Weapons and Kit

Challenger 2: The heavy duty British tank being used by Ukraine

Watch: The Challenger 2 explained

The Challenger 2 is the British Army's main battle tank, being designed to engage and destroy enemy tanks, and is both heavily armed and heavily armoured while still offering good mobility.

It has been used by the British Army on operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq, and the UK has given 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine to help defeat the Russian invasion.

One of those fourteen tanks has been destroyed in Ukraine, Forces News has confirmed via sources.

The Challenger 2 has in the past been billed as the tank that's never suffered a loss at the hands of the enemy. A Russian-backed official claimed Moscow forces fighting destroyed the vehicle, but this has not been confirmed.

Challenger 2s were described as a "sniper rifle among tanks" by one Ukrainian crewman who highlighted their superb accuracy among their other attributes, being armed with an L30A1 120mm rifled main gun.

British instructors have this year taught Ukrainian personnel how to operate and fight with the tanks, and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the training had now been completed.

Let us take a closer look at the tank's firepower and capabilities.

Watch: Ukrainian tank drivers training with the UK Challenger 2

Here is what the Challenger 2 brings to Ukraine's arsenal:


Chobham/Dorchester Level 2 (secret)

Main Armament             

L30A1 20mm rifled gun with 47 rounds

Secondary Armament   

Coaxial 7.62mm L94A1 chain gun, 7.62mm L37A2 (AFV variant of GPMG) Loader/Operator's hatch machine gun


Perkins CV12-6A V12 26.1 litre diesel engine developing 1,200 bhp

Watch: How Challenger 2 and Leopard 2 tanks can work to Ukraine's advantage on the battlefield.

Max speed

37 mph on road, 25 mph off-road


13.5 metres with gun forward


340 miles on road, 160 off-road


Four: Commander, Gunner, Loader/Operator, Driver

Watch: British Challenger 2 tanks in Poland for Exercise Puma.

One hundred and forty-eight Challenger 2s are currently being upgraded to Challenger 3 specification, with the remaining 79 vehicles from the fleet set for retirement.

The MOD described the Challenger 2 as a "step change in capability" for Ukraine's armed forces, saying the machines would offer them some of the most modern and sophisticated gunnery systems in the world.

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