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US greenlights shipment of first batch of Abrams tanks to Ukraine

M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 fires main gun

In a significant development, the United States has given the green light for the transfer of the first batch of Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The approval for shipment was granted over the weekend, and the tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine during the early autumn months.

The confirmation of the imminent shipment came from Douglas Bush, the US Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, during a briefing on Monday. Speaking to CNN, Bush stated that the initial batch of Abrams tanks is fully prepared for transport to Ukraine.

However, the process is not limited to the tanks alone, as it also includes a comprehensive package of supplementary equipment and support. This package encompasses essential items such as ammunition, spare parts, fuel equipment, and repair facilities, which are vital for the effective utilization and maintenance of the tanks. Bush emphasized that the complete package is on track for delivery to Ukraine.

The journey towards this milestone began in May 2023 when the US commenced training Ukrainian forces in the operation of the Abrams tanks. The training took place in Germany and was projected to conclude by the end of the summer.

The decision to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine was initially announced by the administration of US President Joe Biden in January 2023. This decision followed several months of deliberation, during which the US had previously asserted that the tanks were too complex to maintain and repair. The move aimed to encourage Germany to provide its Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

In an effort to expedite the delivery timeline, the US opted to transfer older M1-A1 models of the Abrams tank instead of a more modern version. The commitment involves delivering a total of 31 tanks to Ukraine, showcasing the US’s steadfast support for the nation’s defense capabilities.

Reports also emerged in June 2023, indicating the Biden administration’s plan to approve the transfer of depleted uranium projectiles specifically designed for Abrams tanks to Ukraine. This further underscores the US’s commitment to enhancing Ukraine’s defense capabilities in the face of ongoing challenges.

As the first shipment of Abrams tanks draws closer, Ukraine is poised to strengthen its military prowess with the formidable addition of these armored assets. The move also signifies the deepening of US-Ukraine cooperation in bolstering regional security and stability.

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