LONDON, January 11. /TASS/. The United Kingdom’s Challenger 2 tanks are unlikely to be useful for the armed forces of Ukraine, because they are hard to master, retired RAF Air-Vice Marshal Sean Bell told Sky News on Tuesday.
In his words, the main battle tank of the British Army is Challenger 2, which has been in service since 1995, but remains quite effective. However, it requires complicated and lengthy crew training, so Bell doubts that these machines will be handed over to Kiev, as was earlier reported by Sky News.
"They're packed full of electronics, laser sighting, night vision goggles, targeting computers, all of which will be double Dutch to the Ukrainians and would take a great in of training," he said. "So I think it's still speculation. It's very difficult to see how the Ukrainians would benefit from these today but they may end up being part of the whole dichotomy here."
The UK official added that Kiev troops may use Soviet- and Russian-made tanks without extra training and with no lack of spare parts.
A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that the final decision on supplying Ukraine with UK tanks has not yet been made. He refused to comment on a report by Sky News, suggesting that ten Challenger 2 tanks may be handed over to the Kiev government.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that, in response to a request from the Donbass republics, he made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. He underscored that Moscow does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territories, instead planning to demilitarize and denazify the country. In response, the West started introducing sweeping sanctions against Russia and shipping weapons and military vehicles to Kiev already worth tens of billions of dollars at this point.
The Pentagon announced on January 6 that it was allocating the new package of military aid for Kiev, worth over 3 billion. It would include US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), and German-made Marder IFVs. France, in turn, would provie Ukraine with AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles.