The Biden administration appears poised to send Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine in their next military aid package.
The $2.8 billion package, the latest U.S. effort to bolster Ukraine’s defense efforts amid the Russian invasion that began in February 2022, will include 50 of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Reuters reported last week. The vehicles have been used by the United States military since the 1980s.
Russia warned of “possible consequences of such a dangerous course by Washington.”
After more than 10 months of combat, Moscow’s military continues to flounder against Ukraine’s stronger-than-expected defense efforts. Ukraine has received substantial aid from its Western allies, including the United States, helping the country to reclaim thousands of miles of formerly occupied territory.
As Ukraine gears up for the next months of the conflict, military leaders are hoping Bradley Fighting Vehicles can help retake even more territory, with experts noting they could become a game-changer, potentially even in Crimea.
Here is an overview of how Bradley Fighting Vehicles stack up against Russian combat tanks.
What Are Bradley Fighting Vehicles?
Bradley Fighting Vehicles have the ability to carry several military personnel, and they are equipped with a powerful 25 mm cannon. Manufacturer BAE Systems touts the infantry vehicle’s “outstanding survivability, mobility and lethality.”
The Department of Defense, in a press release, wrote that the vehicles will offer Ukraine “a level of firepower and armor that will bring advantages on the battlefield as the Ukrainian military continues to defend their homeland.”
Bradleys “would provide a major increase in ground combat capability because it is, in effect, a light tank,” former White House defense analyst Mark Cancian told Bloomberg in December.
The specific version of the vehicles the U.S. plans to send was reportedly produced in the 1990s, so they aren’t the latest iteration of the weapon, according to Forbes. However, they still carry the ability to destroy other tanks, rendering them particularly useful against Russia’s reportedly aging fleet.
Russian Tanks Produced as Early as 1950s: Report
Russia, meanwhile, reportedly has thousands of tanks in its arsenal, though many of these tanks appear to stem from the Soviet era, according to a September report from The Kyiv Independent.
The Independent reported that Russia has more than 17,000 tanks, many of them produced as early as the 1950s, offering Russia’s military little use compared to the more modern Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Still, of these tanks, many are believed to be more contemporary and technologically advanced, though the exact number of combat-ready tanks remains unknown.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence said on Monday it had destroyed more than 3,000 Russian tanks throughout the war, though that number could not be independently verified by Newsweek.
Newsweek reached out to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence for comment.