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Ukraine will wait to get US tanks amid Russia war

Ukraine will wait to get US tanks amid Russia war

WASHINGTON – Ukraine will have to wait months to receive the 31 M1 Abrams tanks promised by the US because the Pentagon does not have enough of the critical vehicles in its own stockpile to send, spokeswoman Sabrina Singh confirmed Thursday.

While the White House has said the Ukrainians need more advanced capabilities for a new Russian offensive expected this spring, US tanks will not arrive in Eastern Europe until the predicted push is a distant memory.

“We don’t have a lot of these tanks available in our American stocks, which is why it’s taking months to transfer these M1A2 Abrams to Ukraine,” Singh said, referring to the specific new version of the tank being shipped by the US. Huh.” ,

White House officials warned on Wednesday that it could take up to a year for Kyiv to get the tank, which President Biden publicly pledged he would receive with funding approved by Congress as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Will buy a new one as well.

While the Pentagon usually takes about four days to prepare and deliver weapons that arrive in Ukraine from US stocks, those obtained through the USAI program can take months โ€“ or even years โ€“ to be delivered because government Identifies and hires defense contractors who then manufacture the weapons. from starting.


Sabrina Singh
Pentagon deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said the DoD would use the waiting time to develop a training course to teach Ukrainian soldiers how to use the M1.
Getty Images

The US announcement came the same day German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed that his government would send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, after weeks of hesitation and rumors that Berlin would not pledge its tanks unless the US followed suit.

The Pentagon previously expressed reluctance to send the M1, which is now arguably the most offensive weapon Washington has pledged to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago.

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On January 19, Singh had said, “It makes no sense to provide [M1s] For Ukrainians at the momentโ€ when asked about a possible package. The spokesman pointed to the logistical challenges of the American tank at the time, as its gas turbine engine required jet fuel โ€“ unlike the diesel engines used by the Leopard and Challenger.


US soldier helps guide an Abrams tank
The US announcement came on the same day that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed that his government would send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.
AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday, Singh said he stood by his earlier comments, but denied that the Biden administration chose to use the USAI program to slow down the delivery of the tanks.

“We are using USAI to show a long-term commitment,” Singh said. โ€œIt is not about delay; We do not have these Abrams in stock at this time to deliver to Ukrainians.

Singh said that while logistical challenges remain, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged allies and partners to send “immediate capabilities that can be delivered to the battlefield” at a meeting of the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany on Friday. After being committed to, Abrams suggested sending. ,

Defense officials have declined to say how many tanks the US currently has designed for heavy combat. Since completing its withdrawal from Afghanistan on 30 August 2021, the army has been engaged in peaceful operations.

A senior White House official on Wednesday did not specify exactly when the tanks would be ready to be shipped, saying, “We are talking about months rather than weeks.”

“If we don’t have [them] Ease within the US stock, then we go down the procurement route to make sure that we can buy the right capability for Ukraine and that’s what we’re doing with the Abrams in terms of maintenance, training, all of those really important There are ideas, said the officer.

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The Pentagon did not provide an exact timeline of how long it would take the defense industry to produce the 31 US tanks, which are highly complex and weigh about 45 tonnes each.


Joe Biden
Ukraine will have to wait months to receive the tanks promised by the US because the Pentagon does not have enough tanks in its own stockpile.
AFP via Getty Images

Singh said DoD would use the waiting time to develop a training course to teach Ukrainian soldiers how to use the M1.

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