WASHINGTON (AP) — The US is finalizing a massive military aid package for Ukraine. Although for the first time it is expected to include about 100 Stryker combat vehicles and at least 50 Bradley armored vehicles to allow Ukrainian forces to move more quickly and safely on the front lines of the war against Russia. , does not include the tanks that Ukraine wanted.
Officials said the numbers could change as the Biden administration moves forward with final deliberations on the package. An announcement is expected at the time of discussion. The aid is also expected to include thousands of rounds of ammunition, including rockets for air defense systems.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid has not yet been made public.
The decision to send Stryker, which could be delivered in the coming weeks, comes on the heels of Britain’s announcement to send Ukrainian tanks long sought by the Ukrainian leader. Stryker and Bradley are armored personnel carriers.
Undersecretary of Defense Colin Carle told reporters on Wednesday that a new phase of the war was shaping up as Russia became more entrenched and Ukraine would need mechanized infantry to break through those lines. Said it would be
“The Russians are really digging. “We are trying to combine fire and maneuver in a way that will prove more effective to allow the Ukrainians to penetrate Russian defenses,” Kahl said. The emphasis has shifted to making sure that
At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told political leaders that Western arms supplies must outweigh Russia’s offensive, urging the world to move faster. urged to act. Tyranny has overtaken democracy. ”
The Stryker can transport a full squad of 9 infantry units and 2 crew members. Equipped with a 30 mm cannon, machine gun and grenade launcher, it can travel up to 60 miles per hour (about 100 kilometers per hour). It runs on eight wheels, so it’s lighter, faster and more fuel efficient than the Bradley.
The first shipment of 50 Bradleys was announced two weeks ago. Known as the “Tank Killer” because it can fire anti-tank missiles, the Bradley runs on railroad tracks, making it more useful than the Striker in muddy terrain.
The two vehicles serve different purposes. Bradley brings more firepower, but he carries less troops. Lighter armored strikers have wheels so they can move faster on paved roads. This means you can bring infantry companies into battle faster.
For months, Ukraine has sought supplies of heavier tanks, including the U.S. Abrams and Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks, but Western leaders have proceeded cautiously. Britain announced last week that it would send Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, but the United States and others have postponed it.
Germany is under pressure to send Leopard 2 tanks, and Poland has expressed readiness to provide a company of Leopard tanks. But Polish President Andrzej Duda stressed during a recent visit to the Ukrainian city of Lviv that Poland would only do so as part of a larger international coalition of tank aid to Kyiv.
The Czech Republic and Poland have provided Soviet-era T-72 tanks to the Ukrainian army, and France has said it will send AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine, called “light tanks” in French. I’m here. US officials say there are no moves yet to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
Laura Cooper, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia and Ukraine, said earlier this month that the Ukrainian military excels at maintaining and maintaining complex armored vehicles and will receive additional training. A heavily armored tank like the Abrams, which consumes a lot of gas, will require more maintenance and other training, he said.
The influx of tanks and armored carriers comes as they face heavy fighting around the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut and the nearby salt-mining town of Soledar. A fierce battle is expected in the spring.
In addition to Bradley, previous US aid packages included 100 M113 armored personnel carriers and 55 Mine Resistant Ambush Vehicles (MRAPS). These types of armored carriers, along with Stryker, will better protect Ukrainian forces fighting a brutal campaign against a Wagnerian army made up mostly of prisoners from Russian prisons.
The US military has a large number of strikers available for deployment. Just last year, the Army announced plans to convert Alaska’s Stryker Brigade Combat Team into a highly mobile infantry unit better suited to the frigid Arctic.
Associated Press writer Tara Kopp contributed to this report. Baldor reported from Brussels.