U.S. forces are expected to start training Ukrainian recruits on M1A1 Abrams tanks “in the next week or so.”
That's according to Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder who spoke with VOA on Tuesday, Ukrinform reports.
About 250 Ukrainians are arriving in Germany this week for the training, a senior military official familiar with the training told VOA.
Training in Germany is expected to last about 10 weeks and will focus on how to operate the tanks, how to maneuver the tanks in a combined arms fight and tank maintenance, the official said.
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The course structure will be similar to previous U.S.-led training on armored Bradley fighting vehicles and Stryker vehicles, which were provided to Ukraine earlier this year, according to the official.
Abrams tanks, in particular, have been a long-awaited addition to the fight. The tank’s thick armor and 1,500-horsepower turbine engine make it much more advanced than the Soviet-era tanks Ukraine has been using since the war’s beginning.
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The Ukrainians will train on 31 Abrams tanks that arrived in Germany earlier this month. U.S. officials have said that a different set of 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks are being refurbished in the United States and will be delivered to Ukraine by the fall.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, the U.S. had already delivered to Germany almost three dozen Abrams tanks to be used in training Ukrainian recruits.