24.6 C
Friday, June 9, 2023

Even more than tanks and planes, Ukraine needs infantry fighting vehicles

Must read

For the past few months, there has been a fierce debate among Kyiv’s Western partners about whether to supply Ukraine with Western-made main battle tanks to help it fend off a Russian invasion. Germany’s belated decision to supply Leopard 2 tanks (and allowing other countries to supply German-made weapons), as well as the UK’s decision to supply Challenger 2 tanks, were seen by many observers as a potential turning point that would allow Ukraine to launch offensives. deals this spring, writes Foreign Policy.

But after listening to the Ukrainian soldiers, the journalist managed to conclude the publication during a research trip to Kyiv and the Donbass this month. And another picture emerges. Not a tank, but its less glamorous cousin, the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), topped the weapons wishlist.

This is because success in ground combat depends not only on tanks, but also on how well tanks can be integrated with other platforms for combined arms operations. The most important of these types of weapons, which Ukrainians on the front line so much dream of, is an armored infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Without the main battle tank and IFV working together, the choreography of a fast and effective combined attack would collapse. Without IFVs, there can be no quick and successful offensive this spring, no matter how many Western tanks arrive. Although the United States, Sweden and Germany have promised to provide Western BMPs to Ukraine, their actual delivery has yet to be confirmed.

Ukraine also desperately needs Western IFVs, as well as tanks, despite the fact that the public debate focuses on the latter. So far, most Ukrainian BMPs are still made up of old Soviet BMP-1 and BMP-2 models, the publication adds. According to the Military Balance+ database, Ukraine started the war with 1,212 Soviet-era infantry fighting vehicles of all modifications. The country is in the process of receiving a number of Western IFVs for future offensive operations, including 109 US-made M2 ​​Bradley IFVs. For the upcoming spring offensive operation, the importance of these supplies and the training of Ukrainians on them can hardly be overestimated. Considering that the Ukrainian armed forces are armed with both Western-made main battle tanks and Western-made IFVs, the effective integration of these two types of armored vehicles into combined arms brigades, supported by artillery, can increase the potential for offensive maneuvers of Ukrainian troops. This, in turn, would reduce Ukraine’s dependence on massive artillery fire on the front line.

Considering how rare tank battles have been in Ukraine — and the fact that both sides most often use them as a form of mobile artillery — Western-made IFVs could have had an even bigger impact than tanks.

Recall that the United States is providing Ukraine with a new $350 million military aid package, while the EU will supply shells worth $2 billion.

Author: Victoria MIKITYUK

Source: Fakty

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Stories