Ukraine sends its US-supplied Stryker combat vehicles into battle for the first time in the counteroffensive against Russia, say reports

Stryker vehicle during military drill Swift Response 22 in Latvia

REUTERS

The Stryker combat vehicle is officially in action near the Zaporizhzhia frontline. 
The US-supplied vehicles can be outfitted with various weapons and move quickly while carrying soldiers.
Russia claims to have taken out four of Ukraine’s Strykers.

Footage of a US-supplied Stryker combat vehicle in action in Ukraine has emerged on social media. The video appeared to show a Russian Lancet loitering munition targetting a Stryker, although the damage sustained is unclear.

The footage could not be independently verified, but it indicates – along with other reports – Strykers are now in action in Ukraine, and the advanced US armor has been deployed in the war against Putin’s invasion for the first time in recent days.

The Strykers are part of Ukraine’s powerhouse 82nd Air Assault Brigade that was ordered into battle this week to help beef up the counteroffensive in the southern Zaporizhzhia Region, the Kyiv Post reported.

Jimmy Rushton, an independent security analyst based in Kyiv, told Insider that he believes the Stryker APC is now being used on the battlefield by Ukraine. 

Michael Clarke, a British defense and security analyst, told Insider that Ukraine’s generals have “decided to put all their chips on the table,” bringing everything they intend to use forward. 

Leaked documents from earlier this year revealed the 82nd Brigade was a formidable unit with about 150 NATO-supplied armored infantry carriers. Its impressive arsenal includes 90 US-supplied Stryker vehicles, 40 German-produced Marders, 24 US M113 infantry carriers, as well as 14 British Challenger tanks, Politico reported.

As well as the Strykers’ arrival on the battlefields of Ukraine, the 71-ton, four-crew Challenger tanks reinforced with “cope cages” – turret-mounted cages to safeguard the vehicles from drone strikes – are also believed to be seeing action for the first time.

A US Army Stryker armored vehicle fires a Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missile at Fort Polk in Louisiana in June 2009.

US Army/Spc. Victor Ayala

The Pentagon first announced in January that it would send 90 Stryker APCs to Ukraine as part of a $2.5 billion aid package for Kyiv. 

The Stryker is an infantry fighting vehicle and armored personnel vehicle hybrid. There are 18 variants of the combat vehicle, and more than 4,900 have been built in the last 20 years by General Dynamics.

They are used to transport infantry soldiers in and out of battle and armed with a powerful 30mm cannon for direct fire. They can also provide fire support by with weapons like 120-millimeter mortars, the New York Times reports.

The eight-wheeler weighs 20 tons and can sustain speeds of 60 mph.

“These performance highlights provide a force that will move rapidly as a cohesive combined arms combat team,” wrote Military.com.

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation claims to have taken out four Strykers since they appeared on the southeastern frontline near Zaporizhzhia this week.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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