U.S. plans to start delivering Abrams tanks to Ukraine in Sept - Politico

U.S. plans to start delivering Abrams tanks to Ukraine in Sept - Politico

U.S.-made Abrams tanks are likely to arrive on the Ukrainian battlefield in September.

That's according to Politico, which refers to six people familiar with the planning, Ukrinform reports.

The plan is to send a handful of Abrams tanks to Germany in August, where they will undergo final refurbishments. Once that process is complete, the first batch of Abrams will be shipped to Ukraine the following month.

The U.S. is sending older M1A1 models instead of the more modern A2 version, which would have taken a year to get to Ukraine.

Read also: Kuleba: Abrams tanks may appear on battlefield during current counteroffensive

A Department of Defense official and another person familiar with Kyiv's thinking said the tanks could even arrive in Ukraine as early as August, but that timeline may be overly optimistic. The tanks are not new; instead, the older vehicles are being stripped of their most sensitive technology, including in some cases secret depleted uranium armor, before they can be sent to Ukraine.

The initial batch will involve six to eight tanks. In total the U.S. is planning to send 31 tanks, a Ukrainian battalion's worth.

Before Ukrainian forces can begin operating the tanks, they have to wrap up a roughly 10-week course on 31 trainer tanks at the Grafenwoehr Army base in Germany.

The U.S. is working with its European allies to establish heavy maintenance repair facilities, especially for battle damage to the Abrams tanks and other heavy armor that has been donated to Ukraine.

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