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Challenger 2: Great Britain wants to give battle tanks to Ukraine

rival 2
Great Britain wants to give battle tanks to Ukraine

An explosion occurs near the Challenger 2 main battle tank. Photo:

© Ben Birchall/PA Wire/dpa

London supplies weapons to Ukraine. With Challenger 2, the country wants to supply Kiev with a modern battle tank for the first time. it should also be a political signal to Berlin.

In the coming weeks, Great Britain plans to provide Ukraine with 14 Challenger 2 battle tanks. This was announced by the London government late on Saturday evening. UK defense and security authorities see an opportunity to act as Russia is “on the defensive due to supply shortages and declining morale (of its troops)”. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak therefore wanted to “encourage allies” to start their support for Ukraine, which is scheduled for 2023, “as soon as possible to achieve maximum results”.

On Friday next week, the defense ministers of Ukraine’s western allies will discuss further military support for the Russian-attacked country at the US Ramstein Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate. Britain announced on Saturday afternoon, initially without giving specific numbers, that it would hand over its Challenger main battle tanks to Ukraine’s armed forces. Poland and Finland have agreed to supply Leopard tanks as part of the European alliance. The federal government has not yet taken a position in this regard. So far, Ukraine has not received a Western-style main battle tank, only Soviet models from the stockpiles of Eastern European NATO countries.

Overall, the Leopard 2 is a much more common tank than the Challenger 2. Apart from the UK, only the Gulf state of Oman has a British tank in its inventory so far. Given the potential suppliers and the availability of ammunition and spare parts, this makes it less attractive to Kiev than the Leopard, which is used by 20 countries around the world.

With London’s announcement, the federal government’s arguments will likely be harder to sustain. Recently, a decision was made to supply Marder armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. Zelensky thanked Sunak for his support on Twitter and emphasized that the decision “will send the right signal to other partners.”

More than ten months after the invasion began, Russia has occupied a good 18 percent of Ukraine’s territory, including Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. Ukraine is almost completely dependent on Western arms supply. In addition to light weapons and ammunition, Berlin has already delivered heavy self-propelled howitzers and anti-aircraft systems. In addition, the supply of 40 Marders armored personnel carriers was announced.

dpa:

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