President Biden said Ukraine would receive the first batch of Abrams tanks according to the US aid commitment in “next week.”
“Today, I approved the next security aid package for Ukraine and next week, the first batch of US Abrams tanks will be delivered to Ukraine,” US President Joe Biden said at a meeting with people—Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on September 21.
The Pentagon later said the new security aid package was worth $325 million, including anti-aircraft missiles, ammunition for the HIMARS rocket artillery system, anti-tank weapons and artillery shells. The package does not include ATACMS long-range missiles or 155 mm artillery shells, also known as cluster munitions.
According to Mr. Biden, the US will focus on strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities to help Kyiv protect essential infrastructure that provides heat and light “in dark and cold days”.
Mr. Zelensky thanked Mr. Biden for the new aid package. This is the second time the President of Ukraine has visited the US since Russia launched its campaign in February
The United States in February announced the transfer of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine after many months of the country’s request. The Pentagon later said it would support the less complex M1A1 variant to speed up the delivery process because these tanks can be withdrawn from storage and refurbished faster than modern models.
In total, the US plans to provide 31 Abrams tanks. The first batch will include about 6-8 units, two sources familiar with the matter said at the end of July. Many Western officials hope that M1A1 Abrams tanks will help Ukraine overcome Russia’s fortified lines during the counterattack.
The we developed M1 Abrams in 1972-1975. The US has operated this tank model since 1980 until now. The M1 tank is equipped with a 120 mm gun, 7.62 mm coaxial gun and 12.7 mm gun, and can reach a maximum speed of 67 km/h. The crew of the M1 Abrams has 4 people, including the vehicle commander, gunner, loader and driver.
The M1 Abrams tank is considered one of the best tanks in the world today. However, versions exported to some countries are not equipped with the same type of armor as the US military version, making them more vulnerable to many popular anti-tank missiles.