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UK defense secretary confirms Challenger 2 tank destroyed in Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek September 6, 2023 11:49 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian recruits and their British Armed Forces trainers complete a session on the operation of a Challenger 2 tank at a military facility, on Feb. 23, 2023 in Southern England. (Photo credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
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U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed for Sky News on Sept. 6 that a British-made Challenger 2 tank in service with the Ukrainian military had been destroyed by Russian artillery.

"It may be the first loss, as far as we're aware... We gifted 14 of these Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. We accept that in the war zone, there can be material losses," Shapps said, adding that London does not plan to replace the vehicle.

According to the defense secretary, the tank was hit by artillery, and as the crew was attempting to put out a fire, it was hit again. Shapps stressed that all crew members have survived.

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A video capturing the destroyed British-supplied tank began to circulate on social media on Sept. 5. According to the open-source intelligence (OSINT) channel OSINTtechnical, the vehicle was destroyed near Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

The U.K. confirmed in January the delivery of 14 Challenger 2 tanks to give Ukrainian forces the much-needed edge in the counteroffensive. It has joined other Kyiv partners in providing advanced Western armor, also including Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks.

According to Forbes, five of Ukraine's Leopard 2 tanks have been destroyed during the ongoing counteroffensive. The losses reportedly occurred in the early weeks of the counteroffensive on the southern front line near Mala Tokmachka and Robotyne.

Politico: 10 Abrams tanks to reach Ukraine by mid-September
According to U.S. Defense Department sources, 10 out of 31 promised Abrams tanks will arrive in Ukraine in mid-September, Politico reported on Aug. 31.

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