The UK army’s fleet of Challenger 2 main battle tanks is to be stripped by a third, according to The Times.
According to the sensationalist media report, the British Army is planning to revamp only 148 of its 227 Challenger 2 tanks because of cost constraints.
Also notes that the remaining main battle tanks would be used for spare parts, though it said that some tanks could be patched up for deployment in an emergency.
This statement was a real shock to a number of military experts who voiced concerns over plans to cut British tank fleet. The “new” British Army would have 87 times fewer tanks compared with Russia.
In the decade after the end of the Cold War, Great Britain lost its tanks production and can now lose most of its tank fleet, which in 1991 consisted of nearly 800 combat vehicles.
Challenger 2 is a heavily armoured, highly mobile Main Battle Tank, designed for use in the direct fire zone. Its primary role is to destroy or neutralize armour. However, it has the ability to engage both hard and soft targets and can operate across a spectrum of high-intensity conflict, counterinsurgency and peacekeeping roles.
The vehicle is equipped with an L30 120mm rifled tank gun, firing both long rod penetrator and High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) ammunition natures. Secondary armaments are provided with a 7.62mm co-axial chain gun and a 7.62mm pintle mounted General Purpose Machine Gun.
The UK needs to upgrade its fleet of Challenger 2 tanks to be able to compete with a new generation of highly dangerous Russian tanks.