Biden administration plans to send Ukraine battle tanks to help in its war with Russia




  • In Politics
  • 2023-01-25 03:51:17Z
  • By USA TODAY
Ukraine tank
Ukraine tank  

WASHINGTON - The Biden administration plans to send more than 30 of its frontline battle tanks to Ukraine, a move intended to unlock Germany's reluctance to supply its own main battle tank to bolster Ukrainian forces battling Russia, according to a U.S. official.

Modern, capable tanks are seen as critical to Ukraine's ability to resist an expected springtime offensive by Russian forces and to help the Ukrainians claw back parts of their country seized during the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Ukrainians operate Russian and Soviet-era tanks. Western tanks would provide them with vehicles that have more firepower, mobility and armor.

The Pentagon has resisted sending the tanks, citing the heavy  maintenance they require as well as their need for jet fuel for its engine. Germany's Leopard tank, which several European allies use, runs on easier-to-source diesel fuel.

However, Germany had wanted the Pentagon to commit its own tanks before sending its Leopard 2 tanks, and allowing other countries that operate the tank to provide them to Ukraine.

The Biden administration has already sent Ukraine $27 billion in military aid since Russia's invasion in Feb. 2022. The arms sent have grown increasingly sophisticated and lethal. The tanks and armored personnel carriers now being given to Ukraine are the same ones operated by the U.S. Army's frontline soldiers.

The current Pentagon plan is to send 31 M-1 Abrams tanks and eight vehicles to recover those damaged in battle, said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan. The Biden administration's decision to send the tanks was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

On Tuesday afternoon, Pentagon officials declined to confirm the decision.

"I have no announcements to make at this time," Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters Tuesday. He described the Abrams tank as very capable but very complex.

Last week, the U.S.-led coalition supporting Ukraine could not reach an agreement with Germany to provide its Leopard tanks.  Also last week, the Pentagon announced its latest military aid package, $2.5 billion worth of armored personnel carriers, ammunition and other aid.

The Abrams is lethal, fast and heavily armored. Weighing about 70 tons, the Abrams has a 120 mm canon and .50-caliber machine gun. The Abrams was developed during the Cold War and the first tanks delivered to the Army in 1980. They saw combat in 1991 for the first time during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq.

The tank, according to a Congressional Research Service report, "was lethal, as crews said its 120-mm gun was accurate and its ammunition deadly against all forms of Iraqi armor. Army observers attribute the gun's high degree of accuracy to superior sights, high levels of tank readiness, and soldier training. The Abrams also survived well on the battlefield."

An Army report cited by the research service noted that Abrams tank crews said they had received "direct frontal hits from Iraqi T-72s (tanks) with minimal damage. In fact, the enemy destroyed no Abrams tanks during the Persian Gulf War."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pentagon to send Ukraine battle tanks to help in its war with Russia

COMMENTS

More Related News

Putin Evokes Hitler as Cops Parade Soviet Secret Police Costumes
Putin Evokes Hitler as Cops Parade Soviet Secret Police Costumes
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 19:09:01Z

Sputnik/Pool via ReutersNot even local cops cosplaying as Soviet secret police and a newly installed bust of Josef Stalin were enough to prop up Russia's...

Ukraine Latest: Putin Vows Victory as EU Mounts Show of Support
Ukraine Latest: Putin Vows Victory as EU Mounts Show of Support
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 16:50:11Z

(Bloomberg) -- Vladimir Putin said that Russia can't be defeated "on the battlefield" as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said warned that Moscow's...

A US weapons maker is offering Ukraine a pair of deadly combat drones for $1,
A US weapons maker is offering Ukraine a pair of deadly combat drones for $1, 'no strings attached,' but it's not that simple

The Biden administration would still have to approve the offer, and it would cost millions of dollars just to get these drones ready for combat.

Ukraine warns Russia has amassed troops for an imminent offensive
Ukraine warns Russia has amassed troops for an imminent offensive
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 16:44:48Z

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine nears the one-year mark, Kyiv is sounding an increasingly urgent warning: Vladimir Putin is preparing a major new offensive...

Putin likely wants to encircle Ukraine, Polish PM says
Putin likely wants to encircle Ukraine, Polish PM says
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 15:27:00Z

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin may be planning an attempt to encircle Ukraine from two or three different directions, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics