Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed reception of the first delivery of US Abrams battle tanks, after President Biden last week made it clear they would finally arrive within days of his meeting with Zelensky at the White House.
"Good news from Minister (of Defence) Umerov. Abrams are already in Ukraine and are being prepared to reinforce our brigades," Zelensky announced on Telegram. His hope is that it will boost Ukrainian forces amid the stalled offensive, as US officials have said the arrival was "months ahead of estimates, and in time to be used in Ukraines counteroffensive against Russia."
A group of Ukrainian tank operators and their support crew reportedly wrapped up training by late August, and it's believed that a likely ten of the 31 Abrams committed have now been delivered as of Saturday.
Two US official explained to The New York Times:
More M1 Abrams tanks will be sent in the coming months, the officials said, noting that those that were shipped into Ukraine on Saturday represented the first of 31 that the Biden administration has promised to send. The officials would not say how many have been delivered so far.
The Abrams will be among other tanks in Ukraines arsenal that it could use to push into, and possibly reclaim, Russian-held territory in Ukraines eastern and southern regions, where fighting has ground on for months without major breakthroughs. But Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraines military intelligence, has warned that the Abrams would need to be deployed "in a very tailored way, for very specific, well-crafted operations," or risk being destroyed.
These are modeled after jet engines and have easily identifiable heat signatures. Russians will have fun with them.