Second UK Challenger 2 Tank Reportedly Destroyed In Ukraine
“No Challenger 2 has been lost in combat since it was first deployed in 1994, although one was destroyed in a friendly-fire incident in Iraq in 2003,” The Guardian reported Wednesday after the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed the first Challenger 2 was destroyed on the Ukrainian battlefield.
Russian media now says it has happened again: “Russian forces have reportedly destroyed a second Challenger 2 main battle tank out of the 14 that London has supplied to Kiev, RIA Novosti reported on Saturday, citing a local civic leader from Zaporozhye Region.” If confirmed, this would mark another devastating development for Kiev and its backers.
The sources cited in this latest report say the UK-supplied tank took a direct hit from a Russian Kornet missile, which is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile capable of being mounted on a vehicle.
One pro-Kremlin activist was cited in Russian media as saying it’s “open season” on British tanks in Ukraine and that they will “burn just as well as any other Western equipment.”
While the UK has yet to confirm or deny these latest claims that a second Challenger 2 tank has been destroyed, the defense ministry did confirm destruction of the first one, based in part on ample video evidence:
The UK has confirmed the first loss of a Challenger 2 tank by Ukraine, saying it was “hit by Russian artillery.”
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday morning, the UK’s defence secretary Grant Shapps also confirmed the vehicle’s crew had survived.
Video surfaced on social media early on Tuesday morning of a Ukrainian Challenger 2 burning at the side of the road believed to be south of the recently-liberated town of Robotyne.
In the aftermath, British military sources further indicated there are as yet no plans for the UK to replace those tanks lost on the battlefield.
Kiev is still awaiting the M1 Abrams tanks promised by Washington, but these are sophisticated enough to require many months of additional training for Ukrainian operators. So far, the main battle tanks supplied by the West have not been the “gamechanger” that Ukraine hoped.
Mon, 09/11/2023 – 02:45