Pentagon official says tanks ‘definitely on the table’ for Ukraine as Kiev continues counteroffensive against Russian invasion
- A senior Defense Department official said the US supplying Ukraine with tanks is still ‘absolutely on the table’
- Ukraine has used Soviet-era tanks throughout its counteroffensive against Russia, but has requested modern replacements
- The US has advised European countries to supply Ukraine with more Soviet 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 US plan to supply Ukraine with new tanks is ‘definitely on the table’, according to a Defense Department official.
Ukraine has used Soviet-era tanks throughout its counteroffensive against Russia, but has requested modern replacements.
The US has previously advised European countries to supply Ukraine with more Soviet tanks if possible, as any tank supplied by a NATO country would require extensive training to use.
“Tanks are absolutely on the table along with other areas,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity at the Pentagon.
“We are looking at the entire Ukrainian armed forces and considering for the future … what capabilities they will need and how the United States and our allies will be able to support Ukraine in building those capabilities.”
The United States provided $25 billion in military aid to Ukraine between January 24 and August 3, 2022, according to Newsweek.
Ukraine has used T-64 tanks in its efforts, which were first created in 1966 by Ukrainian tank designer Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov.
Ukraine has used Soviet-era tanks, the T-64, in its seven-month counter-offensive against Russia
The US has asked European countries to supply additional tanks to Ukraine, although Germany’s defense minister has said it will not provide support ‘unilaterally’
An anonymous Defense Department official said the US sending modern tanks to Ukraine is ‘absolutely on the table’
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced on September 16 that the United States would send $600 million in military aid to Ukraine
Should Ukraine be provided with NATO-based tanks in the near future, the Pentagon official said additional support would be provided to help with training efforts.
“The tanks that are available that could be delivered very quickly with little or no training are Soviet-type tanks, but we are certainly open to other options provided that training, maintenance and upkeep can be taken care of,” the official said . .
“There will be a day when they may want to switch and may have to transition to, you know, NATO-compatible models.
“We’re always very mindful of any new equipment that we deliver to Ukraine or that our allies, our partners make sure that there’s significant training, maintenance and upkeep … and maintenance considerations.”
In response to Ukraine’s request for new tanks as the Russian invasion reaches its seven-month mark, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said. Reuters that her country would not act ‘unilaterally’.
“No country has supplied 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 US’s incoming $600 million package for Ukraine’s war effort
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, announced September 16, that the United States will send $600 million in military aid to Ukraine.
“Together with our allies and partners, we are providing the weapons and equipment that Ukraine’s forces use so effectively as they continue their successful counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion,” Blinken said in a statement.
‘President Biden has been clear that we will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes’.
The pack contains several weapons, ammunition and equipment:
- 36,000 105 mm artillery customers
- 1,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery pieces
- Four counter-artillery radars
- Four trucks and eight trailers for transporting heavy equipment
- Night vision goggles in addition to cold weather gear and other field gear
- Demolition ammunition and equipment
- Handguns and ammunition