Friday, January 27, 2023

Germany and the United States will send tanks to Ukraine: when will they arrive and how many will be sent

(CNN Spanish) — After weeks of intense debate within NATO, both the German and United States governments approved the shipment of the tanks to bolster the defense of Ukraine, which has been at war with Russia since February 2022.

In Germany’s case, these are at least 14 modern Leopard 2 tanks – other European countries may send dozens more – while the United States will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks – enough to equip approximately two companies -, American-built .

Biden announced that the US would send 30 Abrams tanks to Ukraine 2:20

United States President Joe Biden confirmed the shipment, which had already been advanced by US officials from the White House, thus yielding to Kyiv’s requests for highly sophisticated but high-maintenance vehicles and a complex logistics system. Long resistance reversed. That, for many, would be difficult to maintain in Ukraine.

It is not yet clear which model of M1 Abrams tank the United States will send, but it will take months to arrive, senior government officials said, and will require extensive training for Ukrainian troops on how to operate them and their weapons. To be repaired

Biden also said the United Kingdom would send its own Challenger 2 tanks — at least 14, according to the British government — although there were no details on timing.

In terms of Berlin’s decision, it affects not only potential shipments of tanks belonging to the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, but also hundreds of Leopard 2s held by other European countries – Poland being the first to offer its Leopard 2s. country, but the list has grown—and which requires approval from Germany, the manufacturer, for sale or donation.

US M1A2 Abrams tanks of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division stand in Grafenwohr, Bavaria, Germany, July 13. (Credit: Daniel Karman/Picture-Alliance/DPA/ Associated Press)

But how many Leopard 2 could be sent to Ukraine by European countries, what models would they be and when could they be operational?

Germany’s commitment

According to a government statement, Germany has initially committed to sending 14 of its Leopard 2 to Ukraine. According to the specifications of the US Army, this number is sufficient to equip a tank company in the Western NATO standard, consisting of three platoons (4 tanks each) and 2 more tanks in the headquarters.

“The goal is to rapidly assemble two Leopard 2 tank battalions for Ukraine,” the statement said, with the remainder to be met by supplies from European partners.

Each battalion, for its part, is composed of three or four companies for a total of between 42 and 56 tanks.

Panther 2 Western Weapons Ukraine

A Leopard 2A4 belonging to Poland during military training on January 27, 2022. (Credit: Armin Weigel/Picture-Alliance/DPA/ Associated Press)

According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, German-supplied Leopard 2 tanks could be actively deployed in Ukraine within three months.

It is not clear when Leopard 2 will be operational, distributed by other European countries, nor which countries will provide them and in what quantities.

Who can supply the remaining Leopard 2

Poland, which has a large fleet of Leopard 2 A4 and A5, was the first country to deliver a carrier (about 14 tanks) to Ukraine.

The Netherlands, which does not formally own 2 Leopard tanks but leases 18 from Germany, said it was ready to buy those tanks for shipment to Ukraine, while Norway said it would order 4 more. Will also “contribute” between 8 tanks.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles said that while Spain is also ready to send its Leopard 2, though in coordination with its NATO allies. The official did not talk about numbers or time frame.

Ukraine urgently sends 2 Leopard tanks from Germany 4:09

Overall, there are 13 countries in Europe that have around 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks – in various states – in their armed forces, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

What is the capacity of Leopard 2 tank

The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank that entered service in 1979, but through successive modernizations and upgrades, remains one of the world’s most modern and capable armored vehicles.

It is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun (NATO standard), can reach speeds of 70 km/h or 50 km/h when off-road, with very good maneuverability, and is protected by an advanced armor centered on the front is, according to German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann.

Its oldest variants are the A4 and A5, while the A7 is the most advanced and is considered front-line due to its firepower, mobility, armor and firing system, which has the ability to face the most advanced tanks from Russia under favorable conditions .

The Leopard 2 A4 can be recognized by the straight front of their turret, while the A5, A6 and A7 use an armor design tilted at an angle for increased protection.

The Leopard 2 has been exported by Germany to a number of countries and used in combat against irregular forces in Afghanistan, the Balkans and Syria – employed by Turkey – but an eventual deployment to Ukraine would be the first time they have seen T-like Russian tanks. would have faced. 72, T-80 and T-90.

It is not clear which versions of the Leopard 2 will be sent to Ukraine by Germany and other European users of this tank.

With reporting by Stephanie Halaz, Al Goodman, Natasha Bertrand, Oren Lieberma, Rob Pichetta, Antonia Mortensen, Kevin Liptak, Brad Lendon, Yoonjung Seo and Joseph Atman.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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