After Bradley, Marder IVFs, Ukraine may receive Western tanks – media

6 January, 02:37 PM
Abrams tank (Photo:Thom Stowe/flickr.com)

Abrams tank (Photo:Thom Stowe/flickr.com)

The decisions by the United States and Germany to send Bradley and Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to Ukraine could pave the way for the West to supply more powerful tanks, U.S. political news outlet Politico said on Jan. 5.

Those could include Germany’s Leopard tanks or even the U.S. Army’s M1 Abrams, experts and two U.S. officials told Politico.

A Leopard or Abrams is more mobile, accurate and has longer range compared to old Soviet tanks. They are also more effective at protecting troops than the older tanks, or even the Western infantry fighting vehicles.

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Without access to modern heavy armor, Ukraine continues to suffer large losses on the battlefield.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Western infantry fighting vehicles are designed to work in tandem with the Abrams, providing a “complementary” capability.

At the same time, a Defense Department spokesperson declined to comment on the issue of tank supplies.

One adviser to the Ukraine government told Politico that Washington and Kyiv have been talking for months about sending heavier armor.

However, the Biden administration may still be reluctant to send Abrams tanks due to the significant training and logistics involved. Maintenance in the field will be a challenge, especially without a readily-available supply of parts.

The Bradley’s logistical requirements are “terrifically less burdensome than, say, those associated with an M1,” one of the U.S. officials said.

“Our M1s would be a logistics burden that we would not want to put on (Ukraine) until they and we were confident they were ready,” he said.

On Jan. 5, following talks between U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the United States and Germany announced that they would transfer Marder and Bradley IFVs to Ukraine. Berlin will also transfer an additional Patriot air defense battery to Ukraine – on top of the one Washington pledged back in December 2022.

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