The United States on Friday announced major new military aid to Ukraine valued at more than $3 billion, including 50 Bradley-class armored infantry and dozens of other armored vehicles .
This new tranche – $2.85 billion worth of weapons from US military stocks and 225 million orders from the defense industry – does not include the tanks that Kyiv is demanding from the West, but it will strengthen the movement capabilities of Ukrainian forces.
This is the “highest tranche of military aid in total value that we have pledged so far,” Laura Cooper told reporters. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, in charge of Russia at the Pentagon.
It includes 50 Bradley type M2A2, which are equipped with a 25 mm gun and an anti-tank missile launcher, and can carry, in addition to the crew, six fighters. These tracked armored vehicles can also fire Javelin anti-tank missiles, which the Ukrainians used extensively at the start of the conflict against Russia.
“The Bradleys will further enhance Ukraine's ability to conduct complex maneuvers in virtually all weather conditions and on all terrains, particularly in the south and east of the country,” Ms. Cooper added.
“We are doing what is necessary so that Ukraine can move forward and regain territory,” she added as many observers fear a major Russian offensive by spring.
The new aid tranche also includes 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, 55 mine-resistant MRAP armored personnel carriers and 18 howitzers, as well as artillery bombs, mortars, air defense missiles and weapons fist.
The Bradleys hailed by Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the new tranche of aid in the evening, which brings the total military aid of the United States since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
“For the first time we will receive Bradley armored vehicles, that's exactly what we need,” Zelensky said. “New rifles and new projectiles, including high-precision ones”.
Washington and Berlin had already announced on Thursday that they would deliver infantry armored vehicles to Kyiv, of the Bradley type on the American side and of the Marder on the German side.
Germany will send 40 “Marder” armored vehicles to the Ukrainian army in the first quarter of 2023 and provide eight-week training in their handling, the German government said on Friday.
In service since the 1970s, the Marder are light armored vehicles intended for troop transport. Their main armament is a 20 mm cannon.
France had indicated on Wednesday that it would send an unspecified number of AMX-10 RC light combat tanks.
These announcements mark a new rise range of equipment delivered by the West to Ukraine, after long months of reluctance for fear of pushing Moscow to escalate.
Germany has also committed to supplying a battery Patriot anti-aircraft defenses, as the United States has already done.