Friday, January 27, 2023

UK weighs sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine

The UK had decided to explore the possibility of donating Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, according to Sky News.

According to Sky News, the British government is considering supplying Ukraine with ten Challenger 2 tanks for the first time.

Discussions have been taking place “for a few weeks” about delivering a number of the British Army’s Challenger 2 main battle tank to the Ukrainian armed forces, a Western source with knowledge of the conversations said.

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No final decision has yet been made by Rishi Sunak’s government, but if the UK did sign off on such a delivery it would become the first nation to respond to pleas from Ukrainian leaders to equip their military with powerful Western tanks.

Nicholas Drummond, a defense-industry consultant and analyst, said that with a reduction to 148 Challenger 2 tanks, the British Army could potentially donate 79 from the current total of 227.

Challenger 2 is heavily armoured and highly mobile, designed for use in the direct fire zone. Its primary role is to destroy or neutralize armour. However, it also has the ability to engage both hard and soft targets and can operate across a spectrum of high-intensity conflict, counter-insurgency 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.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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