Pentagon says tanks are ‘absolutely on the table’ for Ukraine as Kyiv continues counter-offensive

Pentagon official says tanks are ‘absolutely on the table’ for Ukraine as Kyiv continues its counter-offensive against Russian invasion

  • A senior Department of Defense official said the United States supplying Ukraine with tanks is still ‘absolutely on the table’
  • Ukraine has been utilizing Soviet-era tanks throughout its counter-offensive against Russia but has requested modern replacements
  • The US has advised European countries to supply Ukraine with more Soviet-era tanks if possible because NATO tanks would require training
  • Over $15.8 billion has been provided to Ukraine by the United States in its efforts since Russia invaded on February 24 

A plan for the United States to supply Ukraine with new tanks is ‘absolutely on the table,’ according to a Department of Defense official.

Ukraine has been utilizing Soviet-era tanks throughout its counter-offensive against Russia but has requested modern replacements.

The US has previously advised European countries to supply Ukraine with more Soviet-era tanks if possible, as any tank provided by a NATO country would require extensive training to use.

‘Tanks are absolutely on the table along with other areas,’ the official told reporters in anonymity at the Pentagon.

‘We’re looking at the entirety of the Ukrainian armed forces and considering for the future … what capabilities they will need and how the US and our allies will be able to support Ukraine in building out those capabilities.’

The US provided $25 billion in military aid to Ukraine between January 24 and August 3, 2022, according to Newsweek.

Ukraine has been utilizing T-64 tanks in its efforts, which were first made in 1966 by Ukrainian tank designer Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov. 

Ukraine has been utilizing Soviet-era tanks, the T-64, in its seven-month counter-offensive against Russia

Ukraine has been utilizing Soviet-era tanks, the T-64, in its seven-month counter-offensive against Russia

The US has requested European countries to provide additional tanks to Ukraine, though Germany's defense minister has said the country will not provide support 'unilaterally'

The US has requested European countries to provide additional tanks to Ukraine, though Germany’s defense minister has said the country will not provide support ‘unilaterally’ 

An anonymous Department of Defense official said the US sending Ukraine modern tanks is 'absolutely on the table'

An anonymous Department of Defense official said the US sending Ukraine modern tanks is ‘absolutely on the table’

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced September 16 that the United States would be sending $600 million in military assistance to Ukraine

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced September 16 that the United States would be sending $600 million in military assistance to Ukraine

Should Ukraine be supplied with NATO-based tanks in the near future, the Pentagon official said additional support to help with training efforts would be provided. 

‘The tanks that are available that could be provided very quickly with little to no training are Soviet-type tanks but we’re certainly open to other options provided that the training, maintenance, and sustainment can be taken care of,’ the official said.

‘There will be a day when they may want to transition and may need to transition to, you know, NATO compatible models.

‘We’re always very cognizant though with any new equipment that we provide to Ukraine or that our allies, our partners provide that there is substantial training, maintenance and sustainment … and sustainment consideration.’

In response to Ukraine’s request for new tanks as the Russian invasion reaches its seven-month mark, Germany’s Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht told Reuters that her country would not take action ‘unilaterally.’

 ‘No country has delivered Western-built infantry fighting vehicles or main battle tanks so far,’ Lambrecht said.

‘We have agreed with our partners that Germany will not take such action unilaterally.’

What’s inside the United States’ incoming $600 million package to Ukraine’s war effort 

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, announced September 16 that the US will be sending $600 million in military assistance to Ukraine.

 ‘Together with our Allies and partners, we are delivering the arms and equipment that Ukraine’s forces are utilizing so effectively as they continue their successful counter-offensive against Russia’s invasion,’ Blinken said in a statement. 

‘President Biden has been clear we will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.’

The package includes more arms, ammunitions, and equipment:

  • 36,000 105mm artillery rounds
  • 1,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds
  • Four counter-artillery radars
  • Four trucks, and eight trailers for heavy equipment transportation
  • Night vision goggles in addition to cold weather gear and other field equipment 
  • Demolition munitions and equipment
  • Small arms and munitions 

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