U.S. Army: Abrams, Bradley and Apache

10.08.2018, 10:15

The U.S. armoured vehicles will be on display for the first time in history of NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. The U.S. Army will present the M1 Abrams main battle tank and the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, accompanied by a pair of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. This equipment thus represents the first confirmed displays by the United States which is this year's Special Partner Nation.

Although the U.S. is usually represented by the air force, the U.S. Army is no newcomer at Mošnov Airport. It participated in NATO Days in 2016 for the last time, presenting the AH-64 Apache. Six years earlier, however, visitors could have met a team specializing against the use of weapons of mass destruction called Emergency Management Assessment Team (EMAT), the first U.S. Army unit which ever attended NATO Days and which presented its specially modified vehicles.

Despite this fact, this year's participation of the U.S. Army will still constitute of premieres - the M1 Abrams main battle tank and the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle will debut at Mošnov Airport. Alongside with the pair of AH-64 Apache helicopters, the U.S. will present the main combat equipment of its ground forces.

“Participation of the U.S. armoured vehicles in public events is always a great event, in the Czech Republic, both the Abrams tanks and the Bradley vehicles could have only been seen at the Czech Ground Forces Day “Bahna” more than ten years ago. And its presentation in combination with the aircraft is even rarer,” says general Jiří Šedivý, security expert and former Chief of the Czech General Staff. 

“The United States follows one of the traditions of the Special Partner Nation when all countries in this role have so far presented their armoured fighting vehicles. It should also be appreciated due to the considerable transport costs required by the presentation of foreign heavy equipment,” adds Zbyněk Pavlačík, chairman of Jagello 2000. “Visitors will also have a unique opportunity to take a closer look at U.S. Army combat vehicles not yet presented at NATO Days that do not belong among often presented equipment at European public events.”

The M1 Abrams main battle tank manufactured by General Dynamics has been in service in the U.S. Army since 1980s. Since then, several modified versions have been produced with enhaced firepower, crew protection and electronic systems. The Abrams tanks are also known for being heavily armoured, highly mobile and precise, and besides the U.S. Army, they are operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, Australia, or some Arab countries. M1 Abrams also represents the third main battle tank to be seen at this year's NATO Days, alongside with the Czech T-72M4CZ and the German Leopard 2. 

Similarly, the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles entered the service in the U.S. Army in 1980s and have been modernised several times. They are primarily designed to transport infantry and provide covering fire, the M3 version serves as an armoured reconnaissance vehicle. Bradleys are well-known for their high manoeuvrability and speed in order to keep pace with main battle tank units.

Close air support to these ground troops is, besides others, provided by the AH-64 Apache attack helicopters that are also used for target acquisition and destruction, including heavy armoured vehicles. 

All the equipment on display will come from the U.S. troops deployed in Europe and for transport of the armoured fighting vehicles, a pair of trailers will be provided by the U.S. logistics system called HETS, which will also be presented at the static display.

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