Senior Generals have warned that Ukraine will see the largest artillery campaign since the Second World War as two British Challenger 2 tank squadrons are now assembling in Poland.
The British Army has also sent 20 AS90 self propelled Howitzers along with 45,000 high explosive shells which will arrive in Poland later this week.
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Ukrainian forces will then be taught how to use the lethal AS90 Howitzers and how to maintain them before being deployed to the front lines which have an effective range of 15-miles and can fire three shells in 10 seconds.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “This will become an artillery conflict, they need support with more artillery, that is what we will be giving them.”
Two Challenger tank squadrons from the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH) who are based in Sennelagar, Germany have assembled in Poland for a scheduled month long wargames.
The Queen’s Royal Hussars (QRH) started wargames last night in Finland as Britain has deployed a further squadron of 14 main battle tanks.
The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) has sent one tank squadron to Estonia which has been augmented by infantry from the Royal Welsh battlegroup for wargames.
Italian and Danish forces will participate with the RTR and Royal Welsh battlegroup and the RAF will will also increase their air patrols along the Romanian border.
Speaking on Saturday evening, General Sir Richard Barrons, who is the former Joint Forces commander, said, “Ukrainian forces have been successful with short range ambushes, but they will need to change the way they fight.
“Donbas is open country and the Russians are more alert.
“That means destroying Russian armour from beyond the line of sight, which requires artillery and target acquisition drones.
“Artillery has already been by far the biggest killer in this war, and this will only increase now.”
He added, “I once commanded an AS90 regiment. They are easy to fire but they are complex machines to maintain.
“We need to ensure that we train Ukrainians well and deliver enough ammunition.”
16 Air Assault Brigade are to deploy to Macedonia and they will be accompanied by Apache and Chinook helicopters from 1st Combat Aviation Brigade and the UK will soon have 6,000 boots on the ground for a “show of force.”
Justin Crump, ceo of the strategic risk group Sibylline, said, “The deployment of QRH to Finland, the KRH to Poland, and the existing tank commitment to Estonia – currently doubled to two battlegroups – means parts of all three of the regular tank regiments and the one Reserve regiment, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, are now on the eastern front of NATO.”
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “grateful” for the military aid.
He added, ”We want more than we’re being given, but we’re satisfied. We cannot refuse or reject anything during the war from the biggest military aid, which is coming from the United States and the United Kingdom.
“There are many other friends in Europe, but I’m talking about volumes of help and I’m grateful for it.”
Russian forces have now begun to fight more efficiently, said western officials. “Russian command and control is more effective, we’re seeing a smarter use of UAVs and a greater integration of electronic warfare,” said one NATO source.
This applied to its use of artillery, also.
“Russia forces are now using artillery as part of manoeuvring tactics, as opposed to just striking targets.”