Home » Only 7 Out of 14 Challenger Tanks Handed Over by UK to Ukraine Remain in Service

Only 7 Out of 14 Challenger Tanks Handed Over by UK to Ukraine Remain in Service

by Marko Florentino
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Western allies began pouring weapons and ammunition into Ukraine shortly after Russia launched its military operation in the country in February 2022. Last year, the United Kingdom sent 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, which Kiev received in early 2023.

Only half of the Challenger 2 tanks handed over by the UK to Ukraine in 2023 can be used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces for combat operations, according to The Sun.

As the newspaper notes, 5 of the 14 tanks are out of service and waiting for spare parts, the delivery of which from the United Kingdom could take months. One was destroyed by a Russian Lancet UAV and another is being used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to train tank crews deep behind the front lines. It is also reported that two Challenger 2 tanks were damaged in fighting, but have been repaired, with one having its gun barrel replaced.

“It takes a long time to get spares. The logistics are very complex, at this end and your end,” a Ukrainian tank company commander told The Sun.

According to him, this is one of the main difficulties associated with the operation of British tanks. The tanker also said that some parts of the Challenger 2 broke “from the very beginning,” while others require frequent replacement. According to him, these include some components of the tank’s turret and precision targeting system, as well as rubber linings on the tracks.

Another drawback of the 62.5-ton Challenger 2 is its weight. Reporters from The Sun, invited to a firing range in Ukraine “close to the front line,” write how the tank, with the journalists on its turret, got stuck in a waterlogged ravine. Another tank was used to pull it out.

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