M1 Abrams tanks Biden has promised Ukraine may not be sent this year or next, a defense official says
The M1 Abrams tanks that President Joe Biden has promised to send to Ukraine amid the ongoing war with Russia may not arrive by the end of this year or possibly next year, a US Army official said Thursday .
Last month, President Biden announced that the US military would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine to increase its defense capabilities against Russia. However, the military does not currently have the available inventory to deliver the tanks, and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Thursday that getting the vehicles to Ukraine “won’t be a matter of weeks,” according to DefenseNews.
“We are examining how we can get the tanks to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible. It won’t be a matter of weeks,” Wormuth told reporters on Thursday.
On Friday, February 24th, the war between Russia and Ukraine celebrated its one year anniversary.
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She added: “None of the options we are looking at will take weeks or two months. There are longer timelines, but I think there are options that take less than two years, less than a year and a half.”
Wormuth said the Army is still evaluating whether the tanks could be shipped by the end of the year. “There are still many details that need to be worked out,” she said, reported DefenseNews.
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On Jan. 25, President Biden, along with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of Defense Antony Blinken, announced that the promised vehicles were the “most capable tanks in the world” and that they “will enhance Ukraine’s battlefield capabilities.”
“This is about freedom, freedom for Ukraine, freedom everywhere,” he added at the time.
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The announcement came alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz’s statement that Berlin would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine ahead of an expected Russian offensive this spring.
The next day, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh announced that the US does not have enough M1 Abrams tanks in stock to send to Ukraine.
“We just don’t have an excess of these tanks in our US inventories, so it will take months to transfer these M1A2 Abrams to Ukraine,” Singh told the New York Post.
Berlin initially rejected Ukraine’s request for tanks, but agreed to send the military vehicles as Washington had promised to do the same.
Germany suggested that the unilateral sending of the tank might raise concerns about an escalation of the war.
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The US has already delivered thousands of combat vehicles, including 1,700 Humvees, and pledged to send another 500 armored vehicles of various types to Ukraine earlier this month.
The US also reached an agreement to send hundreds of upgraded M1A2 Abrams tanks to Poland by 2025-2026.
Poland is sending the first of 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine on Friday, according to Bloomberg, which the government has promised.
https://www.foxnews.com/world/m1-abrams-tanks-biden-promised-ukraine-may-not-sent-year-defense-official M1 Abrams tanks Biden has promised Ukraine may not be sent this year or next, a defense official says