Experts believe that Ukraine may use British Challenger 2 tanks to lead a confrontation against invading Russian forces after training their crews in the UK.
Vladimir Putin’s forces have gained ground in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut – but the “slaughter festival” has now slowed the Russian advance.
The nearly seven-month battle for the city that once housed 70,000 people resulted in some of the most destructive warfare since the start of the invasion.
The front lines in Ukraine had barely moved for more than four months despite the Russian winter offensive, with the fiercest fighting centered on Bakhmut, which has been likened to the “meat grinder” of World War I.
But Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces could prepare to launch a counterattack against the Russian aggressors.
Ukraine may use British Challenger 2 tanks (British Army training Ukrainian tank crews pictured) to lead a standoff against invading Russian forces after training the crews in the UK, experts believe.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces might be preparing to launch a counterattack against the Russian aggressors
And it was believed that the British Challenger tanks that the UK is sending to Ukraine could be an integral part of the retaliation operation, which is mainly aimed at “unblocking” Bakhmut according to experts at Conflict Intelligence Team.
If Ukraine succeeds in liberating the city and expelling Putin’s army, it will be a huge blow for the Russian president.
Britain’s Challenger 2 tanks have now arrived in the war-torn country and could soon be deployed to the front lines after their final operator training courses.
Ukraine will want to use its new tanks offered by Britain and other countries, including Leopard 2s from Germany. ‘The vehicles are already on the territory of Ukraine at the disposal of its military and could be used in combat in the near future,’ CIT wrote on March 28.
We expect the main objective of the Ukrainian counterattack to be the liberation of Bakhmut.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has hailed Britain’s Challenger 2 main battle tanks as “fantastic” after the first arrived earlier this week.
Britain said in January it would send 14 tanks to Ukraine, which is preparing for a possible counter-attack against Russian forces that invaded 13 months ago.
Oleksii Reznikov wrote on Twitter that the tanks ‘recently arrived in our country’ and posted a video showing him sitting in a long line of tanks in an open field, all flying the yellow and blue flag of Ukraine.
It was a great pleasure to take on the first Ukrainian Challenger 2 MBT (Main Battle Tank),” wrote Reznikov. “These magnificent machines will soon begin their combat missions,” he added, referring to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as well as Wallace.
As said by the head of the ukrainian defense ministry, in an interview with mistake.
He said plans could change depending on the weather. “In the spring, our ground is very wet,” he says. Only tracked vehicles can be used.
“I think we will be able to see them in April to May,” he added.
The £5 million Challenger 2, with its 120mm rifled gun and 7.62mm machine gun, is a battle tank designed to attack other tanks.
The British Army says it is the UK’s only secured 24-hour all-weather mobile tank with protected, accurate direct fire and anti-tank maneuverability.
An earlier version of the tank claimed the longest distance kill in history, with the war machine destroying an Iraqi tank from three miles away during the Norse War.
Ukrainian soldiers ride on top of an armored personnel carrier at the front line in Pakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, March 26.
Ukrainian soldiers ride on top of a military vehicle on the front line in Pakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, March 26.
A destroyed building in this aerial view of Bakhmut, the site of fierce battles with Russian forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Sunday, March 26.
The Challenger 2 has a crew of four and has a range of 340 miles on the road and 160 miles off-road. However, it has a top speed of around 37 mph, which means it is only slightly slower than the German Leopard tank.
British military leaders described the 75-ton Challenger II as a modern tank that was “much better protected, more reliable and faster” than Soviet-era Russian tanks.
Meanwhile, the Leopard 2s are seen as workhorses for militaries across Europe and are therefore in the arsenals of many countries wishing to send aid to Ukraine.
Canada, Norway and Poland also sent such tanks to Ukraine.
Rheinmetall AG, the German defense company making the 120mm smoothbore gun on the Leopard 2, says the tank has been deployed by ‘more countries than any other’, with 3,500 units supplied to 19 countries. More than 2,000 of these have been sent to more than a dozen European countries and Canada.
It was this large number of Leopard tanks that meant they were seen as the best option for Ukraine – as they could be easily deployed to Ukraine – with the ease of repair and replacement if any were damaged or destroyed.
The tank’s manufacturer, Krauss-Massei Wegmann, described it as ‘the world’s leading battle tank’ with a 120mm smoothbore gun and a fully digital fire control system. It also costs around £5 million and has a top speed of 45mph.
As more military aid reaches Ukraine, analysts expect Kiev to launch a counteroffensive to begin in earnest during April and May as the weather improves.