Ukraine to get top battle tanks from US and Germany to fight Russia

USA News

  • Germany will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
  • The U.S. will deliver 31 M1 Abrams tanks.
  • The tanks will give Ukraine a powerful advantage over Russian battlefield hardware.

The U.S. will send 31 of its top-ranked M1 Abrams tanks and support vehicles to Ukraine, the Biden administration said today, bolstering a German agreement earlier in the day to deliver 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks, Europe’s most sophisticated battle tank, to Ukraine.

The tanks will give Ukrainian forces a significant battlefield advantage against Russia. Germany’s announcement allows Poland and other European nations to send a number of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine as well.

The decisions end weeks of negotiation among Ukrainian and European leaders, some of whom worried that sending tanks to Ukraine would result in a Russian escalation of the war.

Ukraine has sought 300 tanks from its allies ahead of an anticipated Russian offensive in the spring and to regain territory seized by Russia after it invaded Feb. 24.

How powerful are the Abrams and Leopard tanks?

Both the Abrams and Leopard tanks are considered superior to the Soviet-era tanks used by both Ukrainian and Russian forces. They’re faster, have more firepower, better targeting hardware, and provide increased protection to tank crews.

The Leopard 2 is built by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and was used by West German forces starting in 1979. It’s been upgraded numerous times.

The M1 Abrams is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems and is used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. It was developed during the Cold War with the Army taking delivery in 1980.

The tanks were first used in combat during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991.

How do tank specifications differ?

How does a Russian T-72 tank compare?

When will the tanks arrive in Ukraine?

Delivery of M1 Abrams tanks could take months because the U.S. has to buy them through a military procurement process, USA TODAY reported. Ukrainian maintenance crews must be trained to work on them.

The U.S. has committed to sending 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 500 TOW anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition to Ukraine, the Defense Department said on Jan. 6. It will also send eight M88 recovery vehicles to maintain the tanks in the field, Defense One reported.

Who else is sending tanks to Ukraine?

In addition to the U.S. and Germany, other allied nations are planning to send tanks to Ukraine:

Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain have also said they may send tanks.


SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Associated Press; International Institute for Strategic Studies;; U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center;; U.S. Naval Institute; Defense One

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