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Tank donated by UK gets stuck in Ukrainian bog during demonstration (IMAGES) — RT World News


Crews are complaining about the Challenger 2’s weight and reliability, The Sun reported

A Ukrainian crew got a tank stuck in a bog during a demonstration of the UK-donated Challenger 2 for a British tabloid, the newspaper has reported. The gaffe was downplayed as an opportunity for some extra training.

The incident happened during an exercise at an undisclosed location, which The Sun described as being “close to the front line” and within view of plumes of smoke emanating from Russian airstrikes.

The newspaper relayed Ukrainian praise for the tank’s main gun, but noted that the conflict had not given the British military hardware a chance to show its advantage in a classic tank-on-tank battle. The Ukrainians have been using the armor to hit bunkers from a long distance and for an occasional intimidating charge on Russian trenches. These maneuvers were a bluff, however, because the tanks “did not have the right type of ammunition for attacking infantry,” the report noted.

While the British tank is superior to Soviet-made T-80s in many respects, Ukrainian crews told the outlet that they weigh some 20 tons more and have a 30% lower power-to-weight ratio. This limits their maneuverability.

The incident with the bog seemed to confirm that the tank’s weight is an issue, The Sun said. An experienced squadron commander “blasted the rookie crew for going too slowly through a gully.”

The newspaper said its team was riding on the turret at the time, and the Ukrainians were afraid they could buck them off. The leader “turned the mishap into a training exercise” by calling in a second tank to haul the first one out of the muck.

Images shared by the newspaper showed the vehicle stuck in mud deep enough to fully cover its tracks, with no gullies in sight.

German-made Leopard 2 tanks, which have a similar weight, previously got stuck in Ukrainian mud, according to images shared online.

The Ukrainians said the Challenger 2s were not only getting bogged down, but also broken down. Five of the 14 tanks donated by the UK were not operational because spare parts can take months to arrive, and Kiev lacks skilled mechanics to maintain them. With battle-damaged tanks accounted for, only half of the squadron remain fit for battle.

There is also the shortage of manpower on the front line, The Sun was told, which means that trained tank crews are forced to dig trenches. Nevertheless, the Ukrainians expressed gratitude to the British government for the donations and asked the country to “send more.”

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