Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The training of Ukrainian tank crews on the British Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) has been completed and the crews have returned to Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 27 March 2023. The following day the first of the promised 14 Challenger 2s arrived in Ukraine, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) and other media reported.

Combat live firing with Challenger 2 marked the finish of the Ukrainian tankers’ training. (Photo: Crown Copyright)

Immediately after the announcement of the British tank deliveries in January, the Ukrainian tank crews had arrived at a British Army tank training centre. In theoretical and practical training, they became familiar with the tanks and mastered them to the extent that they can now be deployed in Ukraine’s campaign against invading Russian forces.

The highlight of the training was a final live firing exercise in which the crews were able to demonstrate what they had learned, with the UK MoD posting a video about the training:

The British tanks are being supplied with spare parts and ammunition, with the latter coming into focus recently because British tank rounds contain depleted uranium, which is used by their dart projectiles to penetrate armour with kinetic energy. The depleted uranium, with its high specific gravity, makes the penetrators particularly effective.

Contrary to what was claimed by Russia, the projectiles do not pose a nuclear threat. According to an EU investigation, the munitions pose no environmental or health risks.

In addition to the tanks, the British support package for Ukraine includes 20 Bulldog armoured personnel carriers and 30 AS90 self-propelled howitzers.

Gerhard Heiming