British Challenger Tanks Fighting Russian Troops in Ukraine

According to a video published on Telegram, on June 18, 2023, the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) donated by the United Kingdom to Ukraine are now deployed at the front line by the Ukrainian army to fight Russian troops.

In January 2023, the British Ministry of Defense announced that the United Kingdom will supply Ukraine with a squadron of Challenger 2 MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) coming from the British army military inventory. The tanks were delivered with their associated ammunition. A total of 14 Challenger 2 MBTs were supplied to the Ukrainian army to replace the old Soviet-made T-80BV tanks, currently in service with the Ukrainian air-assault brigades.

The Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank that presents several enhancements over the T-80BV, a Soviet-designed main battle tank, that would be beneficial to the Ukrainian army.

One of the key advantages of the Challenger 2 is its advanced armor. It’s renowned for its ‘Dorchester’ composite and modular armor, known to be one of the best defensive structures available in the world. This advanced armor could provide better protection for Ukrainian forces than the T-80BV’s older, but still potent, composite armor.

Another area where the Challenger 2 shines is its firepower. Its 120mm rifled gun is highly accurate and has a long effective range. The HESH (High-Explosive Squash Head) rounds it fires are extremely effective against various targets, providing a wider range of operational capability. The Challenger 2’s rifled gun, for instance, is reputed to have an effective range in the realm of 2 to 2.5 kilometers, and potentially more under ideal conditions. This contrasts with the T-80BV’s 125mm smoothbore gun, which is a potent weapon, but some argue the 120mm rifled gun gives a more consistent performance.

Additionally, the Challenger 2 has a superior Fire Control System (FCS) with greater reliability and precision. This system’s advanced thermal imaging and targeting capabilities are another significant benefit over the T-80BV.

Furthermore, the Challenger 2’s Fire Control System (FCS), with its advanced thermal imaging and targeting capabilities, gives the tank a certain edge in combat scenarios. This would be particularly advantageous in conditions with limited visibility, allowing for accurate target acquisition and engagement both during the day and at night.

In terms of mobility, while the T-80BV is slightly faster and lighter, the Challenger 2 offers excellent mechanical reliability and a well-balanced combination of speed, agility, and cross-country performance.

The T-80BV exhibits superior mobility attributes owing to its gas turbine engine and remarkable power-to-weight ratio, delivering exceptional acceleration. Conversely, the Challenger 2, equipped with a Perkins CV12 diesel engine, provides superior fuel efficiency and operational range, considerations crucial in battlefield scenarios. The top speed for the Challenger 2 on the road is approximately 59 km/h (37 mph), decreasing to around 40 km/h (25 mph) in off-road settings. The T-80BV, however, can achieve up to 70 km/h (43 mph) on the road, with a slight decrease to about 45 km/h (28 mph) in uneven terrains. Consequently, the T-80BV outpaces the Challenger 2 in terms of speed.

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