Biden Announces 31 Abrams Tanks for Ukraine in $400M Aid Package

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday afternoon he has approved sending 31 Abrams M1 main battle tanks to Ukraine, in an escalation of U.S. support for the war as it nears the one-year mark.

“With spring approaching, Ukrainian forces are working to defend the territory they hold and preparing for additional counter offenses to liberate their land. They need to be able to counter Russia’s evolving tactics and strategy on the battlefield in the very near term. They need to improve their ability to maneuver and open terrain, and they need an enduring capability to deter and defend against Russian aggression over the long term,” Biden said.

“Today, I’m announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abram tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion,” he said.

Biden did not mention the costs, but shortly after his remarks, the Department of Defense announced a package of $400 million under its Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

“This $400 million USAI package represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional capabilities to Ukraine,” the Department of Defense said in a press release.

The package would include: 31 Abrams main battle tanks with 120mm rounds and other ammunition; Eight Tactical Vehicles to recover equipment; Support vehicles and equipment; and Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

The new package brings the total of U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to $27.8 billion since January 2021. The overall U.S. commitment to Ukraine since then is approximately $113 billion.

Biden said the U.S. would also give Ukraine the spare parts and equipment necessary to sustain the tanks on the battlefield, and that Ukrainian troops would be trained on sustainment, logistics, and maintenance “as soon as possible.”

However, he said, “Delivering these tanks to the field is going to take time.” Neither he nor senior defense officials who briefed reporters earlier specified when the tanks would get there or Ukrainian forces would be trained on how to operate them.

Biden said the move was recommended by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, although for months defense officials have expressed reservations that the advanced tanks were the right tools for Ukrainian troops at the moment, due to the complicated training and maintenance requirements.

But the move comes after intense international pressure to send the tanks.

Earlier in the day, Germany announced it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, signaling a break in an impasse among NATO members over whether to send advanced tanks to Ukraine. The U.S. had supported Germany sending Leopard 2 tanks, but Germany was reluctant to send them without a commitment from the U.S. to send Abrams tanks.

Biden denied Germany forced him to send the tanks, saying, “We wanted to make sure we were all together.”

Biden also said today was Zelensky’s birthday and wished him happy birthday.

He added, “We’re with you for as long as it takes, Mr. President.”

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook. 

 

You May Also Like

Who is the designated survivor for 2023 State of the Union?

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is the designated survivor for President Biden’s State…

3 dead after boat with migrants hits rocks

In this photo provided by the Greek Coast Guard, a helicopter searches…

Woman hit with £500 a month rent increase asks Martin Lewis if she has to pay it

Martin Lewis took advice from a worried renter hit with huge rent…

47-Year-Old Tampa Woman Dies In Fiery Crash On Orient Road And Hillsborough Ave

TFP File Photo TAMPA, Fla. – A Tampa woman has died after…

State of the Union live updates: Latest on Biden’s speech

WASHINGTON – Follow along for real-time updates on President Joe Biden’s 2023…

Twitter restores Sen. Steve Daines’ account after Musk weighs in

Twitter restored Sen. Steve Daines’ (R-Mont.) account on Tuesday afternoon after it…

Council members gather ahead of planned special meeting on attempted JEA sale

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City Council members Brenda Priestly Jackson and Randy Defoor…

LIV Golf Made ‘Virtually Zero’ Money in 2022

The first season of LIV Golf was a smashing success, as long…

Happy Valley actor Rhys Connah admits he would love to play Ryan again as fans call for spin-off series

Some fans think it isn’t quite the end of Happy Valley

How expert diver leading search for Nicola Bulley lives on farm with family, alpacas and emus

An expert diver dubbed the ‘Human Mole’ who is leading the desperate…

3 face life in rapper’s slaying

It’s been almost five years since up-and-coming rapper Jahseh Onfroy, better known…

Hillsborough County Schools Teacher’s Aid Arrested For Sleeping With Student

Briona Inman, 24 TAMPA, Fla.- Detectives have arrested a Hillsborough County Schools…