(MENAFN) The United States military has recently announced its decision to expedite the delivery of M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukrainian forces. Originally, the plan was to ship the latest version of the tank, the M1A2 variant, to the country. However, it was found that the newest model would take over a year to reach the battlefield, which prompted the military to opt for the previous M1A1 model instead. This decision will significantly accelerate delivery timelines and give Ukraine a similar capability to the M1A2, including advanced armor and weapons systems.
Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder emphasized that the United States military's decision to supply the M1A1 model is all about getting this critical combat capability into the hands of the Ukrainians as soon as possible. The spokesperson added that the initial timetable for the delivery of the Abrams was over a year, but now the military hopes to start shipments before the end of 2023.
In terms of cost, the tanks will be outfitted with "refurbished" hulls taken from US inventories, according to Ryder. He further predicted that the cost of the procedure would not go "very much beyond" USD400 million. This move by the United States military to expedite the delivery of M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine comes amidst tensions between the latter and Russia, with the former seeking military aid from the United States and its allies to counter Russia's aggression. The decision to supply Ukraine with the M1A1 model is expected to provide much-needed support to the country's military capabilities against Russian aggression.
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