The United States is preparing the largest package of military assistance to Ukraine.
Washington announced that as the anniversary of the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine approaches, the United States is preparing the largest package of military assistance for Kyiv. Its estimated cost will be about 4 billion dollars, and it is expected to include various missile weapons.
According to information voiced by the White House, planning for supplying weapons to Ukraine is in full swing. However, what kind of weapons will be provided to Ukraine is still unknown.
Experts do not exclude that the deliveries may include additional armored vehicles, artillery, as well as missile weapons. In particular, we are talking about a large supply of missiles for HIMARS systems.
According to one version, the United States may also announce the supply of combat aircraft to Ukraine. This includes the possible delivery of American F-16 fighter jets, which the United States has in storage.
However, this is considered unlikely since it takes at least 8-10 months to train Ukrainian pilots, and if deliveries become possible, then only at the beginning of 2024.
It is clear that the United States is preparing a very serious escalation against Russia, violating all permitted limits, which could result in an extremely serious response for Washington.
Zelensky said Ukraine needs 500 tanks.
President Zelensky said that Ukraine needs 300-500 tanks for the counter-offensive, noting that many aid weapons have not been delivered to Kyiv.
“We need about 300-500 tanks. I believe Ukraine needs many tanks to carry out a counter-offensive on its territory. We need armored vehicles to protect our troops,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. In an interview published by the UK’s Sky News channel on January 27.
Zelensky thanked the US and Europe for their commitment to support the M1A2 Abrams and Leopard 2 main battle tanks for Ukraine but emphasized that Kyiv does not have much time to wait because Moscow has many tanks on the battlefield.
“I can honestly say that the number of tanks and the delivery time is much more important than the decision on aid. Many weapons supply packages to Ukraine have been approved, but we have not received them yet. Indeed. It makes no sense when some countries claim to give tanks and support Ukraine but only commit to delivering 5. What are we going to do with them? That’s not enough for one unit,” he said.
Pentagon deputy spokesman Sabrina Singh said on January 26 that the process of submitting M1A2 tanks to Ukraine would take many months because the US stockpile does not have a surplus of this weapon.
The unnamed US official said that the M1A2s to Ukraine will be shipped with armor according to configurations for foreign customers because Washington still prohibits the export of Abrams tanks with depletion uranium (DU) armor.
“Sometimes, the delivery of weapons will take months. I am not criticizing anyone, but I must say that the feeling of peace of mind appears only after Ukrainian soldiers start operating weapons that partners aid,” the president said. Zelensky said.
The US has only one Abrams tank assembly line at the General Dynamics plant in Ohio. This corporation has long ceased to build new M1 tanks but uses existing body frames in stock. They will be shipped when an order is, and the manufacturer will install the equipment in accordance with the configuration proposed by the customer.
The General Dynamics plant is capable of producing 12 M1s per month, but the line is running at full capacity to supply more than 300 Abrams tanks to Poland and the island of Taiwan. This will make the process of preparing tanks for Ukraine take longer.