The Czech Republic is stepping up its efforts and preparing to send T-72B battle tanks to Ukraine. These are Soviet-era main battle tanks that entered production in 1969. It also has a long history with Ukraine. The original 5TDF engines were replaced by the more modern V-45, which was produced by the Malyshev factory in Kharkiv.
The T-72B was later produced in 1985 and features a new main gun, stabilizer, sights and fire control capable of firing 9M1119 Svir guided missiles. It also has armour, including 20mm of “applied armour” in the front hull. Moreover, it runs on an upgraded 840 horsepower motor.
Plus, these will also get a ton of upgrades after the US and the Netherlands pledged to fund the refurbishment of these tanks. The two countries are sharing the $90 million cost of upgrading these tanks. The US contribution is part of the $400 million allocation to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) weapons package announced last Friday. Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said it was “the first time we’ve paid for these tanks to be used in Ukraine.”
The refurbishment will include new optics, updated communications hardware and software, and more armor packages. However, Singh did not reveal how exactly these systems would work.
Singh added that the T-72s were chosen over the M-1 Abrams because they were more functional.
“Introducing a new main battle tank is extremely expensive…and it would be a huge undertaking for the Ukrainian forces. So we continue to consult with our allies and partners to assess our capability on what we can provide in terms of Western armored platforms. But these tanks, we believe, will make a difference on the battlefield,” she said.
This donation would be a pinned timeline as European countries step in as they see war escalate in the next two months. As for Germany, they finally gave in to the pressure and sent 30 Flakpanzer Gepart anti-aircraft tanks (though not as good as the big battle tanks) in August.
As for the United States, John Kirby said the Pentagon constantly assesses the war, seeking to always be one to three steps ahead of Russia.
“Our supply of weapons and capabilities to Ukraine has evolved since the very beginning of the war in February as the needs on the battlefield have evolved,” Security Council coordinator John Kirby told reporters on Friday. National for Strategic Communications. The focus right now is rightly on air defense, and so you’ll see that in this… package that the Pentagon announced, there’s funding to refurbish some HAWK interceptor missiles.
Although Zelensky called for the urgent delivery of the requested weapons, Kirby said Ukraine’s need for generators now takes priority, as their energy structure has been one of the main targets of the Russian army lately. Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said they had been operating in emergency mode, using the city’s energy supply system since October 28. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had authorized its 24th collection of US arms and equipment for Ukraine.
“This $275 million drawdown includes additional weapons, ammunition and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventory. This drawdown will bring total U.S. military assistance to Ukraine to an all-time high of more than 18 $.5 billion since administration began.
That’s why Kirby said they are looking to see how the United States can help Ukraine in the short term, including improving its ability to repair the damage caused by these attacks. The USAID spokesperson said defense one that generators have already started to be delivered to Ukraine.
“In addition to the 700 generators we already delivered in September, USAID delivered heating pipes and valves worth $1.3 million to Kyivteploenergo, Kyiv’s main heating system operator, to restore heating services to more than 22,000 people who had lost access to heat and hot water. due to the destruction of civilian infrastructure by the Russian Federation,” the spokesperson said.
Besides the 90 T-72Bs, here are the other items sent to Ukraine:
- Funding to refurbish HAWK air defense missiles.
- 1,100 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Drones
- 40 armored river boats.
- Funding to repair 250 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles.
- Secure tactical communications and surveillance systems.
- Funding for training, maintenance and sustainment.