A battlefield video circulating on social media overnight seems to indicate the destruction of a British Challenger 2 in Ukraine, which might be the primary time one of many tanks has been destroyed in fight.
Initially of the video, filmed from a automobile attempting to flee the combating, the Challenger 2 with its distinctive gun barrel is seen shrouded in thick, gray smoke. It’s unclear what has brought about the blaze.
British defence sources mentioned that regardless of the impression, the Ukrainian crew is believed to have survived. A typical crew is made up of 4 members, and in contrast to Russian equivalents, its ammunition is saved in separate compartments to attempt to forestall it from exploding if the tank takes a direct hit.
Consultants confirmed the id of the tank from the video. It’s unclear precisely when and the place it was filmed, although persons are heard talking in Ukrainian once they see a second immobilised tank.
No Challenger 2 has been misplaced in fight because it was first deployed in 1994, though one was destroyed in a pleasant hearth incident in Iraq in 2003. The file is partly due to the comparatively small numbers constructed and their rare deployment.
Britain gave 14 of the tanks to Ukraine earlier this 12 months as a part of a European effort to supply western heavy armour. It’s not clear if they’ve been extensively used on the frontline.
The tanks had been connected to Ukraine’s 82nd air assault brigade, and Kyiv hoped to maintain them in reserve to take advantage of any frontline breakthrough. The brigade was thrown into battle in August on the important thing Zaporizhzhia entrance round Robotyne, the place Ukraine mentioned over the weekend it had breached the primary Russian defensive position.
Britain has 213 Challenger 2 tanks remaining after donating the 14 to Ukraine, though MPs had been informed in March that 157 had been obtainable for operations. The one different nation to make use of the tanks is Oman.
The UK has but to remark though the UK Ministry of Defence doesn’t dispute that the video seems to indicate a Challenger 2.