UK is considering to supply Ukraine with British-made Challenger 2 tanks

According to information published by the news TV channel "Sky News" on January 9, 2023, the Government of the United Kingdom is considering the supply of the British army Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine.
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The latest version of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank MBT of the British army. (Picture source Army Recognition)

For a few days, several countries have decided to respond to the request of Volodymyr Zelenskyy to have main battle tanks to fight Russian troops. Indeed, according to our information, the Russian armed forces have currently deployed more than 1,000 tanks in Ukraine.

Latest information published by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian defense industry continues to produce main battle tanks in the framework of the war in Ukraine. Recently, the latest generation of Russian main battle tanks have been delivered to Pro-Russian troops in the Donbas region including the T-90M and a new improved version of the T-72B3 tanks.

Last week, the United States announced the delivery of M2A2 Bradley, tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) to Ukraine which are armed with anti-tank weapon systems able to fight Russian tanks. Germany and France also decided to deliver armored vehicles armed with anti-tank weapons including the German Marder IFVs and the French-made AMX-10RCs, reconnaissance anti-tank armored vehicles.

The Challenger 2 is a real Main Battle Tank which is also the backbone of the British armed forces. According to the military balance 2021, the British army would have 227 Challenger 2 tanks. In May 2021, the British Ministry of Defense announced a contract to upgrade 148 Challenger 2 to the Challenger 3 standard. The British confirmed a cut of 35 percent in its main tank fleet in the recently published integrated defense, security, and foreign policy review.

The United Kingdom could provide the Challenger 2 tanks that are not going to be upgraded and which remain one of the best-protected combat tanks in the world. The Challenger 2 incorporates second-generation Chobham armor with a significant increase in protection against both KE (Kinetic Energy) and anti-tank missile attacks.

The United Kingdom has also developed the Challenger 2 TES which is an upgraded version offering more protection against tandem warheads and IED (Improvised Explosive Device) threats.

The Chobham armor has been described as being composed of ceramic tiles encased within a metal framework and bonded to a backing plate and several elastic layers. Due to the extreme hardness of the ceramics used, they offer superior resistance against a shaped charge jet and they shatter kinetic energy penetrators (KE-penetrators). The pulverized ceramic also strongly abrades any penetrator.

The Challenger 2 has a crew of four including a driver, commander, gunner, and loader. It is armed with a 120mm L30 rifled tank gun able to fire APFSDS (Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot, HESH (High-Explosive Squash Head), or smoke rounds. It carries a total of 50 120mm rounds which is far superior to other modern tanks which generally carry about 40 ammunition. The cannon using armor-piercing rounds has a maximum firing range of 3,000 m.

The Challenger 2 is powered by a Perkins Engines Company CV-12 TCA Condor V-12 12-cylinder 26.1 liter diesel engine developing 1,200 hp at 2,300 rpm coupled to a David Brown Engineering TN54 epicyclic transmission with 6 forward and 2 reverse gears. The tank can run at a maximum road speed of 56 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.