Defence experts are warning that Russia will be “desperate” to steal the military technology within the Challenger 2 tanks and urgent missions will be needed to recover damaged or destroyed tanks.
UK tech and defence experts are warning that Russian intelligence services will no doubt target the Challenger 2 tanks and say that they must not be used in scenarios they believe there is a “realistic possibility” of a military collapse.
Undoubtedly the US and other NATO countries will also have the same concerns and will be preparing for the potential that their tanks could be damaged and will need to be recovered immediately to stop secrets getting into Russian hands.
An expert told The Sun, “The British armour is the best in the world.
“In the history of Challenger 2s only one has been destroyed in battle and that was by friendly fire in Iraq.
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“The Russians will be desperate to try and kill and capture a Challenger 2, partly for their propaganda but also to get their hands on its secrets.”
A defence source added, “If a tank is destroyed or disabled the first option is always to try and self-recover.
“You tow it with another tank or use a specialist armoured repair and recovery vehicle — which looks like a tank with a crane.
“But the worst-case scenario is that a tank is destroyed when the lines are collapsing and friendly forces are in retreat.
“Step one is the training and working with mission planners to try and ensure the Challengers are not used in scenarios where they think that collapse a realistic possibility.
“Step two is making sure, at the tactical level, the Ukrainians are trained to recover a tank under fire. They certainly don’t lack the courage.”
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said, “We conduct a rigorous assessment of the risks associated with providing weapons for the defence of Ukraine.
“The tanks we are providing to Ukraine will be drawn from the Army’s high readiness fleet to ensure they reach Ukrainian Armed Forces as quickly as possible.
“The platforms are already being prepared and will be ready to move in the coming months.”
Last week NATO and Germany announced that they will be sending “a few hundred tanks” to Kyiv which will “change the course of the war” in Ukraine.
On Wednesday Germany finally agreed to send their deadly Leopard 2 tanks, along with Poland, Spain, Norway and the US could be set to send their M1 Abrams to Ukraine.
German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said Berlin will send a company with 14 main battle tanks, logistics, ammunition to assemble two battalions of tanks.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in Berlin on Wednesday morning, “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability.
“We are acting in a closely coordinated manner internationally.”
Kyiv based military researcher Kirill Mikhailov told The Daily Telegraph, that the delivery of the tanks could “change the course of the war.”
He said, “We’ve already passed the end of the beginning.
“What you need now is to be able to replenish the Ukrainians to the point where the Russians will constantly be on the retreat.”