The U.S. announced it would send tanks to Ukraine this week as Ukraine continues attempts to thwart the Russian military’s invasion.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh explained why the M1A2 was chosen instead of the A1, which is already in the U.S. weapons inventory, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
“We just don’t have these tanks available in excess in our U.S. stocks, which is why it is going to take months to transfer these M1A2 Abrams to Ukraine,” said Singh.
M1A2 Abrams tanks are manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems and were initially designed for use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The tank seats four people, has a 1,500-horsepower gas turbine engine, has a fuel range of 265 miles, and can reach a maximum speed of 42 mph.
The so-called “secret armor” on the Abrams M1A2 Tank, which is made of depleted uranium, will also be taken off, according to Ukrainska Pravda.
“Hundreds of thank yous are not hundreds of tanks,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, said last week before the U.S. and Poland said they would send tanks to his country.
On Friday, defense officials from more than 50 countries met and promised to send more equipment to Ukraine to help it fight Russia, The Dallas Express reported.
Since February of last year, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the U.S. has given Ukraine a total of $26.7 billion in aid. The U.S. recently granted Ukraine a new package worth $2.5 billion.
The Pentagon promised, among other things, an extra 59 Bradley armored vehicles, 90 Stryker personnel carriers, and Avenger air defense systems, according to The Dallas Express. Tanks were not part of the offer at first. The U.S. will send “dozens” of tanks to Ukraine, Reuters reported.
It is easier to hit desired targets with the M1A2 Abrams over the A1, thanks to its superior optics and control system, according to Ukrainska Pravda.
The U.S. will train the Ukrainian military and provide tanks and spare parts as soon as possible. The head of the Russian delegation to the OSCE Forum in Vienna, Konstantin Gavrilov, said that because the German Leopard 2 tanks are armed with armor-piercing shells with uranium cores, Moscow will view their use in Ukraine against Russians as the use of “dirty bombs,” according to Ukrainska Pravda.
Ukrainian military personnel is currently being trained by U.S. forces in different warfare areas, including in Oklahoma, The Dallas Express reported. Between 90 and 100 Ukrainian armed forces are being trained at Fort Sill on the Patriot air defense system.
“In terms of how soon, I just don’t have a timeline for you,” Singh said of the training. “We are trying to get the training set up, but as of a timeline when — where that’s going to be and when, I just don’t have that available at this moment.”
Moscow Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. sending tanks to Ukraine is an “absurdity” and a waste of money, according to Reuters.
“But above all, it overestimates the potential it will add to the Ukrainian army,” Peskov said. “These tanks burn just like all the others.”
“Moscow Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. sending tanks to Ukraine is an “absurdity” and a waste of money, according to Reuters.”
This tells me we need to send more M1’s to Ukraine.