The sudden U.S. about-face follows weeks of hesitation on whether to send the tanks. The administration mulled whether they would offer Ukraine an advantage because they take significant effort to maintain.
“The real challenge with giving the Ukrainians M1A1 tanks is not fuel but maintenance,” Jeffrey Edmonds, a Russian military expert at nonprofit national security research group CNA, told CNBC.
“Each system on the tank, from the turbine engine to the complex sights used by the gunner, is complex, requiring numerous intricate parts to function properly,” added Edmonds, who has a military career spanning more than two decades.
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