No Abrams tanks deliveries to Ukraine before spring, US says

26 January, 09:15 PM
Tanks Abrams (Photo:REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Tanks Abrams (Photo:REUTERS/Leah Millis)

The United States won’t have enough time to prepare and send M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine until the winter is over, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Jan. 26.

According to her, this timetable means Abrams won’t arrive in time to participate in Ukraine’s expected spring counteroffensive.

“Abrams are very complex tanks as you know,” said Nuland.

“Significant preparations are required. As we stated yesterday, it will take some time to get them to the battlefield. This is not something that will happen during the spring offensive.”

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The official decision to transfer Abrams tanks to Ukraine was announced on Jan. 25. In addition to U.S. tanks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will also receive the German-made Leopard-2 and UK Challenger-2 MBTs.

As it stands, delivery of 73 modern Western heavy tanks to Ukraine has been confirmed:

●                    14 Challenger-2 from the UK;

●                    31 M1 Abrams from the United States;

●                    14 Leopard-2 from Germany;

●                    14 Leopard-2 from Poland.

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine expects to receive 90 modernized T-72 tanks. The transfer of another 30 hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.

According to media reports, further 50 Leopard-2 tanks will be supplied to Ukraine by Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark. The estimates suggest that Spain can supply from 20 to 50 of them, and Sweden is considering the transfer of an unknown number of Stridsvagn-122 tanks – a domestic variant of Leopard-2.

France is also considering supplying heavy Leclerc tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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