With the most recent military aid package, Ukraine will get 90 newly refurbished main battle tanks T-72B from its allies. Apparently, these units will be quite different compared to their original design.
T-72B from the Ukrainian army. Image credit: Ukrainian Armed Forces
Pentagon has just announced the provision of a new $400 million arms assistance package to Ukraine. Included in this package are the following:
- funds to refurbish HAWK air defense missiles,
- 45 refurbished T-72B tanks,
- 1,100 Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial systems,
- 40 armored riverine boats,
- funds to refurbish 250 M1117 armored vehicles,
- communications and surveillance systems.
U.S. will fund the upgrades of 45 T-72B tanks – the base units will come from the Czech Republic. The refurbishment of additional 45 units will be funded by the Netherlands. Tanks will be equipped with advanced optics, communications systems, and will be outfitted with additional armor packages.
This is also the first time the U.S. is providing tanks for Ukraine.
During the press conference, Pentagon representative Sabrina Singh also mentioned that these tanks will be “the most technically advanced tanks on the battlefield”. She did not elaborate on this matter further. It will be quite interesting to see the real performance of these upgraded T-72Bs, because the original model first appeared in the Soviet Union back in 1985.
The entire video recording of the briefing can be watched on Twitter:
It is also worth noting that Phoenix Ghost drones remain a technological mystery to most of the world. Ukraine became the first country to test these military UAVs in practice. The U.S. has already provided at least 700 Phoenix Ghosts to support Ukrainian defensive needs.
The first overhauled T-72B tanks should be available to Ukraine by the end of this year. Remaining units will be delivered in 2023.