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Ukraine loses one out of its 14 Challenger tanks during offensive on southern front (VIDEO)

uk aid package challenger 2 battle tanks against russia
Challenger 2 tank with a 120 mm rifled (rare) L30A1 gun, the British main battle tank for the AFU/ Source: Mezha media

A video of a burning British Challenger 2 main battle tank of Ukraine’s Armed Forces popped up on the Internet. A source in a Western defense agency confirmed to the BBC that the video footage shows a damaged Challenger 2 tank.

The video shows the distinctive spare fuel tanks, one of which fell off, probably when the Challenger 2 was hit.

In addition, the footage shows an armored thermal imager box on top of the gun, which is installed on Challenger 2 tanks. 

Challenger 2 tanks are well protected. Thus, the crew may still be alive.

Although the video shows the Challenger 2 on fire, the tank is not destroyed, and there are no signs of an internal explosion. An unnamed BBC source in a Western defense agency said that the crew of four survived.

British Challenger 2 main battle tanks are in service with the 82nd Separate Air Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which has been taking part in the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast since late August and allegedly liberated the Russian stronghold in Robotyne.

So far, no Challenger 2 tanks have ever been lost in combat due to enemy fire. The only destroyed Challenger fell victim to “friendly fire” in Iraq in 2003.

The UK produced only about 450 of Challenger 2 main battle tanks. Although these tanks fought during the armed conflict in former Yugoslavia and the invasion of Iraq, they rarely took an active part in combat.

The UK provided Ukraine with 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks. Ukrainian tankmen called a Challenger 2 a “sniper rifle among tanks” for its highly effective and accurate gun. 

A Challenger 2 has a tank crew of four people: a commander, a driver, a gunner and a loader. The main armament is an L30A1 120-millimetre rifled tank gun. One of the main advantages of a Challenger 2 tank is its Chobham armor, which uses ceramic plates. This multilayered armor is effective against high-explosive munitions (multiple rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles, or grenade launchers) and sub-caliber shells.

However, a Challenger 2 tank is best protected in the frontal projection, while the sides and stern are less protected.

Related:

ISW: Ukraine widening breach in Russian defenses in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Frontline report: Depletion of Russian air defense in southern Ukraine opens doors for Ukrainian armed drones

Ukrainian counteroffensive: genocide of Russian artillery

General Staff: Ukrainian army repels Russian counterattacks south of Bakhmut

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