The United States, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have arranged to deliver 90 T-72B tanks to Ukraine, but before they are delivered, some systems will be upgraded. Deliveries of anti-aircraft equipment also continue, with a new Italian system. Italy is also talking about the possibility of delivering long-range anti-aircraft systems. The list of recent deliveries continues with technical support from Lithuania, the delivery of Greek armor and perhaps a future delivery of Swedish self-propelled howitzers.
Upgrading before delivery
The Ukrainian Army already has a number of battle tanks, including abandoned and captured Russian tanks intact or even slightly damaged. Some former Soviet bloc countries have already sent old battle tanks to Ukraine, but these deliveries are still limited in terms of quality: these tanks are in no way equivalent to the very modern Leopard 2A7, M1A2 SEPv3 or Leclerc that Ukraine requires. However, the delivery of Soviet tanks offers a big advantage to the Ukrainians: they can directly use these machines - even with very little training - in combat. Based on this observation, on November 4, three countries joined forces to deliver tanks of Soviet origin to Ukraine:
- The United States
- The Netherlands
- The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic will thus supply 90 T-72B battle tanks to Ukraine with the financial support of the United States and the Netherlands ($45 million each). The tanks in question will be refurbished but also upgraded, including;
- a new optical system
- a new communication system
- additional improved armor
It should be noted, however, that the exact model of upgraded T-72B delivered is not yet known.
A new U.S. aid package
On November 4, in addition to this announcement, the U.S. Department of Defense also unveiled a new aid package (link to site):
- Refurbished MIM-23 HAWK anti-aircraft batteries (in preparation for future delivery, exact model as yet unknown). These systems are no longer in service with the US Forces and have since been stored. The Ukrainians have received or are in the process of receiving numerous anti-aircraft systems, including four Spanish MIM-23 HAWKs (more information at the end of this article).
- Refurbishment of 250 M1117 armored personnel carriers
- No less than 1.100 Phoenix Ghost prowler ammunition
- 40 armored riverboats (model unknown)
- Secure communications systems
- Surveillance systems
- Funds for training, maintenance, and support
- As announced above, upgrading of 45 T-72B tanks
These various pieces of equipment amount to approximately $400 million USD.
The Italian Aspide 2000 and maybe more
At least one Aspide medium-range anti-aircraft system (probably Aspide 2000) has arrived in Ukraine. This is a short-range anti-aircraft system equipped with supersonic missiles. These have a semi-active radar sensor and a range of over 25 kilometers. It is a platform-based system and cannot fire on the move (resembles NASAMS).
This may not be the only Italian delivery of anti-aircraft systems as Reuters reports that it has been in contact with an unnamed source in the Italian government. The latter is said to have announced that the government was open to other systems being delivered to Ukraine, such as MANPAD Stinger but also SAMP/T long-range anti-aircraft systems.
Technical support for the PzH 2000
The delivery of equipment is important for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but their maintenance is almost more important. With this in mind, Lithuania has offered to maintain and repair Ukrainian PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The decision was announced in September 2022 and on October 29, no less than 12 howitzers were to be temporarily transported to Lithuania for repairs. Four howitzers have already been repaired and returned to Ukraine.
And many more...
In terms of repairs, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have also received repair and maintenance vehicles for the many HUMVEEs received. Greece also announced in October the delivery of BMP-1A1 infantry fighting vehicles. This delivery was possible thanks to an agreement with Germany: in order to avoid a capability gap, Germany delivered 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Greece, and in exchange Greece will deliver 40 BMP-1A1s to Ukraine (73 mm cannon, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, tracked, carrying 7 soldiers, 13.7 tons). A Swedish delivery is also to be expected. Indeed, since August 31, 2022, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs has announced her country's intention to deliver modern equipment to Ukraine. These include MANPADS on RBS 70 tripods (laser guidance like Starstreak, 9 km range) but also self-propelled Archer howitzers (155 mm, fully automated firing, 30 km range with standard shells, Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact capability, Volvo A30D 6x6 chassis).
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