Britain ‘is considering supplying Challenger 2 tanks’


The UK is considering supplying Ukraine with British tanks for the first time to fight Russia’s invading forces, Sky News understands.

Discussions have been taking place ‘for a few weeks’ about delivering a number of the British Army’s Challenger 2 main battle tank to the Ukrainian armed forces, a Western source with knowledge of the conversations said.

Such a move would mark a significant step-up in Western support to Ukraine and could help prompt other NATO allies, in particular Germany, to follow suit.

‘It would encourage others to give tanks,’ a Ukrainian source said.

No final decision has yet been made by Rishi Sunak’s government, but if the UK did sign off on such a delivery it would become the first nation to respond to pleas from Ukrainian leaders to equip their military with powerful Western tanks.

A US-led grouping of some 50 nations – including the UK – that is delivering military support to Ukraine is due to hold its next meeting on 20 January.

A US-led grouping of some 50 nations – including the UK – that is delivering military support to Ukraine is due to hold its next meeting on 20 January.

Any announcements about new assistance, such as tanks, could be made to coincide with the Contact Group gathering.

One source suggested Britain might offer around 10 Challenger 2 tanks, enough to equip a squadron.

Ukraine has been asking for British tanks ‘since summer’ a second source said. But the reality is that the UK, with a total fleet of 227, has a small supply compared with what is made by Germany and the US.

An initial report from Sky News suggested the UK was considering supplying about 10 Challenger 2s, only a fraction of the 300 Kyiv wants as it tries to build up a mechanised force in pursuit of victory after more than 10 months of war.

There are about 2,000 Leopard 2s in service in Europe with 13 different countries, but because they were originally made in Germany, the approval of Berlin would be required if any are to be re-exported to Ukraine.

Western countries have already announced a step-up in their military aid to Ukraine this year.

Last week, the US and Germany said they would provide 50 Bradley and 40 Marder fighting vehicles respectively.

That followed an announcement by France that it would provide a number – estimated at about 30 – of light AMX-10 RC armoured vehicles in what appeared to be a coordinated sequence of announcements.

Kyiv is hoping for a further breakthrough at or in the run-up to the next meeting of the ‘Ramstein’ contact group of western defence ministers, which is scheduled for 20 January.

Chaired by the US, the group coordinates military aid to Ukraine.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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