The British-built Challenger 2 has been touted as one of the most advanced main battle tanks (MBTs) in service today, but like the German Leopard 2 or any military vehicle, it’s not invincible. That fact was noted when a video circulated on social media showing the burning wreckage, supposedly the first Challenger 2 destroyed in the Ukrainian war.
Open source military intelligence group Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) shared the video with the caption: “A Ukrainian Challenger 2 tank was destroyed near Robotyne, #Zaporizhzhia Oblast. A damaged T-64BV and two IMVs can also be seen This “is the first confirmed loss of this tank in the Ukraine and it is also the first destroyed by enemy action.”
The T-64BV is a Cold War-era platform that was developed in the Soviet Union and remains among the most widely used tanks in service with the Kiev forces; while Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IMVs) were identified as Kozak (Ukrainian for “Cossack”), a locally made wheeled platform.
The images follow kyiv’s claims that its forces have successfully breached the first Russian defensive lines in southern Ukraine. However, it has not been verified where this incident occurred, but the The BBC reported that it matches other images near the town of Robotyne..
David Ax from Forbes He also suggested that the video may have been recorded on the side of a road on the outskirts of Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast in Ukraine.
There will be losses and it will be noticed on social networks
This is the first loss of a Challenger 2 in combat, but as Ax pointed out, this highlighted the increased survivability for the four-person crew, as the tank’s turret was still intact, although there have been reports of the crew surviving. to the destruction of the vehicle.
However, the loss of the tank was still noted by Kremlin supporters, who were quick to assert that kyiv can expect the remaining 13 Challenger 2 MBTs to meet a similar fate.
Propaganda coup for Moscow
Although the loss of a single tank may not seem significant in wartime, it was a minor propaganda victory for the Kremlin, as the British Army had been able to claim that not a single Challenger 2 had been lost in combat.
That fact obviously changed on Monday.
Of course, few military platforms have such a record of not suffering combat losses, although the F-15 Eagle fighter jet has the unique distinction of never having been shot down in combat. The fact is that weapons platforms are designed for warfare and the enemy will get lucky at some point.
“We shouldn’t jump to conclusions about isolated incidents,” explained Dr. Matthew Schmidt, an associate professor of national security at the University of New Haven.
“Localized factors such as terrain, operator error, or simply the possibility (luck) of war, as von Clausewitz would say, may be a better explanation for the loss, rather than systemic deficiencies in the weapons system or some new tactic. developed by the enemy.” added Schmidt. “If we start to see large-scale losses, then things become more worrying.”
Highlighting the destruction of even a single tank may be an attempt to change the narrative that Russia is losing ground.
“While no Challenger 2 had previously been lost in combat, the ‘first to be destroyed’ in the Ukraine is of little consequence other than the tragedy of war,” said military vehicle historian John Adams-Graf, publisher of moving historythe official publication of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
“Honestly, I’m not surprised that a Challenger 2 was destroyed in the Ukraine – it’s a tank and all tanks are vulnerable to drone strikes, hidden mines, IEDs and even so-called anti-tank missiles,” added Harry Kazianis, Rogue president. States Project and Senior Editor of 19FortyFive.
“To be even more frank, I am surprised it took so long for a loss to be confirmed. Russia has set up huge tank destruction zones in Ukraine and extensive defensive fortifications to kill even the best Western tanks,” Kazianis continued.
The war in Ukraine has already resulted in the destruction of thousands of tanks, and probably hundreds (perhaps even thousands more) could also be lost if the war continues at its current pace.
“Russia and Ukraine are fighting a war with primary weapons and tactics devised for the Cold War,” Adams-Graf added. “In that scenario, every tank is vulnerable to destruction. The longer this war drags on, the more these ‘first destroyed’ reports will be replaced by ‘other destroyed’. “It is the truth of modern tank warfare: if it can be seen, it can be destroyed. This Challenger 2 was obviously seen by his adversary. Neither Challenger 2 nor any other armored vehicle is invincible on today’s battlefield.”
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