What does Ukraine say about Abrams tanks, F-16 fighters, and the role of the US?

Abrams tanks and F-16 fighter jets are the weapons that the Armed Forces of Ukraine most want aid in the next phase. Military officials are confident that, despite the many obstacles, they will eventually reach their soldiers. 

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov recently talked about whether Kyiv has a chance to soon receive Abrams tanks and F-16 fighters from the US.

In an interview with Politico, Mr. Reznikov was confident that the Allies would eventually supply Western-standard tanks and fighter jets to the Ukrainian Army, but stressed that “the US should set an example in providing it. weapons mentioned above.

Mr. Reznikov is particularly optimistic about the prospect of receiving Abrams tanks and fighter jets such as the F-15, F-16, or Gripen. The argument was made that before that, many weapons eventually “got into Kyiv’s hands in a red-line game”.

Mr. Reznikov took man-portable anti-aircraft missiles (MANPAD) as an example – in 2021, when he was appointed Minister of Defense, during his visit to the US requested the delivery of Stinger MANPAD to Ukraine.

But at that time, the US side said that the above request was impossible, because it was “prohibited by law … and political issues”, but finally in January 2022, the US allowed the The Baltic States transferred Javelin and Stinger to Ukraine.

The same situation happens with the 155mm cannon and the M142 HIMARS or M270 MLRS missile system – but in the end, these weapons are still in the hands of the Ukrainian Army, even being used in very large numbers on the battlefield. school.

But Ukraine’s Defense Minister further noted that in order to open this “Pandora’s box”, a political decision must first be made by the US, which will act as a “lighthouse” for Western allies to follow.

For example, Germany has repeatedly insisted that it will supply tanks to Ukraine, but after the Americans did: “I am sure that as soon as the first Abrams arrive, we will have Leopard and Marder and their crews. other heavy weapons,” Reznikov added.

However, the difficult problem for the current Kyiv government is that the West does not see the need to provide tanks, armor, or combat aircraft to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In addition to having to train combat crews, build technical infrastructure to server maintenance, and provide accompanying ammunition… the current Ukrainian Army is not to the point of lack of means of combat. aforementioned war.

Poland and the Eastern European countries that used to be part of the Warsaw bloc have delivered to Ukraine hundreds of T-72 main battle tanks, and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles… not to mention the number of vehicles that Kyiv soldiers have. obtained from Russia as spoils.

As for the air force, there is clear evidence that Ukraine has received many MiG-29 fighters or Su-25 fighters from its allies, which have been slightly modernized to receive weapons according to Western standards.

When the above equipment has not been exhausted, NATO certainly has not transferred heavy weapons of Western standards to Ukraine. The case with the 155 mm cannon and HIMARS was completely different when Kyiv ran out of standard Soviet ammunition.

The fact that Ukraine repeatedly asked the West to deliver heavy combat vehicles to them, in addition to outstanding features, may also have an intention, which is to ensure a reserve base in case of prolonged war and supply shortages. discontinuity.

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