In a BUzz exclusive from Dorset – the home of Britain’s Challenger battle tank – we focus on Britain’s decision to send a squadron of 14 of these fearsome war machines to Ukraine.
A former Lieutenant Colonel, Richard Taylor, described Dorset as “absolutely central” to Challenger tank operations. Bovington Army Camp is the headquarters of Britain’s Royal Armoured Corps.
Taylor, from Poole, served in the Royal Tank Regiment and has over 40 years of experience with armoured vehicles.
On January 14th , Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said that Britain would become the first country in Europe to send military aid to Ukraine. When the announcement was made, 14 Challenger 2 tanks would be sent to help Ukraine on the frontline.
What is the Challenger 2?
The Challenger 2 is the British Army’s main tank used in battle and comes with many strengths that the Ukrainians can use. Tommy Payne has more below.
When can we expect the tanks to start helping?
Excluding the actual delivery of the tanks to Kyiv, it may be months before the tanks will actually start taking effect.
Taylor said: “Don’t expect them to be used tomorrow, next week, next month because if we’re going to do a decent job, we’re going to have to train the Ukrainians in how to use the tanks properly.”
The Challenger 2 needs a crew of four people to in order to running properly and the most efficiently whereas the standard Ukrainian tanks need only three people to man.
Therefore, the training may be a complex procedure to undertake both from a fundamental level and a tactical level.
Lt Col Taylor predicts we will see the tanks “somewhere between 3 and 6 months”.