By Agence France-Presse: The United States announced $3 billion dollars in military assistance for Ukraine on Friday, which the White House said was the largest aid package for Kyiv to date.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the assistance, which will be detailed later by the Pentagon, is expected to include Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, MRAPs and other personnel carriers, and self-propelled howitzers.
Washington and Berlin announced the previous day that they would provide armored vehicles — Bradleys from the United States and Marders from Germany — but did not provide details.
Berlin said Friday that it would send about 40 of the Marder vehicles to Ukraine within weeks, and that training on them would be provided in Germany.
Both they and the Bradleys — which are usually armed with a 25 mm autocannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun and anti-tank missiles — will provide Ukrainian forces with additional firepower.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists that the Bradleys “are very significant in terms of being able to do what we call combined arms maneuver warfare,” an area in which the Pentagon has said it will provide training to Kyiv’s forces.
The vehicles are “very much tied to the war that we’re seeing on the ground right now and what we anticipate we’ll see throughout the winter months,” Kirby said.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said the previous day that the Bradley is “not a tank, but it’s a tank killer.”
“We’re confident that it will aid them on the battlefield,” he added.
Ukraine has long pushed for heavier weaponry, including tanks, that would aid its operations. Western nations have been reluctant to send them, citing fears of becoming further drawn into the war or provoking Russia.
But the Ukrainians have built momentum and Western nations have been expanding the weapons they send them.
The US-German announcement on the armored vehicles came after France promised to deliver its AMX-10 RC light tanks, which are wheeled rather than tracked but which share the much heavier cannon typical on a tank.
The French move put Germany under fresh political pressure to do more to help Ukraine.
Germany also said Thursday that it would follow the United States in sending a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine, meaning Kyiv’s forces are slated to receive two of the advanced air defense systems.