Home News The Pentagon rushes Ukrainian tanks after claiming the US doesn’t have enough

The Pentagon rushes Ukrainian tanks after claiming the US doesn’t have enough

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Ukrainian war

April 24, 2023 | 7:07 p.m

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense has apparently found enough M1 Abrams tanks to refurbish and deliver to Ukraine after initially saying deliveries would take a year or more due to a lack of inventory.

“We have accelerated the M1 Abrams programs to provide Ukraine with more armored capabilities in the coming months, and the M1s that the Ukrainians will use for training will arrive here in Germany in the coming weeks,” said the minister. At Lloyd Austin Defense Reporters. . last week. All this is tremendous progress.

The Pentagon announced on January 25 that it would send 31 American first-class tanks to Ukraine after expressing ambivalence about the idea less than a week earlier.

The announcement came on the same day that Germany said it would send its Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Kiev, after pressure from the United States and other allies.

At the time, the Biden administration said it would take up to a year for Kiev to receive the American tanks, because they would not come from US stocks, but would be purchased new with money approved by Congress under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

“We don’t have these surplus tanks in our US inventory, which is why it will take months to send M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine,” spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told The Post on January 26.

But Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated Friday that the plan had changed, announcing that American tanks were “being refurbished to expedite delivery” as he spoke alongside Austin after a US-led defense meeting in Ukraine. forces. Contact Group in Ramstein, Germany.

“Within a few weeks you will have training tanks – which are not quite capable of combat – and they will be used to train crews to launch, maneuver and maintain these tanks,” Milley said. . It will be part of the support program to train them while other tanks are being refurbished. »

Ukrainian soldiers ride a tank along a road in the town of Chasev Yar near the front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine, April 22, 2023.

Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday that the refurbished tanks will be delivered before 2024 and “produced to Ukrainian specifications” for use “in real combat.”

” [Sending training tanks] That will allow us to do simultaneous training with tank production which, again, fuels the tanks. ” [It] This allows us to accelerate planning so that they can train in support maintenance operations and then marry personnel with tanks before the end of the year for delivery to Ukraine.

This accelerated pace comes after recently leaked Pentagon documents revealed that the Ukrainian military is in a much more dangerous situation than the United States publicly admits.

For example, one document stated that the Ukrainian air defenses guarding the front line forces would be “fully reduced” by May 23 unless they were reinforced.

But Austin said the impressive timeline will help ensure Ukrainian forces can continue to fight the Russian invaders.

“I am confident that this equipment and the training that comes with it will position Ukrainian forces to continue to succeed on the battlefield,” he said.

The main tanks are heading to Ukraine after the Pentagon expressed its rejection of the idea.
AP Photo/Libkos

Echoing Austin, Milley said he believed the M1, which he described as “the best tank in the world,” would make a difference when it was delivered.

” when [the tanks] Enter here and these crews are trained and used in a combined arms maneuver tactic with mechanized infantry, Bradley [fighting vehicles,] “It will be very effective,” he said.

However, Melly warned observers not to put all of Ukraine’s eggs in the M1 basket.

There is no silver bullet in war. The outcome of battles and wars is a function of several variables. In this case, you’ll need to make sure you get your tanks in joint arms with infantry and mechanized artillery – all in sync with dismounted troops, etc.

“So there is no silver bullet in this case, but I think the M1 tank, when it is delivered and reaches operational capacity, will be very effective on the battlefield.”

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