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US to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

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Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 15:23:45-05

The Biden administration announced plans to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to assist Ukraine in fending off Russian attacks.

The tanks are full-tracked, low-profile, land combat assault weapons, according to the Pentagon. The 120-millimeter main gun and special armor make the Abrams tank particularly lethal against heavy armor forces, the military added.

"The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world. They’re also extremely complex to operate and maintain, so we’re also giving Ukraine the parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield," President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.

According to the National Security Council, it will take some time for the Pengaton to procure the tanks and get them to Ukraine forces. The government spokesperson added that the U.S. must complete comprehensive training with Ukraine’s troops.

Given the timeframe, it is a sign that the U.S. expects the battle between the two nations won't come to an end anytime soon.

The training, the official said, would be conducted outside of Ukraine.

"Delivering these tanks to the field is going to take time, time that we’ll see -- we’ll use to make sure the Ukrainians are fully prepared to integrate the Abram tanks into their defenses," Biden said.

Officials said additionally the U.S. would send hundreds of additional armored vehicles to Ukraine.

The announcement comes as Ukraine expects to receive Leopard 2 tanks from Germany.

Russia started its advance into Ukraine in February 2022 but has been pushed back somewhat in recent months. During that time, Russia fired missiles, disrupting civilian infrastructure in major Ukrainian cities.

"Putin expected Europe and the United States to weaken our resolve. He expected our support for Ukraine to crumble with time. He was wrong. He was wrong. And he was wrong from the beginning, and he continues to be wrong," Biden said.

Scripps News White House reporter Kellan Howell contributed to this report.