Double Trouble For Russia: Ukraine Could Have Received 2X Challenger-2 Tanks Than Originally Pledged By UK

The UK Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the Challenger-2 main battle tanks (MBT), which were pledged to Ukraine, are completed, and all of the tanks have been delivered to the country. 

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During a session of the British Parliament, an MP posed a question to Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for the Defense of the United Kingdom.

In response, Wallace stated that all the Challenger-2 tanks promised to Ukraine had already arrived in Ukraine. 

Wallace also stated that he had received positive feedback from the Ukrainian troops who have used the tanks. 

The number of tanks transferred to Ukraine is reported to be either 14 or 28. In January, Ben Wallace confirmed that the United Kingdom would send 14 Challenger-2 tanks to Ukraine. 

challenger 2 MBTs
Challenger 2 MBTs

However, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Vadym Prystaiko, later claimed that Ukraine would receive twice as many Challenger 2 tanks from the British government as initially promised, indicating a potential total of 28 tanks. 

In addition to the tanks, Wallace mentioned that Ukraine had received Spartan armored personnel carriers and other armored vehicles. 

Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, announced on March 27 that he had the opportunity to personally test and evaluate the latest additions to Ukraine’s military forces. 

These additions include Challenger tanks from the United Kingdom, Stryker, Cougars from the United States, and Marders from Germany. 

Reznikov also shared a video showcasing the presence of Challenger-2 tanks in Ukraine. Reznikov expressed high praise for the UK tanks, referring to them as “military art.” 

Additionally, on the same day, a group of Ukrainian soldiers returned to their home country after training in the United Kingdom on Challenger-2 tanks.  

According to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a shipment of Abrams tanks is anticipated to be sent to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the early fall.

“We are doing everything possible to accelerate the delivery of these tanks in early fall is a projection,” the US defense chief said. 

British Challenger-2 Tanks

The United Kingdom is the second-largest weapons provider to Ukraine, following the United States. Their contribution includes a dispatch of numerous anti-armor and anti-air missiles, long-range artillery systems, and a wide range of other military equipment. 

This significant support from the UK underscores the ongoing partnership between the two countries to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities and strengthen its armed forces against the Russian forces. 

The Challenger-2 served as the primary battle tank for the British Ground Forces and was manufactured between 1994 and 2009. Equipped with a 120mm rifled gun and a stock of 52 shells, this tank has seen production of over 400 units.

The tanks have approximate dimensions of 27 feet in length and around 8 feet in height. They weigh approximately 62.5 tons and are equipped with a powerful V-12 diesel engine, delivering 1,200 brake horsepower.

Image for Representation

In April, news emerged that the British authorities had provided Ukraine with several thousand shells for the Challenger-2 tanks, some containing depleted uranium. 

Aside from the Challenger-2 main battle tanks, continuous delivery of donated armored vehicles has been arriving in Ukraine in recent weeks. This includes German Leopard-2 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles, US Strykers and Cougars. 

The shipments have been discreetly transported, with significant numbers already delivered and more expected to follow. According to experts, the Challenger-2 tanks are expected to outmatch Russia’s battle tanks, particularly the Soviet-era T-72s.  

Justin Crump, a military veteran and the CEO of the risk intelligence firm Sibylline, stated that the Challenger-2, Leopard-2, and M1 Abrams tanks, designed during the Cold War, surpass anything the Russians possess in terms of quality. The intention behind their design was to make them considerably superior than their Russian counterparts.

The tank’s fire-control system is known for its exceptional accuracy. The gun can engage targets at extended distances when required, emphasizing precision within a range of two kilometers, equivalent to approximately 1.2 miles.  

Equipped with a laser range finder, the tank can adjust its gun before firing, considering various factors such as wind speed, temperature, and the direction of the target vehicle’s movement.