A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister told journalists that PM Rishi Sunak has asked defense secretary Ben Wallace to “work with partners” in the coming weeks to go “further and faster with our support for Ukraine including the provision of tanks,” FT reports.
It is the first official confirmation that the UK is planning to provide tanks to Ukraine to boost its capabilities against the Russian invasion forces. Previously, Sky News reported that Britain was considering supplying around 10 Challenger 2 tanks, enough to equip a squadron:
The UK is considering supplying Ukraine with tanks for the first time to fight Russia's invading forces, Sky News writes referring to its sources
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) January 9, 2023
“Such a move would mark a significant step-up in Western support to Ukraine and could help prompt other NATO allies, in particular Germany, to follow suit,” Sky News said.
Currently, the Ukrainian allies have been supplying only light armored equipment and Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukraine. Despite multiple Ukrainian requests, no modern Western heavy battle tanks have been supplied yet.
“We are accelerating our support to Ukraine with the kind of next-generation military technology that will help to win this war,” the Downing St spokesperson said, according to FT. “It is clear that battle tanks could provide a game-changing capability to the Ukrainians.”
The Downing St’s comment came after today’s announcement by Polish President Andrzej Duda that Poland was going to supply a company of German-made Leopard tanks: