrance hole is covered by a wide piece of tape. This is standard procedure if one of the Depleted Uranium skirts is damaged. this is done to keep anyone from seeing what it looks like inside its steel casing. The tape goes from the steel hull side to the skirt but only a half inch or so on the skirt. This leads me (and others more knowledgeable than myself) to believe that the projectile entered above the skirt or through the skirt but in a section that is only steel, not DU. It looks like a one in a million shot.

Still not a comforting thought, but I’d much rather take my chances in an Abrams than any other vehicle.