kyiv wants M-1 Abrams and Leopard tanks, but they would be difficult to maintain and operate, sources say
The West is “shufflingon deliveries of high-end battle tanks to Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia, Politico reported Thursday. According to the outlet’s sources, there are a number of technical issues with Western armor supplies.
According to US officials, Ukrainian advisers and congressional aides, kyiv urgently wants US-made M-1 Abrams and German-made Leopard tanks to launch new offensives against Russia. However, officials in both countries have been reluctant to greenlight deliveries due to training and logistical issues.
“These are not rental cars, there are many things that go with them“, retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commander of the United States Army in Europe, told the news outlet, adding that “hundreds of extra things” need to accompany the tanks.
Politico noted that the M-1 tanks are completely different from the Soviet-era armor used by Kyiv forces. An unnamed US official told the newspaper that it would be difficult to send Ukraine not only the tanks, but also the parts needed to maintain them.
“You don’t want to give them something that’s going to break down and run out of gas and they can’t refuel them,” he said.
According to the official, the German Leopards present fewer challenges because they are similar to the tanks that kyiv already uses and do not consume as much fuel as the Abrams.
Earlier this month, however, Berlin refused to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht explained that no other country has delivered Western-made armored or infantry fighting vehicles to Kyiv and Germany”will not take such action unilaterally.”
Germany has supported Ukraine with other military hardware, including Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers and Gepard anti-aircraft tanks.
The United States has so far committed about $16 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since President Joe Biden took office, supplying Kyiv with large amounts of military equipment, including missiles Javelin anti-tank guns, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), dozens of howitzers, and hundreds of drones.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that arms deliveries from Washington and its allies will only prolong the conflict in Ukraine and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.
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