US backtracks on M1A2 tanks, sending older variant to Ukraine
22 March 2023
by Meredith Roaten
After months of deliberations, top US Army officials have decided that sending the M1A1 Abrams tank to Ukraine is faster than sending the M1A2 as originally planned. (US Marine Corps)
The Pentagon announced on 21 March that the 31 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) promised to Ukraine will not be M1A2 model as initially planned.
In order to get platforms to Ukraine faster, the US will pull 31 M1A1 tanks from US Army stocks and spruce them up for battle, said Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder on 21 March. The variant change will “significantly expedite delivery timelines” and will ensure that the tanks will arrive by “the fall timeframe”.
The funding for the assistance to Kyiv will come from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which will enable the Pentagon to pay General Dynamics to modify the M1 tank hulls.
Scott Taylor, director of US business development at General Dynamics Land Systems, told
that the tanks will be refurbished according to the US Army's 10-20 mission capable standards.
Israeli MoD Director General Eyal Zamir signed the final contract for the AWS sale to Germany on 23 November. (IAI)
The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on X (formerly Twitter) on 23 November that its Director General, Eyal Zamir, signed the final contract for the USD3.6 billion sale of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) to Germany earlier the same day. In addition to the AWS and Arrow 3 missiles, the contract includes an initial package of spare parts and training of Luftwaffe crews.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, signed a joint declaration of intent in Berlin on 28 September on Germany's AWS procurement for the Luftwaffe. This was followed by approval by the budget committee of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, of the procurement of AWS and Arrow 3 missiles, announced by the German MoD on 19 October.
The procurement will be funded by the EUR100 billion (USD109 billion) Zeitenwende special fund approved by Germany after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
An F-35A fires an AIM-9X missile from the its external wing against an aerial drone target at Point Mugu Test Range, California. (US Air Force)
The US State Department has approved the potential sale of Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II+ short-range infrared-guided air-to-air missiles (AAMs) to South Korea.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on 15 November that the possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is worth USD52.1 million and features 42 AIM-9X Block II+ missiles, training missiles, guidance units, and associated equipment. The DSCA said Congress has been informed of the deal.
“The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea's (RoK's) capability to meet current and future threats while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies,” said the DSCA. “Korea will have no difficulty absorbing these articles into its armed forces.”
The RoK Air Force is already a well-established operator of the AIM-9X Block II version. This missile is integrated onto the RoK Air Force's Boeing F-15K Slam Eagle, Lockheed Martin KF-16 Fighting Falcon, and F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft.
Edge unveiled the MANSUP-ER, an extended-range version of Brazil's National Surface Anti-Ship Missile, at the Dubai Airshow. (Edge Group)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces has signed a letter of intent covering a AED1.2 billion (USD327 million) order for anti-ship missiles, local defence group Edge announced during the Dubai Airshow on 15 November.
It said the order would cover the National Surface Anti-Ship Missile (MANSUP) that was originally developed for the Brazilian Navy and the extended-range MANSUP-ER version that was unveiled by Edge at the Dubai Airshow.
The UAE order was announced the day Rear Admiral Marcelo Menezes Cardoso, the Brazilian Navy's director of weapons systems, signed an agreement that Edge said was an order worth around AED600 million for MANSUP and MANSUP-ER missiles.
The MANSUP-ER has a range of 200 km, uses active-radar terminal guidance, and has adaptive sea-skimming capabilities, according to Edge, which also said that land- and air-launched versions will be developed and that it is in advanced discussions with other potential customers for the new missile.
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