The Pentagon is ramping up deliveries of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, deciding to ship a refurbished older model that may be ready sooner.
Thus, 70-ton combat vehicles can be delivered to the combat zone by autumn.
The Pentagon announced it.
The original plan was to ship 31 new M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which would take a year or two to build and ship.
Officials said that it was decided to send tanks of an older version of the M1A1, which can be picked up from army warehouses.
Officials also noted that it would be easier for the Ukrainian army to learn how to handle and use M1A1 tanks.
“Since we announced this, we have explored various options to deliver armored vehicles as soon as possible,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said during a briefing. “After further research and analysis on the best way to proceed, the Ministry of Defense, in close cooperation with Ukraine, has decided to send the M1A1 variant of the Abrams tank, which will allow us to significantly speed up the deadlines delivery and deliver this important equipment to Ukraine by this fall.”
The M1A1 Abrams tanks will have “very similar capabilities” to the M1A2, Ryder said, including upgraded armor and weapon systems such as a 120mm cannon and heavy machine gun.
“We are talking about transferring this important combat potential early to the Ukrainian side,” a Pentagon spokesman said.
Surplus hulls will be refitted and refitted to build M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, Ryder said, which can be shipped to Ukraine sooner to meet its needs.
Ryder also told reporters that preparations were underway to train the Ukrainian army in tank operation.
“We will do our best to ensure that the Ukrainians have received the necessary training to operate these tanks when they are delivered,” he said. – Later we will provide more details about this preparation. But that’s our intention, and I’m sure we’ll get there.”
On Monday, the Pentagon also announced another package of security aid to Ukraine. The package, worth around $350 million, includes ammunition, anti-radar missiles, anti-tank weapon systems and grenade launchers, among others.
Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, the Pentagon has said the United States has pledged $32.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.
For the latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Help us continue our mission to deliver the latest news and stories by becoming a supporter of our newspaper. Your support will help us to continue to provide high-quality journalism and to ensure that our content remains free and accessible to all. Click here to show your support. Thank you!