11:08 GMT15 August 2020
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    The US Army is looking into an incident at Fort Bliss, Texas, earlier this month in which an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank accidentally fired its main gun at another US tank during live-fire drills.

    According to Defence-Blog, the friendly fire incident took place on July 20, while elements of the 1st Armored Division were engaged in a qualification exercise.

    The shot was made at 2,600 meters, or more than 1.5 miles, with an M1002 Target Practice Multipurpose Tracer (TPMP-T) round, a practice replica of the M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multipurpose Tracer (HEAT-MP-T) projectile with the same ballistics profile and a maximum range of 8,000 meters (5 miles). Had it been a real round, it would have produced a jet of molten metal upon contact that would have incinerated the crew.

    One soldier was injured in the incident, Military Times reported, but his injuries were not serious, and he is now recovering. The Army confirmed the incident to the publication, saying the struck tank received “some damage,” but offered no further comment until the investigation is complete.

    Judging from photos from Instagram user onefattanker that were published by Defence-Blog, the round seems to have struck the other tank in the turret.

    The M1A2 Abrams is the US military’s primary battle tank, used in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. At just 8 feet tall, its slight profile gives it an advantage on the battlefield, making it harder to hit. While the terrain around Fort Bliss, which straddles the Texas-New Mexico border, is arid and similar to the Middle Eastern battlefields where the Abrams tank has seen combat, the 1st Armored Division was stationed for decades at Wiesbaden, in central Germany.

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    Tags:
    Fort Bliss, US Army, friendly fire, M1A2 Abrams
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