DEFENSE NEWS – U.S has agreed to send longer-range bombs to Ukraine as it prepares to launch a spring offensive to retake territory Russia captured last year, U.S. officials said Thursday, confirming that the new weapons will have roughly double the range of any other offensive weapon provided by America.
The U.S. will provide ground-launched small diameter bombs as part of a $2.17 billion aid package it is expected to announce Friday, several U.S. officials said. The package also for the first time includes equipment to connect all the different air defense systems Western allies have rushed to the battlefield and integrate them into Ukraine’s own air defenses, to help it better defend against Russia’s missile attacks.
For months, U.S. officials have hesitated to send longer-range systems to Ukraine out of concern that they would be used to target inside Russia, escalating the conflict and drawing the U.S. deeper in. The longer-range bombs are the latest advanced system, such as Abrams tanks and the Patriot missile defense system, that the U.S. has eventually agreed to provide Ukraine after initially saying no. U.S. officials, though, have continued to reject Ukraine’s requests for fighter jets.
Ukrainian leaders have urgently pressed for longer-range munitions, and on Thursday officials said the U.S. will send an undisclosed number of the ground-launched, small diameter bombs, which have a range of about 95 miles (150 kilometers). The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the aid package not yet made public.
To date, the longest-range missile provided by the U.S. is about 50 miles (80 kilometers). The funding in the aid package is for longer-term purchases, so it wasn’t clear Thursday how long it will take to get the bomb to the battlefield in Ukraine.
Paul Plante says
This is all so stupid, as if more and bigger bombs can win a war.
Back during WWI (can anyone in America remember there was such a war?), Germany had the “Paris Gun” which could hurl a more than 230 pound shell some 75 miles to the French capital, and they were plowing the fields of France and Belgium with heavy artillery, and as I am recalling, it wasn’t Germany who won that war.
Skipping over WWII and Korea, we come to Viet Nam and the B-52 strikes which I was witness to in 1969, and 8 inch and 155mm cannons used to knock straw and mud houses into smithereens, and as I recall, we lost there to a poorly armed and equipped military that had no artillery to speak of outside of some Russian rockets, and oh, yeah, the American-made 105’s captured by the Chinese when they overran us in Korea and then dismantled and carried overland down to Viet Nam where they were used very effectively against the arrogant French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.
And then, of course, there was Afghanistnam, where despite our superiority in weaponry, we lost to poorly-armed tenth-century tribesmen who ran Joe Biden out of Afghanistnam like scared rabbit or a chicken-killing dog fleeing an enraged farmer with a twelve-gauge shotgun in a modern-day recreation of the famous Bladensburg Races of War of 1812 fame.
So now, Joe Biden, who has started a l0t of wars but never yet actually won one, is going to use high tech TOYS in Ukraine to beat the Russians?
Joe is STUPID, and STUPID people like Joe Biden do not win wars, they only provoke them and then stand back to watch the mayhem while making money off of war materiel to keep the money-making-for-Washington wars going.
And as to RULES OF WAR, there are NONE!
By escalating the conflict, and I do believe Biden is doing his level best to get the US itself involved in a ground war in Ukraine so Joe can add the appellation of WAR PRESIDENT to his legacy, Joe, the FOOL, is giving Putin an open invitation to do the same, and like the Romans before him with respect to Carthage, Joe is giving Putin license to level the whole of Ukraine to the ground to eliminate the clear and present danger Joe Biden’s militarization of Ukraine represents to Rusia’s nation security.
Does Joe care that it is Ukraine and its people who are getting crushed and killed because of his JINGOISM?
