The US Army is investigating an incident at Fort Bliss, Texas, earlier this month in which an M1A2 Abrams 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 metres, 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 metres (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.
In a statement to Military Times, officials from the 1st Armored Division confirmed that M1 Abrams accidentally fired on another tank at Fort Bliss.
One soldier was injured, received immediate medical assistance, and is recovering in stable condition, according to Lt. Col. Lindsey Elder, an Army public affairs officer.
1st Armored Division has started an investigation into the incident, Elder said in an email to Military Times.
“Until the investigation is complete, we have no further comment,” she said. LINK
Judging from photos from Instagram user onefattanker that were published by Defence-Blog, the round seems to have struck the tank in the turret. LINK
The M1A2 Abrams is the US military’s primary battle tank, used in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. 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. LINK
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