Ukraine will soon receive additional combat vehicles to aid its war effort and could allow its forces to change the tactics employed on the battlefield. On Thursday, the Biden Administration pledged to send a new $2.8 billion weapons package that will include about fifty M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Russia’s ambassador accused Washington of plotting a “dangerous course” by providing Kyiv with additional combat vehicles.
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Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters, “This step [the delivery of Bradley fighting vehicles] comes as a confirmation that our interlocutors in the United States have not even tried to listen to our numerous calls to take into account possible consequences of such a dangerous course by Washington,” and he added, “nobody should still have doubts who bears responsibility for prolonging this conflict. All the actions by the Administration indicate a lack of any desire for a political settlement.”
More Aid to Ukraine
Of the roughly $2.8 billion package, around $800 million of the funds came from Foreign Military Financing to help Ukraine procure weapons, one official said, according to a report from Reuters. The balance of the aid came from Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) for Ukraine.
It would allow the United States to transfer defense articles including Humvees and other vehicles, as well as munitions and ordnance from stocks quickly without congressional approval in response to an emergency.
A Western Fighting Force
The announcement that the United States will supply the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles come just a day after France said it will send its AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles, a highly mobile tank destroyer, to Ukraine. While a wheeled system, rather than a tracked vehicle, the AMX-10 RC is still built around a powerful turret-mounted GIAT 105mm gun.
In addition, Germany has pledged to provide Kyiv with its Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
As previously reported the Western-supplied vehicles could allow Ukraine’s forces to operate much more like a NATO armored unit and less like a Russian armored force. These vehicles will allow Ukrainian infantry to travel alongside main battle tanks (MBT), which could be crucial when Kyiv launches its next counter-offensive.
Moreover, the move to send modern infantry fighting vehicles could be a portent that the West will consider supplying more powerful Western MBTs – which so far Washington and other European allies have been reluctant to do. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly urged the West to provide tanks and other heavy weapons.
“There is no rationale why Ukraine has not yet been supplied with Western tanks,” he said in a video address. “We must put an end to the Russian aggression this year” and added, “modern Western armored vehicles and Western-type tanks” were the platforms that could make that happen.
The fifty Bradleys are part of an overall aid package that is expected to be formally announced on Friday, worth $3.8 billion Politico reported. In addition to the fighting vehicles, it will include 155mm artillery shells, and for the first time will include radar-guided Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles, which can be launched from the sea or on land to intercept aircraft or cruise missiles.
Until this point, Taiwan has been the only nation to operate the ground-launched version of the missiles, as the U.S. and multiple allied navies use the ship-mounted version.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.