Challenger 2 Battle Tank (Picture: MOD).
Weapons and Kit

Cuts Could Leave Britain With Less Tanks Than Serbia Or Cambodia, Reports Suggest

The Ministry of Defence says there has been "no final decision" on the number of tanks that will be upgraded.

Challenger 2 Battle Tank (Picture: MOD).

The Challenger 2 battle tank is due to undergo an upgrade (Picture: MOD).

Britain could have fewer tanks than Serbia, Cambodia or Burma as the Ministry of Defence (MOD) plans to only revamp 148 of its 227 Challenger 2 tanks, according to reports. 

The Times newspaper reported that the decision, made because of cost constraints, has angered defence chiefs. 

The decision would leave the UK military 56th in the global league table for number of tanks available, according to data by the International Institue for Strategic Studies. 

Reports suggest the UK could only have 148 Challenger 2 tanks because of cuts.
Reports suggest the UK could only have 148 Challenger 2 tanks because of cuts.

Russia currently tops the table with 12,950, while the US is second with 6,333 tanks. 

However, the MOD pointed out that the table is reflected more on sheer numbers rather than actual capability. 

An MOD spokesperson said: "We are committed to significantly upgrading our Challenger 2 tanks, ensuring we have the best weaponry and armour.

"These upgrades will provide the British Army with lethal warfighting capabilities out to 2040.

“The investment in the Challenger 2 upgrade is part of our £18.4 billion land equipment programme.

“No final decision on the number of tanks to be upgraded has been made.”

The Challenger 2 first came into service in 1998.
The Challenger 2 first came into service in 1998 (Picture: MOD).

The Times also reported the remaining Challenger 2 tanks are expected to be used for parts, although some could be deployed in an emergency.