The UK has chalked out a multi-layered plan to deny Russia access to the sensitive technology of its Ukraine-bound Challenger 2 tanks.
The plan stems from the risk of the tank’s Chobham armor falling into Russian hands, allowing its military scientists to develop a counter, The Sun revealed, citing sources.
According to the British outlet, the composite armor, made of ceramics, steel, and shock-absorbing compounds, has never been breached by enemy fire.
“In the history of Challenger 2s only one has been destroyed in the battle and that was by friendly fire in Iraq,” the outlet quoted a source as saying.
“The Russians will be desperate to try and kill and capture a Challenger 2, partly for their propaganda but also to get their hands on its secrets.”
The British Army is working with its Ukrainian counterpart not to deploy the tank where a Ukrainian line breach is likely.
“But the worst case scenario is that a tank is destroyed when the lines are collapsing and friendly forces are in retreat,” the source added.
“Step one is the training and working with mission planners to try and ensure the Challengers are not used in scenarios where they think that collapse is a realistic possibility.”
The second option is to train the Ukrainians to recover a knocked-out tank with the help of another tank or a recovery vehicle.
Having private military contractors on standby for recovery is also being considered, the outlet revealed.
The UK was the first country to announce the sending of Western tanks to Ukraine earlier this month. London has pledged 14 tanks to Kyiv.
The announcement opened the gate to other Western nations making similar pledges, most notably the US and Germany.