The United States could deliver M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine much faster than expected

On January 24, Washington announced the dispatch of 30–50 M1 Abrams heavy tanks to Ukraine, largely to unblock the situation in Europe over the German Leopard 2s, with Berlin refusing to commit to delivering or allowing the delivery of its tanks without the United States having previously made the same announcement. However, it was quickly announced that the 31 tanks that will be delivered to Ukraine would not be taken from US Army stocks, as is the case with the German, Portuguese, Finnish or Polish Leopard 2s, but would the object of a special manufacture, in particular to eliminate certain components considered to be critical if they were to fall into the hands of the Russian military. In fact, the American Abrams should not arrive in Ukraine before 2024, or at the end of 2023 in the best case, knowing that other countries, such as Taiwan and Poland, are also awaiting the delivery of their M1A2 heavy tanks.

As Joe Biden wraps up his surprise visit to Kyiv where he announced $5 billion in new military equipment aid to Ukraine, as well as the United States' unwavering support for the Ukrainian cause, the lines seem he moved to the White House about it. Indeed, according to the confidences made by Stanley Brown, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, to the American defense information site, it is now planned to send Abrams to Ukraine, not specially manufactured, but taken from US Army stocks, which would make it possible to deliver the tanks much more quickly, especially since the latter still use several models. of Abrams, and not only the last and very confidential version M1A2 SEPv3, making it possible to neutralize part of the concerns of the American military and industrialists on this subject.

The US Army is certainly not ready to transfer its M1A2s to Ukraine, but it has more than 300 M1A1s transferred in 2020 by the US Marines Corps (in main illustration)

The announcement will probably be very well received in Kyiv. Indeed, the Ukrainian armies would have lost, according to the admission of the General Staff, half of the thousand T-64M which constituted the bulk of its battle corps before little, as well as a large part of its T -72 and those delivered by its Eastern European allies. At the same time, European aid for heavy tanks, despite the psychodrama orchestrated by Warsaw on this subject a month ago, promises to be limited in the short to medium term, and that most of the fleet will be made up of much older and less efficient Leopard 2A4s than the fifteen or so A6s that will be delivered by Berlin with the help of Lisbon. In fact, and despite the resistance of the Ukrainian forces even today in the face of repeated Russian attacks, the need to strengthen their defense capabilities, but also their maneuvering capabilities, is now very important, and above all very urgent. It is probably in response to this obviously critical situation that Washington is now considering delivering some of its own Abrams.

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