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US to Present 31 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine to Repel Russian Invasion

Final Up to date: January 26, 2023, 07:25 IST

Washington, United States

US troops from the 3rd Infantry Division watch as M1A1 Abram tanks are loaded onto flatbed trucks for transport 24 February from Kuwait City to frontline positions on the Iraqi border. (AFP)

US troops from the third Infantry Division watch as M1A1 Abram tanks are loaded onto flatbed vehicles for transport 24 February from Kuwait Metropolis to frontline positions on the Iraqi border. (AFP)

Washington’s pledge got here hours after Germany accepted the long-sought supply of its Leopard 2s to Ukraine.

The USA introduced Wednesday that it’s going to present 31 Abrams tanks to assist Ukraine repel Russia’s invasion, mirroring an identical transfer by Germany and fulfilling a long-running request from Kyiv.

Ukraine — which had pleaded for heavy Western tanks for months — welcomed the dual bulletins, with President Volodymyr Zelensky urging they be delivered shortly.

The supply of the M1 Abrams is aimed toward “serving to Ukraine defend and shield Ukrainian land. It isn’t an offensive risk to Russia,” US President Joe Biden mentioned in his remarks asserting the transfer, which represents a big reversal after protection officers repeatedly described the tanks as ill-suited for the duty at hand.

Washington’s pledge got here hours after Germany — which reportedly sought a US dedication of tanks earlier than agreeing to ship its personal — accepted the long-sought supply of its Leopard 2s to Ukraine.

Not like the German tanks, nonetheless, the Abrams might be procured with Ukraine help funding fairly than instantly drawn from current shares, that means they won’t arrive on the battlefield for months.

White Home nationwide safety spokesman John Kirby mentioned that in line with the Pentagon, there are not any extra Abrams tanks within the US stock.

Different potential choices might embody shopping for them new or acquiring them from one other nation. A US official advised AFP that it “hasn’t but been decided” how the tanks might be sourced.

They’re a part of a $400 million help package deal that additionally contains ammunition, assist automobiles and gear, and funding for coaching and upkeep.

It brings whole US navy help for Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022 to greater than $27.1 billion.

The USA “will start now to work to ascertain a complete coaching program,” a senior administration official mentioned Wednesday.

The US Protection Division can be “working by way of the mechanisms to ship the gas and gear Ukraine might want to function and to keep up the Abrams,” the official added.

‘Carefully coordinated’ help

Protection officers have raised numerous doubts in current days in regards to the suitability of the Abrams, which was first fielded by the US Military in 1980, to be used in Ukraine.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier Common Pat Ryder mentioned on Tuesday that the tank “is a really succesful battlefield platform. It’s additionally a really advanced functionality.”

“Like something that we’re offering to Ukraine, we wish to make sure that they’ve the power to keep up it, maintain it, to coach on it,” he mentioned.

The Abrams is armed with a 120 mm major gun and .50 caliber and seven.62 mm machine weapons, and is powered by a 1,500 horsepower turbine engine.

Undersecretary of Protection for Coverage Colin Kahl mentioned final week that the US was not “there but” on offering the tanks to Ukraine, citing their gas economic system and describing them as “costly” and “onerous to coach on.”

Requested Wednesday if Germany requested that Washington present Abrams as a precondition for it to offer Leopards, a senior official mentioned Berlin must converse on the timing of its resolution, however that the US has “carefully coordinated our safety help with allies and companions all through the battle.”

The supply of tanks introduced by the US and Germany observe current pledges of dozens of different armored automobiles that can help offensive operations by Kyiv.

Washington has pledged 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers and 109 Bradley infantry combating automobiles. Germany promised about 40 of its Marder automobiles, Britain mentioned it might present 14 Challenger 2 heavy tanks, and France will give AMX-10 RC gentle tanks.

“You’re going to see a whole bunch of armored automobiles — exceptionally succesful automobiles — and tanks arriving in Ukraine. And importantly, they are going to be arriving with skilled crews,” a senior US official mentioned.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 workers and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

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