While not a shipload of regular main battle tanks (which would be nice), I read today that the latest batch of goodies for Ukraine includes bridging materials and vehicles for the Ukrainian army.
This is an introduction of the M60 Patton design into the Ukrainian War, and it could foreshadow a larger deployment of the type into the theatre.
I’ve made the argument for a while that the M60 makes sense in the fighting there, and it should be used. It was a good design, more than capable of taking on the T72 series tanks that are the backbone of the Russian armored forces in the conflict.
Also, any heavy maneuver guy will tell you that crossing obstacles under fire is an essential component of tank warfare. The AVLB was designed to do just that, and can support the majority of the vehicles currently used in the war.
The Ukrainian combat engineers have three missions- mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability. They are the ones who will operate these vehicles, in conjunction with maneuver forces.
Bridging units are essential to this effort, and they are a key part of the combined-arms team. It’s not a glamorous job, but it’s dangerous as hell and utterly necessary.
Remember, a BCT (Brigade Combat Team) has these elements- Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Engineers, and Aviation assets. These elements work together to create the effects necessary to wage war and fulfill the commander’s, and ultimately the national intent.
This is the essence of maneuver warfare, and the AVLB snuck in under the radar.