14 British Challenger 2 tanks crossed the border and entered Ukraine

All promised 14 British Challenger 2 tanks are now in Ukraine. London revealed this information a few days ago [April 21], when the Contact Group on Ukraine was holding talks at the German military base Ramstein. However, when exactly the tanks were delivered – the information is different. According to BulgarianMilitary.com sources, at the end of March, the first Challenger 2 was already in Ukraine.

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

However, Great Britain announced that not only the tanks are on Ukrainian soil. 32 155 mm AS90 self-propelled howitzers, and over 150 Bulldog armored vehicles have also flown into the inventory of the Ukrainian army. Along with them, London also delivered hundreds of missiles.

Perhaps the better news for Kyiv, however, is London’s intention to supply Ukraine with 300,000 artillery shells. Expressed in daily shell consumption by the Ukrainian army, this equates to roughly 1,000 shells per day.

Many times, both we and other information channels have reported that Ukraine has a shortage of artillery shells and missiles. The ratio between the used shells and missiles from Ukraine and Russia continues to be several times in favor of the Russian armed forces.

‘Ukrainian’ Challenger 2 tanks

It would be of interest if the British Ministry of Defense shared more information about the conditions in which the British tanks were sent. Of course, for security reasons, the British MoD will probably never say.

Although we don’t know which batch of Challenger 2s was chosen to take tanks to Ukraine, the British were likely able to upgrade, or at least configure into a complete battle kit, every single Challenger.

There is reason to be interested in the condition of the British tanks sent. In 2019, then UK Defense Secretary Mrs. Penny Mordaunt announced that the Challenger 2 had not had an upgrade since 1998. According to her, then London gave priority to the development of Challenger 3.

British Gulf War tanks may be modernized and sent to Ukraine - Challenger 1 tank
Photo credit: YouTube

According to claims in the Russian press, these 14 tanks will not be the only ones delivered to Kyiv from London. The Russians think that London will make a second, even a third tranche of tanks, but they dare not speculate on the possible delivery quantities.

What impresses Challenger 2?

British Challenger 2 tanks crossed the border and entered Ukraine
Photo credit: MoD

The British main battle tank is heavier than the Russian tanks. Also, the crew in Western tanks is four-man, while in Russian tanks it is three-man. The reason is that Russian tanks automatically load their guns, while Western tanks do so manually by an additional crew member.

However, it is the gun of the Challenger 2 that is considered one of the advantages of the tank. It is notched. And although it is a smaller caliber [120mm] than its Russian competitors [125mm], rifled cannons, according to general statistics, are more accurate than smoothbore ones, such as the Russian ones.

Its accuracy is measured between 5% and 7% more accurate. A 120mm British gun can fire a variety of ammunition, making it highly independent of ammunition choice as long as it is available. The range of the British cannon, which by the way is Royal Ordnance L30, is 4 km.

Why is the Ukrainian counter-offensive delayed?

The British Challenger 2 and a part of the Leopard 2 tanks, which are already in Ukraine, raise the question – why is the Ukrainian offensive delayed?

US Bradley IFVs in Ukrainian camo colors are in the war zone
Photo credit: Twitter

However, the public should know that decisions about military action are made based on many factors. For the offensive to succeed, a time must be chosen which is perfectly suitable and implies less influence on the actions.

For example, at the moment in Ukraine, the roads along the front line are muddy and wet. Not only jeeps, pickups, mediums, or heavily armored vehicles will get stuck, but also tanks, no matter what model they are. The appalling “slush and mud”, as the head of the Russian private military company Wagner, Mr. Yevgeny Prigozhin, describes the condition of the roads is completely inappropriate.

The British Ministry of Defense also notes this fact. From London, they say that when the surface improves, then we can already talk about a counteroffensive. Until then, the long-range artillery barrage will most likely continue. However, according to sources on the ground, surface conditions may improve in the coming weeks. I.e. it is quite possible that in the late spring and early summer the expected Ukrainian attack will take place.

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