The United States secretly handed over M1150 Assault Breacher demining machine to Ukraine
The United States secretly transferred at least one, and most likely several, M1150 Assault Breacher demining vehicles.
Forbes reported the information.
With the $4 million Assault Breacher, a two-person crew can dig up and safely detonate buried mines, fill in trenches and dig anti-tank berms, and then mark a safe lane for tanks and combat vehicles with tiny flags. The outlet noted that the crew can do all this without leaving the armored vehicle.
The outlet reports that when the Ukrainian Armed Forces were preparing for a counteroffensive in southern Ukraine, Kyiv's allies donated many breaching vehicles, including the best Finnish, Norwegian and South Korean models. However, the American Assault Breacher was not on the official lists of donated equipment.
Without an official announcement, it appears that the Americans have delivered at least one, and possibly as many as six, of these vehicles to Ukraine. It is likely that the White House, in its announcements of military aid to Ukraine, categorized the vehicles as vague "mine-clearing equipment."
The outlet notes that although it is not known which brigade received the vehicles, "it’s apparent which brigade needs them."
The 47th Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian army, which is equipped with many of Ukraine's best Western-made heavy vehicles, launched a counteroffensive in southern Ukraine in early June with all six Leopard 2R breaching vehicles that Finland donated to Ukraine.
According to Forbes, on June 9, the 47th Brigade left three Leopard 2Rs behind during an unsuccessful attempt to break through a dense minefield south of Mala Tokmachka, Zaporizhzhia region.
The Assault Breacher has all the qualities of the Leopard 2R - plows and thick armor - plus additional built-in launchers for line-charges that can detonate minefields hundreds of meters away.
The Assault Breacher, or ABV, is one of the best protected and most versatile mine-clearing vehicles available. Forbes reports that a pair of these vehicles can do the same job as up to six less versatile vehicles, such as mine-clearers, bulldozers and excavators.
Lance Corporal Jonathan Murray, an Marine Assault Breacher mechanic, said the vehicle can clear a minefield 10 times faster than engineers can by hand.
On Friday, November 3, the US provided Ukraine with a new $125 million military aid package, including anti-tank weapons, artillery shells, and ammunition for NASAMS and HIMARS.