And I would correct that opening statement to read that it is Joe Biden, not the U.S., who has agreed to send longer-range bombs to Ukraine, because we were never asked, nor did we ever give Joe our express permission to start and fund a war of aggression in Ukraine for the greater glory of Joseph Robinette Biden, Junior, the first Biden to ever achieve prominence as a real stupid world
Paul Plante says
And while we are on the subject of the high-tech, fuel guzzling M-1 Abrams tank, let’s go to a Fox News article titled “New York Times columnist argues Joe Biden ‘can be seen as the savior of the free world'” by Joe Silverstein on 1 February 2023, where we have as follows from someone who seems to be a certifiable idiot, which of course is no bar to working for the NYT, to wit:
The New York Times published a column by Bret Stephens on Tuesday that made the case that President Joe Biden has the potential “to be seen as the savior of the free world” in fifty years if he is able to thwart Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and confront other global challenges successfully.
In the article, titled “How Will Joe Biden be remembered in 50 years?,” Stephens praised the Biden administration’s decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine and ignored concerns that such military support could lead to escalation in the conflict with Russia.
The New York Times columnist praised Biden’s military aid to Ukraine and advocated for the war-torn nation to join NATO.
“On the positive side, there is last week’s announcement of 31 M-1 Abrams tanks for Ukraine, unlocking German Leopard 2 tanks to be sent as well.”
Stephens questioned why the White House did not send 124 tanks to Ukraine instead of 31.
“Thirty-one tanks for Ukraine are better than none, even if they won’t arrive on the battlefield for months.”
“So why not announce 62 tanks, or 124, which would bring Kyiv much closer to the 300 it says it needs to win?” he asked.
Why not, indeed, people, which takes us to reality in a Newsweek article titled “Game-Changing Abrams Tanks Present One Glaring Problem for Ukraine” by Jon Jackson on January 25, 2023, as follows:
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Wednesday discussed the recent decision by the United States to provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
Among the topics Kirby talked about during a press conference were certain issues Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s military forces may experience with the tanks, including the potentially large problem of fueling the battle vehicles.
Yes, people, despite what Joe Biden thinks, if he ever actually does, the M-1, a fuel hog, does not run on air.
Going back to Newsweek, we have more on that subject, as follows:
Abrams tanks run on a “gas turbine engine which needs jet fuel,” Kirby said.
“So there’s a specific type of fuel that powers the Abrams, and we’ve got to make sure that pipeline — literally and figuratively — is available to Ukraine.”
It is called LOGISTICS, people – the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies.
In a well-run war, the logistics train is figured out beforehand, as best as possible, given the uncertainties that arise once the first bullet is fired.
In this BIDEN WAR, Joe is figuring things out way after the fact, like how to perform maintenance on these high-tech toys he is sending to the dictator Zelensky in Ukraine, who seems to have dreams of a new BLITZKRIEG, with his PANZER divisions rolling over the Russians like a scythe cutting down wheat, and how to keep them fueled.
Going back to Newsweek, we have more as follows:
John Spencer, a retired U.S. Army major and chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Madison Policy Forum, told Newsweek that he agrees fuel is a major consideration with the Abrams.
“Fueling will be a hurdle for Ukraine.”
” The M1 engine can actually work with a variety of fuels, but I only remember running them with jet fuel,” Spencer said.
Spencer added that even if Ukraine has other tanks that can run on diesel, Zelensky’s military might still experience problems.
“Fuel in general in Ukraine is an issue, even if it’s just diesel.”
“There were long lines and stations without gas when I was there in July, and the Russian attacks on the infrastructure have been nonstop,” he said.
William Reno, a professor and chair of the political science department at Northwestern University, told Newsweek that the Abrams can run on JP-8, a type of kerosene that’s commonly used by the U.S. military and NATO.
However, Reno added that the Abrams is known as a “fuel hog.”
He said being a fuel burner is “the tradeoff for faster acceleration and faster ‘cruising’ speed.
But there is no idle, as the vehicle’s turbine runs continuously after ignition.”
“The main thing is that the engine gulps fuel voraciously,” Silbey told Newsweek.
Silbey noted that mileage on the Abrams is estimated as between 1.5 to 3 gallons per mile, emphasizing that the measurement is in “gallons per mile” and not the more familiar “miles per gallon” used for most vehicles.
“That means the Abrams needs an enormous logistics chain to supply it with fuel continuously.”
