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U.S. set to deliver Abrams MBT to Ukraine in September 2023

m1a2-abrams-battle-tank-02 has learned that the United States is preparing to deliver Abrams tanks to Ukraine in September, a move that signifies the most specific timeline provided to date regarding the Washington administration’s plans to aid Kyiv in its counteroffensive efforts. According to six sources familiar with the discussions, a handful of Abrams tanks will first be sent to Germany in August, where they will undergo final refurbishments before being shipped to Ukraine the following month.

This forthcoming delivery represents a crucial development in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict, as Ukrainian forces push to regain territory in a counteroffensive that is gaining momentum. The delivery of the tanks will add a potent and lethal dimension to Ukraine’s military capabilities, but it comes with its complexities.

The tanks being sent to Ukraine are older M1A1 models, as the more modern A2 version would have taken too long to reach the country. The initial batch of deliveries will consist of six to eight tanks, and the U.S. is planning to send a total of 31 tanks, which equates to a battalion’s worth.

Pentagon officials have emphasized their commitment to expedite the delivery of these weapons to Ukraine to bolster the nation’s defenses both for the current counteroffensive and for long-term security. In addition to the tanks, the U.S. intends to initiate training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets before delivering the aircraft, possibly by the year’s end.

However, before the tanks can be operational, Ukrainian forces must complete a roughly 10-week training course on 31 trainer tanks at the Grafenwoehr Army base in Germany. While some officials suggest that the tanks could arrive in Ukraine as early as August, there are uncertainties regarding the completion of necessary refurbishments by that time.

Moreover, the situation is not limited to the mere delivery of tanks and training. The U.S. is working with its European allies to establish heavy maintenance repair facilities for battle-damaged tanks and other heavy armor provided to Ukraine. Ensuring proper training and spare parts availability is also a priority.

The stakes are high as Ukraine strives to break through well-fortified Russian defenses along a front line stretching for hundreds of miles. While Ukrainian forces have made some advances, they face heavy artillery and aircraft fire as they navigate dense minefields and enemy foxholes.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba remains optimistic about the potential impact of the tanks, emphasizing that this counteroffensive is just the beginning of numerous efforts to expel Russia from Ukrainian territory.

Despite the challenges and anticipated high costs, both Ukrainian and U.S. officials remain resolute in their commitment to supporting Kyiv’s efforts. The arrival of Abrams tanks in September could prove to be a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s fight to regain control of its territory and deter further Russian aggression. As the conflict continues, international attention remains focused on the unfolding developments in the region.

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