The United States (US) military’s pursuit of a “wonder weapon” to bring the Russians to their knees in Ukraine has entered a new phase with the delivery of the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) to Ukraine. The performance that was promised by tens of thousands of Javelin Missiles, M 777 artillery pieces, and the HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) has not been achieved.
Advantages of Bradley IFV against the Russian Army equipment
The Bradley IFV offers a significantly higher level of protection for the troops housed inside, and its 25-millimetre gun and TOW missiles will provide those troops with increased fire support. Additionally, the Bradley makes it possible for battlefield commanders to form small teams of Bradley’s to destroy Russian tanks and other vehicles. The main gun and the TOW missiles on the Bradley have an effective range greater than 3,000 metres. This makes them superior to the effective range of a number of Russian tanks. This makes it possible for the smaller tank Bradley to fight a tank while remaining out of range.
The HIMARS MLRS was expected to outrange the majority of Russian artillery; however, it has yet to attain superiority. According to Ukrainian soldiers, the Russians are incredibly adaptable.
What’s in the latest US $3.75 billion arms package?
Following the announcement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the country would give $3.75 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, the Pentagon gave specifics of the kind of weapons and ammunition that would be supplied.
According to a statement that the Pentagon issued on January 6th, the stockpile of the United States army will be used to supply fifty armoured Bradley infantry combat vehicles, also known as tank destroyers, with five hundred TOW anti-tank missiles and two hundred and fifty thousand 25 mm rounds of ammunition.
In addition to these items, the shipment had the following firearms, ammunition, and other equipment:
One hundred units of M113 armoured personnel carriers; 55 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAP), 138 high-performance multi-purpose wheeled vehicles; 18 units of 155 mm self-propelled howitzers; 18 ammunition transport vehicles, 70 thousand 155 mm artillery shells, 500 precision-guided 155 units mm cannon shells; 1,200 155 mm remote armour-piercing mine (RAAM) systems ammunition, 36 105 mm towed howitzers and 95 thousand 105 mm artillery shells, 10 thousand 120 mm mortar shells; additional ammunition for HIMARS systems, air defence RIM-7 missiles, 4,000 Zuni aircraft rockets, nearly 2,000 armour-piercing rockets, sniper rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and ammunition for small arms, and night vision devices for systems.
Blinken emphasised that the administration of Joe Biden will work with Congress to achieve an additional $907 million in funding for Ukraine in accordance with the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Hoping to turn the tide of war
The most recent aid package was commented on by Laura Cooper, who is the Assistant Secretary of the Pentagon for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She stated that the war in Ukraine is at a crucial juncture and that the US must do everything possible to assist the Ukrainians in continuing to oppose Russian aggression.
Cooper went on to say that the most recent aid package is the largest one that the United States has ever given to Ukraine and that this shows the US commitment to the country.
The fact that the US decided to send the Ukrainian military Bradley fighting vehicles and anti-tank missiles rather than artillery and air defence weapons in this shipment raised suspicions that the Ukrainian military was getting ready for a ground assault.
Cooper indicated in response to these questions that the US acknowledges that the time has come to deliver these armoured vehicles and that they are prepared to do so. According to her, the time has come for Ukraine to use this capability to change the conflict’s dynamic.
Cooper said that she meant to say that in addition to firing artillery at a target, she meant manoeuvring in that area to retake territories held by the Russians and that Bradley vehicles could withstand even the most heavily armoured Russian tanks. Cooper also stated that the Bradley vehicles could retake territories the Russians held.
Cooper refrained from providing any predictions regarding Ukraine’s actions on the battlefield over the next few days, but she did state that the US would continue to assist the Ukrainian military in the hopes that it would be able to advance and reclaim territory that Russia had taken.
The Deputy Undersecretary responded to questions from reporters about the need to deliver tanks to the Ukrainian army by pointing out that the tanks require regular maintenance and upkeep.
According to Cooper, armed conflict continues in Ukraine despite Russia’s unilateral declaration of war.