Army devises contingency plan to keep Putin’s hands off top-secret British armor if tanks are damaged in Ukraine
THE Army is devising contingency plans to recover British tanks if they are damaged in Ukraine – to prevent their top-secret armaments and technology from falling into Russian hands.
The fearsome Challenger 2 are protected by the world’s best Chobham armor, made from a secret blend of ceramic, steel and shock-absorbing compounds.
Britain led the world by pawning 14 Challenger 2s to Ukraine – but defense sources say it would be a nightmare if one of Vladimir Putin’s invaders were captured.
His military scientists could then study the armor and know how to defeat it.
A source explained: “British armor is the best in the world.
“In the history of the Challenger 2, only one was destroyed in combat and that was by friendly fire in Iraq.
“The Russians will be desperate to kill and capture a Challenger 2, partly for their propaganda but also to get its secrets.”
The latest Chobham armor – codenamed Dorchester – has never been breached by enemy fire, Army sources claimed.
Top forces work with Ukraine’s high command to ensure British tanks can be evacuated to safety if one is disabled.
A defense source said: “When a tank is destroyed or incapacitated, the first option is always to try to recover yourself. You pull it off with another tank or use a special armored repair and recovery vehicle – that looks like a tank with a crane.
“But the worst case scenario is that if the lines are collapsing and friendly troops are retreating, a tank will be destroyed.
“Step one is training and working with mission planners to ensure Challengers are not deployed in scenarios where they believe collapse is a realistic possibility.
“Step two ensures that the Ukrainians are tactically trained to recover a tank under fire. They are certainly not lacking in courage.”
Other extreme options being considered include having private military companies on standby to recover battered tanks.
On paper, Britain has 227 Challenger 2 tanks, but only about 60 are combat-ready.
About 30 are located in Estonia, 14 towards Ukraine.
The Challenger 2 holds the record for the longest confirmed kill of an enemy tank at 2.5 miles in Iraq thanks to its super-accurate 120mm main gun.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace vowed to reconsider plans to cut back the fleet as a result of the war in Ukraine.
As part of the latest round of Department of Defense cuts, the number was expected to shrink to 149 upgraded Challenger 3s.
Germany has also pledged tanks and US President Joe Biden has offered to supply Ukraine with 31 Abrams tanks – but they are expected to take a year to arrive as they are to be custom built.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said last night: “We are conducting a rigorous assessment of the risks associated with providing arms to Ukraine’s defense.
“The tanks we are providing to Ukraine will be from the Army’s high-readiness fleet to ensure they reach Ukrainian forces as quickly as possible. The platforms are already being prepared and will be ready for occupancy in the coming months.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7245784/army-emergency-secret-british-armour-tanks-war-ukraine/ Army devises contingency plan to keep Putin’s hands off top-secret British armor if tanks are damaged in Ukraine