Defense & Homeland Security

US mulls shipping Bradley Fighting Vehicles to boost Ukraine ground combat

The United States is considering sending Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine as part of a further package of military support.

The vehicles would be included as part of a future military aid package for the embattled country, though a final decision hasn’t been made, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The Pentagon and State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

A spokesperson from the National Security Council would not confirm the report, but noted that U.S. officials “are in constant communication with the Ukrainians as we work to provide them with the capabilities they need to defend themselves.”

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle, made by BAE Systems, is a powerful lightly armored and tracked vehicle with a range of roughly 300 miles. Equipped with mounted medium- and long-range firepower, the vehicle is capable of destroying any other vehicle on the battlefield, including tanks. 

Ukraine has long requested heavy vehicles, air defense systems and longer-range missiles from its Western allies, asks that have ramped up as their officials warn that Russia is preparing to renew its invasion on Ukraine with a massive ground offensive. 

With the war now entering its 11th month and winter slowing ground battles in the east, Russia has turned to missile strikes targeting Ukraine’s energy and civilian infrastructure. One of the heaviest such barrages came just Thursday.  

Should Washington send Bradleys to Kyiv, it would “provide a major increase in ground combat capability,” Mark Cancian, a former White House defense budget analyst who’s now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg.  

He noted, however, it would be months before Ukrainian troops could use them as they would need to be trained on how to operate and maintain the vehicles.  

The United States also earlier this month announced a new $1.85 billion lethal aid package for Kyiv that for the first time will include a Patriot missile battery. The air defense system will unlikely be used before the spring as Ukrainian troops must still be trained on the system, people familiar with the matter told the outlet. 

Tags bradley fighting vehicles pentagon ukraine

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