The United States is unwilling to provide Ukraine with its most advanced heavy tank, the Abrams, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday, citing maintenance and training issues as the reason for the refusal.
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Ukraine has been asking the West for modern tanks to repel the Russian invasion for weeks, but the latter have so far only sent light tanks and armored personnel carriers.
“I don’t think we’re there,” Pentagon number three Colin Kahl said when asked during a news conference about the possibility of sending Abrams tanks to Kyiv after Britain last weekend announced the first country to make the promise heavy tanks, Challengers 2.
“The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It’s expensive, it requires rigorous training, it has a jet engine. I think it uses 11 liters of kerosene per km,” said Mr. Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense for Strategy. “It’s not the easiest system to maintain,” he added, without ruling out a change in the US position in the future.
He also pointed out that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has so far carefully avoided supplying Ukrainians with long-term weapons that they “can’t fix, can’t maintain and can’t afford.” Interest”.
According to several American and German media outlets, Germany is refusing to ship its Leopard main battle tanks to Kyiv until Washington has done the same with its Abrams.