TechUkraine's 82nd Airborne Brigade, boosted by British Challenger 2 tanks in combat against Russia

Ukraine's 82nd Airborne Brigade, boosted by British Challenger 2 tanks in combat against Russia

Challenger 2, illustrative picture
Challenger 2, illustrative picture
Images source: © British Army, Sergeant Steve Blake RLC

5:22 AM EST, February 7, 2024, updated: 4:04 AM EST, March 7, 2024

"Our experience with Soviet tanks was limited. But when we went to Great Britain to train on these tanks, it was a profound contrast," said Viktor, one of the Challenger 2 tank operators.

Last year, Great Britain dispatched 14 Challenger 2 tanks to the front lines. The Ukrainians noted that the arrival of the British tanks substantially boosted the morale of advancing infantry. Despite its larger size, making it less mobile and slower in difficult conditions than other tanks, the Challenger 2 makes up for it with other vital traits.

Ukrainians praise the Challenger 2 tank

The Challenger 2 is a third-generation British main battle tank known for its near-indestructible reputation. Reports have even told of it moving after multiple projectile hits. It utilizes multi-layered Chobham/Dorchester armor, a system tested and verified in combat during the Gulf War, further ensuring high protection for Ukrainian crews.

In September 2023, the British Ministry of Defense confirmed that Russia had successfully destroyed one of these tanks. It was a significant, potentially isolated incident, being the first and only reported case of a Challenger 2 tank being shattered in any conflict by an opposing force.

Offensive capabilities of the Challenger 2

The offensive power of the Challenger 2 tank comes from the L30A1 120 mm rifled gun. This feature distinguishes the British machine, as many other NATO tanks typically use smoothbore firearms.

Members of the 82nd Airborne Assault Brigade of Ukraine praised the Challenger 2's resilience, heavy firepower, and exceptional accuracy. They reported striking enemy concrete bunkers from approximately 1.74 miles away with relative ease.

Aside from its primary gun, the Challenger 2 has two 7.62 mm machine guns. Despite its massive weight of over 132,277 pounds, a robust 1200 horsepower engine enables it to reach speeds of around 34 mph.

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