The first batch of Abrams tanks that the US is providing Ukraine was authorized for shipment over the weekend and is expected to arrive in the country in early fall, the US Army’s top acquisition official said Monday.
"The last of the set was officially accepted by the US government or the production facility over the weekend. So they are done," said Army Acquisition Chief Doug Bush, according to the War Zone.
The US will be providing Ukraine with 31 refurbished M1A1 Abrams, an older variant of the tank. The US initially said it would send the newer M1A2 Abrams, but the Pentagon decided to speed up the plan by sending older tanks.
The M1A2s needed to be manufactured and would have taken years to deliver. Bush said that while the tanks are ready, it will still take time to deliver them and send necessary related equipment, which includes "ammunition, spare parts, fuel equipment, repair facilities."
The Wall Street Journal reported in July that the US is expected to arm the Abrams it sends to Ukraine with depleted uranium rounds, a toxic ammunition that’s linked to cancer, birth defects, and environmental damage, especially in Iraq, where US forces used an enormous number of the controversial munitions.
When asked about the possibility of sending depleted uranium to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday that he had nothing to announce.
"I don’t have anything to provide, no announcements to make regarding any type of tank ammunition at this point," he said.
All of this comes as mainstream media begins expressing severe doubts over Ukraine's counteroffensive...
New CNN reporting shows Western allies are receiving what they say are increasingly "sobering" about the Ukraine counteroffensive. Some fear the widening gap between expectations and results may lead to a "blame game." Talking about it all with @MAJMikeLyons: pic.twitter.com/0EIp46fiU3— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) August 8, 2023
The UK has provided Ukraine with depleted uranium ammunition for its British-made Challenger 2 tanks. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his decision to deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus was a response to Britain giving Ukraine depleted uranium.