Challenger 2 tanks in Ukraine – such are London’s intentions

BERLIN, GERMANY — London is considering the possibility of handing over a dozen British Challenger 2 tanks to Kyiv. The German publication SPIEGEL has similar information. If Britain carries out its intentions, these will be the first Western tanks directly involved in the war against the Russian army.

British unit with Challenger tanks will be deployed in Poland
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Until now, varieties of tanks, but not tanks, are being prepared for shipment to Ukraine. These are the American Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, the French armored fighting vehicle AMX-10 RC and the German Marder armored fighting vehicles.

The German publication SPIEGEL suggests that a decision to send Challenger 2 tanks will be made on January 20. Then, at the American military base in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, the meeting of the so-called Ramstein Group. This group, composed of high-ranking military and government officials from Ukraine’s allies, analyzes and makes decisions on what to support the Ukrainian resistance.

Great Britain is perhaps the most active European supplier of weapons systems, weapons, consumables, materials, and medical and military equipment in Europe. However, according to SPIEGEL, London has so far also refrained from sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. However, Ukraine has already been provided with 200 Stormer armored vehicles, which are also equipped with guided missiles.

The British government has already officially announced that London will continue to support Kyiv at the same level as in 2022. In response to an inquiry sent by SPIEGEL about a possible delivery of the tanks, London neither confirmed nor denied the German journalists’ claims.

However, it remains unclear whether London will donate the tanks or sell them. SPIEGEL writes: “According to political observers in London, the decision to sell modern main battle tanks would therefore represent a new quality in the rearmament of the Ukrainian armed forces.”

Britain is the first country in the world to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022. The total value of military aid sent by London to Kyiv is estimated at £2.3 billion. I.e. after the US, Britain is the second largest military supporter of Ukraine. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that London undertook and is fulfilling the commitment to train hundreds of Ukrainian troops in Great Britain.

The meeting on January 20 is eagerly awaited. Analysts say that not only Britain but also other countries allied with Ukraine may surprise Russia by offering another type of weaponry. In British military circles, there is talk that the Challenger 2 tank is a possible option for delivery to Ukraine.

Britain is considering sending a dozen Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine
Photo credit: Army Technology

From Warsaw, for example, it was recently heard that Leopard main battle tanks will be sold. If these plans go ahead, the pressure on Berlin to also deliver the Leopard 2 should increase significantly.

The Challenger 2 was developed in the 1980s and has been delivered to the British Army since the mid-1990s. The weapon system weighs 60 tons and is equipped with a 120 mm gun. The British Army used the Challenger in both Bosnia and the Iraq Wars.

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