What are Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams battle tanks and what armoured vehicles are NATO countries already sending to Ukraine? | World News

Several NATO countries are considering sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine – and Britain has already pledged 14 Challenger 2s – but no deal has been reached. so what’s up?

All eyes have been on Germany in recent weeks as its government wrestles with whether to donate its Leopard 2 main battle tank to Kyiv or allow other countries to send their tanks as Berlin holds the export license. .

Meanwhile, there are reports that the US may be ready to announce the delivery of its high-speed M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

A success May be announced as soon as todaySky News understands, but nothing is official yet.

Ukraine is expected to launch another counteroffensive in the spring after last year’s highly successful campaigns that captured large swathes of territory around Kharkiv in the east and liberated Kherson in the south.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his forces need more and heavier weapons, especially Western tanks, to push back the Russians.

In what was widely seen as an attempt to encourage Britain’s allies to follow suit, Rishi Singh’s government led the way. A promise of 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks.

But there The deadlock in Europe on Cheetah 2 remains.Poland even said it was willing to take action without German permission to bring its tanks into the battlefield.

So what are the Leopard 2, M1 Abrams and Challenger 2 tanks, and what other Western armored vehicles are being shipped to Ukraine?

Cheetah 2 – German main battle tank used by various NATO countries.

Ukraine has long urged the West to send tanks to help its forces fight Russia, and the Leopard 2 is at the top of that list.

Considered a main battle tank like the Challenger 2 and first introduced in 1979, it offers good protection against armor-piercing rounds and anti-tank guided weapons.

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It was reported that the Cheetah 2 was capable of penetrating the frontal armor of the Soviet-made T-72 tank from an estimated distance of 2,000 meters and the T-62 from over 4,000 meters – both of which are in use. Russian troops in Ukraine

Germany’s decision to send Marauder armored vehicles to Ukraine has raised hopes that the heavier Leopard could be next, but the government appears reluctant to operate independently of the US.

Cheetah 2 tank

M1 Abrams: Highly maneuverable but poor fuel efficiency

After weeks of discussion, the Biden administration is preparing to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to three senior U.S. officials.

It has a 1,500 horsepower turbine engine – with very poor fuel efficiency – and a 120 mm main gun.

The US military says the tank can make a difference on the battlefield through “deadly firepower, unparalleled survivability and heroic maneuverability”.

Any deal to supply Ukraine with Abrams tanks would likely be seen as an attempt to persuade Germany to allow the donation of the Leopard 2, which uses less fuel and is widely available in Europe. .

08 June 2022, Bavaria, Hohenfels: A US Army M1 Abrams tank drives across the road during a multinational exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area.  Photo by: Nicholas Armour/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Pic: AP
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M1 Abrams tank may be heading to Ukraine Photo: AP

Challenger 2: The British Tank Buster That Has ‘Never’ Been Destroyed

The British Challenger 2 is a main battle tank that has been used in operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq.

First introduced into service with the British Army in 1994, several Challenger 2s are deployed in Estonia as part of NATO’s forward presence in the Baltic states.

It has a main 120 mm rifled gun and has a crew of four – commander, gunner, loader/operator and a driver.

The British Army says it has “never suffered any losses at the hands of the enemy”.

British soldiers patrol two Challenger 2 tanks in the desert near Basra, Iraq, June 2006.  Photo by: Carl Schulz/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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British soldiers patrol in two Challenger 2 tanks in the desert near Basra, Iraq in 2006. Photo: AP

Bradley Fighting Vehicle: Armored Infantry Transport from the US

Earlier this month, the White House announced it would deliver dozens of its Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine, along with hundreds of anti-tank missiles they can fire.

Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said they are not tanks, but they provide “a level of firepower and armor that will be beneficial on the battlefield”.

Bradleys are armored vehicles that can transport infantry in combat zones and are often equipped with the 25 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun as their main weapon, as well as an anti-tank missile system.

Mr Zielinski welcomed the move: “For the first time, we will get Bradley armored vehicles – this is exactly what is needed.

“New guns and rounds, including high-precision ones, new rockets, new drones. It’s timely and robust.”

FILE - U.S. soldiers drive a Bradley fighting vehicle during a joint exercise with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the countryside of Deir al-Zor, northeast Syria, on December 8, 2021.  The US and Germany are sending an array of armored vehicles to Ukraine, including 50 tanks.  Killing the Bradleys, to increase the ability to move troops to front lines and strengthen our forces against Russia as the war approaches its first anniversary.  (AP Photo/ Badr Khan Ahmed, File)
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US soldiers operating a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Syria in 2021. Photo: AP

German infantry fighting vehicles

Although it has yet to take action on the Leopard, Germany has said it wants to deliver about 40 Marauder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine before the end of March.

Similar in some ways to a light tank, the Marder can carry five or six soldiers and is the largest and heaviest of its kind.

Germany has a large number of killers in stock, and Vice Chancellor Robert Haebeck said Berlin could eventually send its entire operational fleet of weapons.

FILE -- Soldiers follow a Marder infantry fighting vehicle during a media demonstration by the German Bundeswehr in Bergen, near Hanover, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.  US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz jointly confirmed.  The statement on Thursday said the US would supply Ukraine with Bradleys, while Germany would supply the Marder armored personnel carriers.  The statement did not specify the number of vehicles or the total cost of the aid package.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
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Soldiers follow a Marder infantry fighting vehicle during a demonstration in 2011. Photo: AP

AMX-10 RC: France’s ‘light tank’ redesigned for mission

The French defense ministry said it would hold talks with its Ukrainian counterpart to arrange the supply of armored fighting vehicles.

Designated as “light tank” in French, the AMX-10 RC has a 105mm cannon and two machine guns.

According to the French Ministry of Defense, it is primarily designed for reconnaissance missions and has enough armor to protect against light infantry weapons.

It has wheels instead of tracks, allowing it to be more mobile than heavy tanks.

This undated photo provided by the French Army on Thursday, January 5, 2023 shows an AMX-10 RC tank.  France said on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, that it would send French-made AMX-10 RC light tanks to Ukraine, the first from a Western European country, according to an afternoon phone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. after the.  (Jeremy Bessat/Army de Terre via AP)
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The French-made AMX-10 RC light tanks have wheels instead of tracks. Photo: AP/French Army



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