Despite President Biden’s promise For 31 M1 Abrams tanks to be sent to Ukraine on Wednesday, it could take months for the artillery to arrive, according to reports.
The New York Post reported that Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh confirmed that the United States does not have enough M1 Abrams tanks in its inventory to send to Ukraine at this time.
“We don’t have these tanks in excess in our US stockpiles, which is why it will take months to get these M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine,” Singh told the newspaper.
BIDEN AGREES to send 31 M1 ABRAMS tanks to Ukraine, in reverse
If the tanks are in the possession of the Pentagon, it takes less than a week to pack and ship the tanks. But when using the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, or USAI program, it can take months or years because the government does the procurement process to identify and hire contractors to build the weapons.
Biden announced the approval of the weapons on Wednesday, just hours after the German chancellor did Ukraine said Olaf Schultz You will also get Leopard 2 tanks from Berlin as Russia is planning a major offensive.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of Defense joined President Anthony Blinken, who described the tanks as “the most capable tanks in the world” which will enhance Ukraine’s battlefield capability.
Russia returns to us, and Germany, tanker deliveries to Ukraine: “direct intervention in the conflict”
“This is about freedom, freedom for Ukraine, and freedom everywhere,” Biden said.
The decision to send the tanks came after weeks of stalled and frustrated negotiations with Germany, which senior defense officials described as “the product of good diplomatic talks”.
Earlier this month, Germany suggested it would not agree to send its tanks into Ukraine unless the United States did as well, citing concerns about the escalation of the war.
While senior defense officials have not confirmed whether the decision was a stipulation from Berlin or a motive from Washington to get Germany to roll out the Leopard tanks, the move was endorsed as a show of long-term support for Ukraine.
The United States has already provided thousands of combat vehicles, including 1,700 Humvees and earlier this month pledged another 500 armored vehicles of several types.
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The Abrams tanks will be purchased through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and will not come directly from US stockpiles.
It remains unclear how long it will take to get the Abrams tanks ready and operational in Ukraine and defense officials have not said where the exercises will take place, although it has been confirmed that the exercises will take place outside of Ukraine.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.
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