Those who expect main battle tanks donated to Ukraine by NATO allies to have an immediate impact on a war with Russia may need to adjust their expectations.
After confirming the receipt of the American M-1 Abrams, the German Leopard and the British Challenger, Kyiv now has the logistical and operational capabilities to incorporate a highly diverse and complex assortment of heavy armor into effective combat units. Face reality.
But first, Ukrainians need to take delivery timelines into account.
Even the most optimistic estimates say it will take months for the tanks to hit the battlefield in large numbers and make a big difference, but in the case of the Abrams tanks, it will take 1 year before Ukraine can deploy them. It may take years or more.
Deputy Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said on Thursday that the US will provide Ukraine with an improved version of the Abrams, the M1A2.
The United States “does not have an excess of these tanks available in U.S. inventories,” she said, adding that it would “take months to transfer” them to Ukraine.
Many analysts say it would make things easier for Ukraine to stick to one type of tank, which is what makes Germany’s decision to bring the Leopard into the fight so important.
Modern main battle tanks are complex weapons. It may look terrifyingly tough on the outside, but much of its effectiveness on the battlefield rests on sophisticated electronic and computer systems at its core. These systems locate targets and train the tank’s main guns to target them.
Maintaining, repairing, and supplying necessary parts for tanks requires detailed training, from the crew of the vehicle, to the logistical routes that support the vehicle, hundreds or even thousands of miles from the front lines in eastern Ukraine. is required.
“The tank they can operate and maintain most effectively will be the appropriate choice. I mean any tank you can get, which could mean the Leopard 2,” said Blake Herzinger, Adjunct Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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