Home Europe First Bradley IFVs already en route to Ukraine

First Bradley IFVs already en route to Ukraine

Bradley IFVs shipped to Ukraine
A convoy of Bradley fighting vehicles load onto the ARC Integrity Jan. 25, 2023, at the Transportation Core Dock in North Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: US Transportation Command

The US Transportation Command has already loaded the first shipment of Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine as part of the United States’ $2.85 billion military aid agreement announced earlier this year.

The shipment — containing more than 60 Bradleys — left the shores of North Charleston, South Carolina, last week, the service said.

Bradleys are armored fighting vehicles that transport infantry in combat zones and provide supportive fires. The US coordinated the donation of the vehicles earlier this year with Germany, who will be delivering an unspecified number of Marder IFVs to Ukraine.

A Bradley loads onto the ARC Integrity on January 25, 2023. Photo: USTRANSCOM

“The situation in Ukraine really brought to the forefront the importance of logistics and the complexity of power projection and sustainment,” said Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM commander, during an interview with Joint Force Quarterly.

“Our support to Ukraine would not be possible without the strong relationships we have with our allies and partners that provided the access, basing, and overflight to facilitate the delivery of aid,” she continued.

Along with the 60 Bradleys, the Biden administration announced an additional $2.5 billion in security assistance earlier this month, comprising more fighting vehicles, ammunition, missiles, and Stryker armored personnel carriers. This brings the total US contribution to the effort to $27.1 billion since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.

“In addition to the large security assistance package announced [mid-January] by the Department of Defense with significant additional air defense and armor capabilities for Ukraine, multiple nations announced similar significant support to include Germany and Netherlands’ contributions of Patriot missile air defense capabilities, Canada’s procurement of a [National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System] and the United Kingdom’s donation of Challenger 2 tanks … just to name a few,” a senior defense official said during a background briefing.

While this is short of a complete list of equipment and nations aiding Ukraine, the influx of materiel is crucial as Russia’s attacks near the Donetsk province city of Bakhmut escalate.

“The Ukraine operations underscore the importance of having an agile mobility force, with both a strategic airlift fleet that can delivery immediately, within hours of notification, and the available sealift that can deliver a much greater volume of materiel that is essential to delivering and sustaining a decisive force,” Van Ovost said.