The possibility of transferring modern tanks to Ukraine is being discussed, a senior U.S. Department of Defense official said.
“Tanks are absolutely on the table along with other areas. We’re looking at the entirety of the Ukrainian armed forces and considering for the future what capabilities they will need and how the U.S. and our allies will be able to support Ukraine in building out those capabilities,” he said at a briefing, the text of which was published on the website of the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday.
In response to a clarifying question about whether the transfer of equipment is in the future or for the current battle in the coming months, the official noted that Soviet-type tanks could be provided for direct combat very quickly, but the United States is “open to other options.”
“In terms of the immediate fight the tanks that are available that could be provided very quickly with little to no training are soviet type tanks but we’re certainly open to other options provided that the training, maintenance and sustainment can be taken care of,” he pointed out.
The official stressed that the U.S. Department of Defense understands that the day will come when the Ukrainian Armed Forces may want to make the transition and may need to switch to NATO-compatible models.
“We’re always very cognizant though with any new equipment that we provide to Ukraine or that our allies, our partners provide that there is substantial training, maintenance and sustainment consideration. So we want to make sure that when we provide capabilities that all of these are taken into account,” he explained.