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Pentagon confirms 31 Abrams tanks delivery to Germany, training of Ukrainian troops to begin soon
The U.S. has delivered 31 Abrams tanks to Grafenwoehr, in Germany, where training of Ukrainian forces will begin in the next few weeks, Pentagon spokesperson General Patrick Ryder said during a press briefing on May 15.
“As we’ve discussed previously, this extensive training program for Ukrainian crews and maintainers is intended to prepare them for their critical roles ahead in effectively operating the M1 tank and defending Ukrainian people,” he said.
In late January, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he would be sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine, in response to a call from U.S. lawmakers to provide Kyiv with the tanks. The purpose of this was alleged to pressure Germany into authorizing the delivery of their own Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Later, the Pentagon said that the U.S. would supply Ukraine with 31 M1-A1 Abrams tanks instead of the newer M1-A2 version it had pledged before.
According to AP, around 250 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained on how to maintain and use the tanks.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee that by the time Ukrainian forces complete a roughly 10-week training, the Abrams tanks currently being built for Ukraine will be ready.
The tanks that will be sent to Ukraine are being modified to its military specifications and are expected to arrive in Ukraine by early fall, a U.S. official told the AP on the condition of anonymity.