Refurbished T-72B Tanks in $400M Pentagon Aid to Ukraine

  • Bureau
  • 04:56 AM, November 5, 2022
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Refurbished T-72B Tanks in $400M Pentagon Aid to Ukraine
Czech T-72B tank

The U.S. Defense Department announced approximately $400 million in additional security assistance for Ukraine today under the Ukraine security assistance initiative (USAI) that includes 45 refurbished T-72B tanks.

These tanks will be upgraded with advanced optics, communications, and armor packages.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said overhauled T-72B tanks included in this USAI package are part of a trilateral, coordinated effort with the Netherlands and Czech Republic.

“Introducing a new main battle tank is extremely costly, it’s time sensitive and it would be a huge undertaking for Ukrainian forces,” Singh said at a press briefing. “We do continue to consult with our allies and partners to assess ... what we can provide in terms of Western platforms, but these tanks, we believe, will make a difference on the battlefield.”

Refurbished T-72B Tanks in $400M Pentagon Aid to Ukraine
Ukraine army's T-72B1 MBT

This trilateral project is a direct outcome of cooperation forged through six meetings of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, the Aug. 11 Copenhagen Ukraine Donors Conference, and the Sept. 28 National Armaments Directors meeting.

The U.S. is splitting cost of refurbishing 90 Czech T-72Bs with the Netherlands. As per the Dutch defense ministry, first batch of tanks will be handed over to Kyiv next month.

Some of Ukraine’s neighbors, including the Czech Republic and Poland, have sent old Russian-made tanks.

The package announced by DoD today also covers funding to refurbish HAWK air defense missiles for inclusion in future Presidential Drawdown package; 1,100 Aevex Aerospace-made Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems; 40 Armored Riverine Boats; funding to refurbish 250 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles; tactical secure communications systems and surveillance systems; and funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

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