Ukraine has apparently lost its first British-supplied Challenger 2 tank. A video circulating on social media on Tuesday showed a tank on fire, believed to be near the recently liberated town of Robotyne. It remains uncertain exactly how the vehicle was destroyed. Videos reviewed by the Kyiv Post suggest the Challenger 2 was in an area under artillery fire.
The Kyiv Post also notes another incident from 2003 in Iraq where a Challenger 2 tank was hit by a friendly fire incident. In Ukraine, the Challenger 2 tanks are exclusively at the “82. Air Assault Brigade” in action. According to the War Research Institute, the brigade has made significant progress in the western Zaporizhia region.
“Sniper among tanks”
Just two days ago, Kiev praised the Challenger’s abilities. A tank commander described it in the Kyiv Post as “the sniper rifle among tanks” and said that the mere sound of the engine could frighten the Russians. Developed in the 1990s, the Challenger 2 is considered a technological masterpiece, outperforming many older Soviet models. Despite this, Ukraine has only received 14 of these tanks, while operating a larger number of Leopard tanks from Germany, which are technically inferior to the Challenger. Ukraine is expected to have around 165 Leopard tanks in its inventory once all deliveries are complete.