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11 Mar, 2024 09:18

UK-made tank gets stuck in Ukrainian mud (VIDEO)

Crews are complaining about the Challenger 2’s weight and reliability, The Sun reported
UK-made tank gets stuck in Ukrainian mud (VIDEO)

A Ukrainian tank crew has managed to get their UK-donated Challenger 2 stuck in a bog during a special demonstration for a British tabloid.

The incident happened during an exercise The Sun described as being “close to the front line” and within view of plumes of smoke emanating from Russian airstrikes. With its crew atop the turret, the British-made tank attempted to drive through a gully, only becoming stuck at its deepest point.

“Even just on a training exercise, we’ve seen the main problem the Challenger’s been facing here in Ukraine, and that’s its mobility. It keeps getting stuck in the mud,” the Sun’s reporter said in a video shared online.

Photos shared by the newspaper showed the vehicle stuck in mud deep enough to fully cover its tracks. An experienced squadron commander reportedly “blasted the rookie crew for going too slowly through the gully.”

The newspaper added that the tank team leader “turned the mishap into a training exercise” by calling in a second tank to haul the first one out of the mud.

The report noted Ukrainian praise for the tank’s main gun, but added that the conflict had not given the British military hardware a chance to demonstrate its ability in a classic tank-on-tank battle. Ukraine has been using the armor to target bunkers from a long distance and for charges on Russian trenches.

The maneuvers are a bluff, according to the tabloid, because the tanks “did not have the right type of ammunition for attacking infantry.”

While the Ukrainian crew claimed the British tank is superior to Soviet-made T-80s in many respects, the UK armored vehicle weighs some 20 tons more and has a 30% lower power-to-weight ratio, which limits its maneuverability.

German-made Leopard 2 tanks, which have a similar weight, have also reportedly become stuck in soft ground, according to images shared online.

The Challenger 2s are not only being bogged down, but are breaking down. Five of the 14 tanks donated by the UK are 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 UK-donated squadron remain fit for battle.

The British tabloid also reported manpower shortages on the conflict frontline, meaning trained tank crews are forced to dig trenches. Nevertheless, the Ukrainians expressed gratitude to the British government for the tanks and, via the tabloid, asked London to “send more.”