The White House announced that it plans to send Ukraine the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a tracked armored combat vehicle that carries an auto cannon and a machine gun. Germany, meanwhile, will provide its Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The announcements come a day after France said it will send its AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles, a highly mobile, wheeled system built around a powerful turret-mounted GIAT 105mm gun.
Western tanks — as opposed to less powerful wheeled vehicles with smaller main guns — would be a game-changer for Kyiv, which already operates Soviet-era tanks from its own inventories and others provided after the invasion by European nations. A Leopard or Abrams is more mobile, accurate and has longer range compared with the old Soviet tanks. They are also more effective at protecting troops than the older tanks or even the Western infantry fighting vehicles as Ukraine continues to suffer large losses on the battlefield.
The 50 Bradleys are part of an overall aid package to be announced Friday worth $3.8 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity to speak ahead of an announcement. The package sets aside $2.25 billion for Ukraine, which will also include 155mm artillery shells. Another $682 million in military financing will go to Eastern European countries to allow them to buy American weaponry and military equipment.
The aid package will be the first from the $45 billion Congress in assistance authorized for Ukraine at the end of last month.
Ukraine will also receive $225 million in military financing. Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles are also part of the package.