Friday, January 20, 2023

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace urges more countries to send tanks to Ukraine

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Defense Secretary Ben Wallace urged more countries to send tanks to Ukraine, while The Sun inspected the new fleet provided by Britain.

A squadron of 14 Challenger 2 will be on the battlefield within weeks to blast Putin’s evil regime.

Sunman Andy Robinson climbed atop the 62.5-ton beast and knelt beside the towed 120mm L30A1 main armament – ​​which holds the distance record for destroying another tank.

It was seen alongside dozens of other armored vehicles and thousands of missiles at Estonia’s largest army base, Tapa, near Tallinn.

Mr Wallace announced the UK’s latest support package before signing an international statement with his European counterparts yesterday.

He warned Russia: “If President Putin is counting on us being bored this year, he is wrong.

“We are planning for this year, next year, the year after and beyond.

“We’re not going anywhere, Mr. Putin. We are here to stand by Ukraine in the long run.

“You have to recalculate. You have to make a change and leave Ukraine.”

When asked about Germany’s reluctance to give up its Leopard tanks, Mr. Wallace added: “What we’re trying to do is build a critical mass of armaments, and ultimately that’s where we’re going to get in the end. Who it comes from is of course open to discussion.

“Those countries with leopards that wish to donate should follow the formal request route and we’ll see what happens.”

The Challenger 2, which can reach 60 km/h with its V12 engine, has a 97 percent chance of a first hit with its 47 rounds – and also carries a chain gun.

Major Mark Lambert, who served with the King’s Royal Hussars in Operation Cabrit, said: “The Chobham armor is still the best in the world. It has yet to destroy a tank or kill a crew in enemy combat while serving in a Challenger 2.

“It was designed to fight Russian T-series tanks in Eastern Europe, and that’s exactly what it will do. He’s better.”

The UK will provide four batteries of eight AS90 self-propelled artillery pieces, as well as Bulldog and CVR(T) armored vehicles.

Some 600 Brimstone missiles are among the thousands of sophisticated missiles also being donated by the UK government.

It has pledged to match or surpass last year’s £2.3 billion military aid package in 2023.

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur, who first signed yesterday’s international declaration in a Three Lions sweatshirt, predicted that “the toughest fighting is yet to come”.

He said: “My special thanks to our close ally Britain for leading this initiative with us.

“In these uncertain times, we must show leadership. Donating lots of battle tanks is leadership at its best.”

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