US Expediting Abrams Delivery To Ukraine, Tanks To Arrive In Germany: SecDef Austin

Wrapping up a big Friday meeting of the Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany - a coalition of nations which coordinates weaponry to Ukraine - US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the Pentagon is now expediting delivery of M1 Abrams to Kiev.

"We’ve also expedited our M1 Abrams timelines to supply Ukraine with more armored capability in the coming months, and the M1s that the Ukrainians will use for training will arrive here in Germany in the next few weeks," Austin announced during a press conference.

Image: Associated Press

This comes on the heels of reports from earlier in the day saying that 31 Abrams tanks are set to arrive in Germany soon, where an additional 10-week training program for Ukrainian operators will be held

This means the tanks could finally reach the battlefield by Fall, according to reports. But given that Russia clearly has the upper-hand in the key Donetsk city of Bakhmut, how the situation will unfold by then is anything but certain. 

Austin in his comments also pledged support to Kiev for as long as Ukraine is battling the Russian invasion, reviewing the major weapons systems supplied by 54 allied nations thus far:

Another major development announced at the end of the Contact Group meeting, the fourth to be held, is that Germany, Poland and Ukraine have signed an agreement to establish a repair hub for Leopard II tanks being used in Ukraine.

Ukraine has declared what it's calling a "tank coalition" involving partner nations...

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius explained that "All parties agreed on how to finance such a hub, which costs around 150-200 million euros ($384 million) a year and could begin operations at the end of May."

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