LONDON, UK — The British Ministry of Defense has announced that servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine [AFU] are mastering the management of Challenger 2 tanks. This was reported on the department’s Twitter account. “Tank crews of the Armed Forces of Ukraine quickly mastered the Challenger 2 operation this week,” the report said.
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On January 15, the British government decided to transfer 14 Challenger 2 tanks and 30 AS90 self-propelled guns. Prime Minister Mr. Rishi Sunak promised Ukrainian President Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky to provide additional support. It is noted that the transfer of tanks will take UK support for Kyiv to a new level.
Earlier, former NATO Assistant Secretary General Lieutenant General Heinrich Braus said that almost all weapons promised by the West to Ukraine require many months of serious training of Ukrainian military personnel. Based on this, he called what was happening a “race against time”.
The delivery of Western tanks, including the Challenger 2, to the Ukrainian army may face obstacles. According to the British tabloid The Sun, London is considering an option in which British tanks avoid participating in areas where a possible Russian advance is suspected.
The reasons are several: from the armor of the tank to the fear that the Challenger 2 tank could fall into the hands of Russian military engineers. Both the Abrams and the Challenger have tank armor, which is in the interest of national security. Its development includes the use of special ceramic components and uranium-absorbing materials. Britain does not want Russia to get access to this technology.
At the same time, The Sun writes that London and Kyiv are thinking of different scenarios. One of them is if the tank captured, how to pull it back deep behind the Ukrainians. Otherwise, if it is abandoned by the Ukrainians on the battlefield, the chance of the tank ending up in Russia is high.
One more person
According to preliminary analyzes and signals from various military departments of both countries [Ukraine and Great Britain], Challenger 2 should go to the battlefield in about two months. It all depends on how long it will take the British to train the new Ukrainian crews.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that until now Ukrainian tank crews have been trained and fighting on Soviet T-72 tanks. Western tanks, including the Challenger 2, are manned by a crew of four, which is one more than the Soviet tanks. The additional man is an ammunition loader, while on Russian tanks this process is done automatically.
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