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Ukrainian Army deploys donated British Challenger 2 tanks to counter Russian forces

According to pictures released on the "Praise The Steph" Twitter account on April 25, 2023, the British Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) donated by the United Kingdom, are now fully operational with the Ukrainian army and ready to fight Russian troops.
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The British Challenger 2 MBT Main Battle Tanks are now fully operational with the Ukrainian army. (Picture source Twitter account Praise The Steph )

In January 2023, the British Ministry of Defense announced that the United Kingdom will supply Ukraine with a squadron of Challenger 2 MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) coming from the British army military inventory. The tanks were delivered with their associated ammunition. A total of 14 Challenger 2 MBTs were supplied to the Ukrainian army to replace the old Soviet-made T-80BV tanks, currently in service with the Ukrainian air-assault brigades.

The Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank designed and manufactured by BAE Systems Land & Armaments. It is the successor to the Challenger 1 tank and entered service with the British Army in 1998. Featuring upgraded armor, a more powerful engine, and a highly accurate L30A1 120mm rifled gun, the Challenger 2 is known for its strong defensive capabilities and combat effectiveness.

Additionally, the Challenger 2 tank is equipped with sophisticated electronic systems for better situational awareness and targeting. The Challenger 2 has been deployed in various conflicts, such as the Iraq War, where it proved to be highly resilient and reliable.

The British Challenger 2 and the Russian-made T-80BV are both main battle tanks with differing capabilities and advantages. One of the most significant advantages of the Challenger 2 over the T-80BV is its advanced second-generation Chobham armor, called Dorchester. This armor system is considered to be among the most effective in the world, providing better protection than the T-80BV's composite armor and explosive reactive armor (ERA).

In terms of firepower, the Challenger 2 is armed with a highly accurate L30A1 120mm rifled gun, offering excellent range and penetration capabilities. While the T-80BV's 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun has a higher rate of fire, it may have inferior accuracy and penetration compared to the Challenger 2's gun. This gives the Challenger 2 an edge in firepower.

Mobility is an area where the T-80BV has an advantage due to its gas turbine engine and high power-to-weight ratio, resulting in excellent acceleration. However, the Challenger 2's Perkins CV12 diesel engine offers better fuel efficiency and range, which can be important factors in combat situations. The Challenger 2 tank can reach a top road speed of around 59 km/h (37 miles per hour) and about 40 km/h (25 miles per hour) in off-road conditions. On the other hand, the T-80BV can run at a maximum road speed of around 70 km/h (43 miles per hour) and about 45 km/h (28 miles per hour) in all-terrain conditions. Thus, the T-80BV is faster than the Challenger 2 in terms of speed.

Reliability is another area where the Challenger 2 outperforms the T-80BV. The British tank is known for its durability and reliability, while the T-80 series tanks, including the T-80BV, have faced issues with reliability, particularly in harsh environments.

The Challenger 2 is also equipped with more advanced electronics, such as a sophisticated fire control system and thermal imaging, which enable accurate targeting in various conditions. The T-80BV has advanced electronics as well, but its systems are generally considered to be less advanced than those of the Challenger 2.

Finally, crew protection is another area where Challenger 2 has the upper hand. Its superior armor and separate ammunition storage compartment with blowout panels provide better protection for the crew. In contrast, the T-80BV's ammunition storage is less secure, posing a higher risk of crew casualties in case of a hit.

In conclusion, the Challenger 2 has notable advantages over the T-80BV in armor, firepower, reliability, electronics, and crew protection, making it a formidable main battle tank in modern warfare.

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