Some Pentagon officers have been shocked that German officers have been publicly admitting the hyperlink between the Abrams tanks and the Leopards, one official stated, talking on situation of anonymity to debate inner deliberations. He added that officers had thought these communications would solely be inner.
By Monday, officers stated each Mr. Austin and Common Milley have been onboard with sending American tanks to Germany. To make the purpose — or to be seen making the purpose — Mr. Austin known as Mr. Biden on Monday to suggest sending the Abrams tanks.
Whereas some lawmakers had recommended the USA wanted to ship as few as a single Abrams tank to unlock the German Leopards, the Pentagon leaders stated that made no sense. If the USA was going to ship its most superior tank system, it ought to ship a battalion with “fight energy,” one official stated.
A Ukrainian battalion has 31 tanks, in order that was the quantity the USA agreed to ship, Pentagon officers stated.
A number of particulars nonetheless must be labored out. The Military has not but determined which particular sort of Abrams tanks it is going to ship, Douglas R. Bush, an Military assistant secretary, advised reporters on Wednesday.
The Military has tanks in its stock that may must be revamped — however they won’t must be constructed from scratch by Common Dynamics. The Military has greater than 1,000 Abrams tanks both able to battle or in numerous states of partial development that could possibly be retrofitted to be used in Ukraine.
The Military should determine between variants of the Abrams tanks which have totally different electronics and a special gun turret, Mr. Bush stated, a choice to be made by senior Pentagon officers within the coming weeks.
Procuring the tanks will take months, officers stated, giving the U.S. army time to coach Ukrainian troopers the way to function and keep them. It was unclear whether or not coaching would happen in Germany, the USA or each, Pentagon officers stated on Wednesday.
Eric Lipton contributed reporting.