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Western tanks are heading for Ukraine, is that enough?

Britain, Germany, and Poland have each pledged to send 14 tanks, and London expects to deliver the Challenger 2 in the coming weeks. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius predicts it will take him three to four months for Berlin to ship his Leopard 2 tanks.

Poland has indicated that it is already ready to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Portugal says it can give her four Leopard 2s and Norway eight more. There are other pledges to provide Leopard 2, an unspecified number, made by Spain, Finland and the Netherlands. And France is considering giving Ukraine an unspecified number of Leclerc tanks.

A snow-covered destroyed Russian tank stands in the forest in the Kharkov region of Ukraine.credit:APs

Denmark also said it could send 20 Swiss-made Piranha tanks to Ukraine if the Bern government agreed to re-export them.

All in all, it means that at least 105 Western tanks were committed — in principle, at least.

Is that enough?

Ukrainian military officials have long said they need at least 300 Western tanks to make an impact in the war. According to an analysis Wednesday by London-based intelligence firm Jane’s, it is a “mass of tanks at the national level.”

European armies have at least 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks and hundreds of other types of Western tanks. David Silvey, a military historian at Cornell University who specializes in battlefield analysis, said Russia also still had thousands of tanks available in a war that had turned into a war of rapid attrition.

“The West will never play a one-on-one match with these numbers,” said Silbey. “But given that the quality of Leopards and Abrams is superior to the latest Russian tanks, if the West could supply 500 to 1,000 of his tanks, it would make a big difference to Ukraine and the war.”

When will the Ukrainian Armed Forces be ready to use them?

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadim Prystaiko, said they are due to arrive at a British training camp in the coming days to begin training on the Challenger 2 tanks London has promised this month.

Ukrainians must be trained to use the US-made M1 Abrams tank.

Ukrainians must be trained to use the US-made M1 Abrams tank.credit:.

Some former military officials and experts dispute mainly the U.S. claim that it could take months for the Ukrainian military to train the tanks for use. They point out that the Ukrainian military selected to board them would have already been trained in Soviet-era tanks. Learning to operate two tanks takes only three to four weeks to “achieve basic proficiency,” the International Institute for Strategic Studies said earlier this month.

A US official, who briefed journalists on condition of anonymity, described a much more complex process for the M1 Abrams, requiring training not only in operating the tank, but also in maintaining it. Part of that process includes building a stable supply chain to ensure tanks have the fuel, parts and other assistance they need on the front lines.

Abrams may not arrive on the battlefield as one U.S. official described it as “for a while,” but Ukrainian forces will soon begin training to use Abrams. The U.S. military is training Ukrainian forces in a range of combined and coordinated weapons, including armored fighting vehicles.

Do they have enough ammo?


Declining ammunition supplies have plagued the Ukrainian military almost since the beginning of the war, as it relies on declining stockpiles of ammunition compatible with Soviet-era tanks and other weapons. Captured Russian tanks have been a vital stopgap measure for Ukraine, but Ukrainian soldiers say spare parts for them are often hard to come by.

Western-made tanks use ammunition compatible with NATO stocks. That means it could be recruited by any of the 30 member states of the military alliance or its partners. Tanks are delivered with some extra ammunition supplies. Still, the war has depleted Western stockpiles, leaving some allies nervous about whether there will be enough for other potential conflicts or self-defense.

The new Western tanks are essential for future Ukrainian offensive operations, but may also cause headaches for Ukrainian Corps supply officers. has a different ammunition type than the Soviet-era tanks currently deployed by .

How will they get to the battlefield?

The process of delivering Western weapons and other military equipment to Ukraine is one of the war’s most closely guarded secrets.

Concerns that Russia would target roads, railroads, and transit points for supplies prompted officials and experts to use stealth convoys, usually disguised or dressed in darkness, to evade attacks. We need something to represent. Western ex-military officials and experts described a patchwork of delivery routes, mostly starting from hubs in Poland, Slovakia and Germany. This is important for delivering tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and huge guns to the front lines.

Most weapons are transported in railcars or flatbed trucks that are strong enough to carry huge weights. Given that long convoys of flatbed trucks are most likely to attract Russian attention, rail is generally the fastest and safest way to move armor, experts say. The house says it takes too much time, fuel and spare parts to send tanks and other armored vehicles to the battlefield. They will also, in essence, be moving targets for Russian fighters.

The risks are so daunting, and the fear of provoking Russia so high, that Ukrainian forces retrieve weapons from depots on NATO territory instead of having Western forces or contractors deliver them to conflict areas. is needed.

This article originally appeared on new york times.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/western-tanks-are-heading-to-ukraine-but-will-they-be-enough-20230126-p5cfrh.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Western tanks are heading for Ukraine, is that enough?

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