US and Netherlands paying to refurbish Soviet tanks for Ukraine
The US is footing the bill for the Czech Republic to upgrade 45 Soviet-era tanks for use in the Ukraine conflict — part of the Biden administration’s $400 million military aid package for the embattled country, the Pentagon said Friday.
The Netherlands joined the effort, agreeing to pay to refurbish another 45 T-72 tanks, bringing the total to 90 tanks, which are scheduled to begin arriving in Ukraine by the end of the year, Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said, Politco reported.
The US’s aid package also includes funding to restore and donate an undisclosed number of the country’s outdated Hawk air defense systems. Also included is funding to refurbish 250 M117 armored vehicles, 40 riverine boats, surveillance systems and training for Ukraine troops.
The deal for the Soviet-era T-72 tanks includes upgrading their armor and optics, according to a report. The Czech Republic and Poland have also sent old Russian-made tanks to Ukraine to help in the war effort.
“We are grateful to everyone for supporting our values, for believing in Ukraine and our victory,” said Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in a tweet Saturday.