Ukraine will get German Leopards earlier than US Abrams, White House says

27 January, 06:22 PM
Leopard will enter the arsenal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine much faster than Abrams (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Leopard will enter the arsenal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine much faster than Abrams (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Ukraine will receive German-made Leopard 2 tanks earlier than U.S.-made Abrams tanks, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said on CNN on Jan. 27.

“The Leopard tanks will probably get there from the Germans and from their — our European allies and partners who will get there in relatively short order, probably in time to help them in the spring and summer,” he said.

“The American tanks, the Abrams will take a little bit more time. It will take many months before they can get on the ground.”

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At the same time, Kirby stressed that the United States is “not going to waste time.”

“We’re going to get Ukrainian soldiers into some training, make sure that they know how to maintain these tanks, and also help them make sure they’ve got a good supply chain for parts and supplies to keep them moving.”

The U.S. announced that it would transferring a number of Abrams M1 main battle tanks to Ukraine on Jan. 25.

In addition, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will also receive German Leopard 2 tanks from a variety of countries, as well as British Challenger 2 tanks.

As of today, 73 modern Western tanks have been confirmed for delivery to Ukraine:

·         14 Challenger 2s from the United Kingdom;

·         31 Abrams from the United States;

·         14 Leopard 2s from Germany;

·         14 Leopard 2s from Poland.

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukraine was also to receive 90 modernized T-72s.

Another 50 Leopard 2 tanks, according to unconfirmed reports, may be jointly supplied to Ukraine by Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark. Spain may also supply 20 to 50 units of the heavily armored vehicles, and Sweden is considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Stridsvagn 122 tanks — their local equivalent of the Leopard 2.

France is also considering further supplying Ukraine with a number of its Leclerc tanks.

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