Matthew Hoh, a former U.S. Marine Corps captain and State Department officer, told Newsweek that the “Abrams—with its firepower, with its speed, with its armor—is a ‘king of the battlefield.'”
That king requires a lot of logistical work beyond fuel, though, he said.
“They weigh 70 tons.”
“There’s only a certain amount—and certain types—of equipment out there that can transport these things,” Hoh said, adding Russian tanks weigh about 25 to 30 tons less than the Abrams.
In addition to the substantial weight, Hoh cited that training Ukrainian personnel on how to maintain and operate Abrams tanks will also take significant time.
And that’s in addition to determining whether Ukraine has “the ability to get the fuel to the tanks as they need it, plus all the other vehicles that require it.”
Paul Plante says
As a Viet Nam veteran, I had a first-hand opportunity to witness what happened to our tanks when they encountered mud, and those tanks weighed less than the 70-ton behemoths the MAD MAN Joe Biden is sending to the FASCIST DICTATOR Zelensky in the FASCIST DICTATORSHIP of Ukraine, which raises the serious question of how the TWERP Zelensky, formerly a television comedian, is going to use them on the battlefield, something he is probably clueless about, since television comedians don’t generally have any experience waging warfare with anything but their mouths, let alone heavy armor.
Which raises several questions, to wit, given the M-1 Abrams does in fact weigh 70 tons, to wit:
Are roads in Ukraine good?
Roads in Ukraine are generally in poor condition compared with other European countries, with badly lit roads full of potholes.
What are the roads like in Ukraine?
Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and are poorly lighted.
Does Ukraine have paved roads?
Many sections of the main national roads in Ukraine don’t have a paved asphalt surface.
According to the assessment of the World Economic Forum, Ukraine ranks 132nd in the world in terms of road network development.
TASK & PURPOSE
‘Tanks and mud are not friends’ — Ukraine’s terrain is proving to be a problem for Russian armor – “Eastern Europe is either frozen or it’s ****ing muddy, that’s just how it is.”
By David Roza
March 2, 2022
The Russian army is finding out the hard way that, besides anti-tank missiles, land mines, and Molotov cocktails, one of the greatest threats to tanks is the earth itself, at least when it’s mixed with a little too much water.
Even before Russia invaded Ukraine last week, the internet was filled with images of fearsome Russian armor and other vehicles stuck in the mud.
As one Marine explained, getting stuck in the mud is not a question of if, but when.
“Tanks and mud are not friends,” said the Marine, who, as a former tank maintainer, patched up tanks and hauled them out of mud and sand until the Marine Corps disbanded its tank units in 2020 and 2021.
The Marine spoke on the condition of anonymity since he was not cleared to speak with the press.
“If you have a 40-to-70-ton vehicle where all of its weight is focused on a two-foot wide piece of steel or metal, it’ll just sink when confronted with mud or soft terrain in general,” he explained.
That “two-foot-wide piece of metal” refers to the tracks that tanks use to move.
Another function of those tracks is to spread out the vehicle’s enormous weight as much as possible, but they can’t disperse the tank’s weight enough to keep it from sinking into the soft earth, especially in an eastern European country like Ukraine.
“That’s something I expected for that part of the world,” said the Marine mechanic.
“Eastern Europe is either frozen or it’s ****king muddy, that’s just how it is.”
Images of Russian tanks and other vehicles stuck in the mud seem to complement news that the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine has been hampered by logistical issues, which has provided opportunities for Ukraine’s fierce resistance to further stymie Russia’s advance.
Few things symbolize those problems better than a large, expensive war machine mired in muck.
But the issue isn’t new.
Mud has hampered warfare for as long as there has been mud and war.
For example, Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union slowed to a crawl in 1941 in part due to the Rasputitsa, the “quagmire season” which led vehicles to become “hopelessly stuck” after autumn rains transformed dirt roads into rivers of mud, according to the United Kingdom’s Imperial War Museum.
But mud plays no favorites and chooses no sides.
U.S. Army tanks also became “hopelessly stuck” in mud during the November 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, according to the Army Historical Foundation.