Recent developments in the Russia-Ukraine war may soon result in a significant tank and armoured vehicle clash in eastern Ukraine, where fighting is ongoing every day.
Britain has pledged to giving Ukraine 30 AS90 155 mm self-propelled howitzers and 14 Challenger 2 tanks as part of an initiative to considerably expand Western support for Ukraine. The BBC claims that this most recent military aid package demonstrates Britain’s desire to assist Kiev in outpacing Russia. If the plan is implemented, Britain would be the first Western nation to send tanks to Ukraine, which would inspire other NATO members like Germany to follow suit.
According to Euronews, Germany can only start giving Ukraine Leopard 2 tanks in 2023. The 350 Leopard 2s Rheinmetall has on hand for Ukraine need to be ordered in order for the company to begin repairs.
While the West is considering giving Ukraine a number of contemporary tanks, Russia is also taking a number of novel actions to break the impasse in the conflict that has lasted almost 11 months. In place of General Sergey Surovikin, Leader-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces, President Putin this week appointed Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, as the new commander of the special military operation in Ukraine. The new deputy to Mr. Gerasimov is Mr. Surovikin. According to the article, the modification is meant to facilitate the Russian military’s ability to handle ever-heavier missions and ensure close coordination between the various military divisions.
In December 2022, the TASS news agency reported that Russia has sent the newest T-90M Proryv-3 tanks to Ukraine to take part in the conflict. The T-90 tank was developed from the T-72 tank from the Soviet era, and this type is the most modern. According to TASS, the tank teams will acquaint themselves with the terrain upon arrival at the deployment site, practise firing and vehicle management, and finally engage in combat.
These most recent actions, according to analysts, indicate that Russia is ready to launch a significant armoured assault in Dnipropetrovsk after seizing control of the Soledar and Bakhmut districts in the Donbass following protracted and severe fights.
According to Le Monde analyst Jean-Philippe Lefief, Russia will be able to shut off Ukraine’s supply line to Bakhmut by seizing control of Soledar. Not to mention, Moscow can engage in offensive operations to seize Sloviansk, which is crucial to the strategy for solidifying control over the Donbass region. If Russia takes over Sloviansk, it might open the door for offensive operations in the still-Ukrainian-controlled Dnipropetrovsk region.
The topography in the Dnipropetrovsk steppe region is conducive to the deployment of several armoured vehicles. Large grassland areas without many tall trees or other obstructions make it easier for gunners to see distant targets and are useful for tank combat. Despite the fact that both Russia and Ukraine have a sizable number of tanks from the Soviet era, these circumstances have mostly not existed since the start of the conflict.
The move by Russia to change the military operation’s commanding general may be an indication that it is getting ready for a highly-intensified joint armed conflict in which air power would be employed to support its ground forces.
The tank combat in Dnipropetrovsk may serve as the foundation for a comparison of the effectiveness of the newest tank models produced by the two sides if the conflict in Ukraine as a whole serves as a testing ground for Russian and Western military theories, tactics, and technologies.
Challenger 2 tank will face T-90M
According to the British Army, the Challenger 2 tank was created to obliterate different enemy tank types and was so effective that up until this point, not a single Challenger 2 has been obliterated in battle.
The Challenger 2 is equipped with an L30 rifle that can fire high-explosive flexible warhead (HESH) and sabot shells for anti-tank and destructive missions. A coaxial machine gun L94A17.62mm with a rate of fire of 520–550 rounds per minute is mounted on the left side of the turret of this tank as secondary armament. The turret’s top is also incorporated with an automatic control weapon system that can be fitted with either a 12.7mm heavy machine gun or a 7.62mm L37A2 machine gun that can be commanded from within the vehicle. The Challenger 2 is equipped with second-generation Chobham armour, which can resist direct fire from the 125 mm main gun of the T-72 tank.
A 12-cylinder, 1,200 horsepower Perkins diesel engine powers the Challenger 2. Target observation equipment is provided for the driver’s crew, including the SAGEM VS 580-10 viewfinder with rangefinder for the vehicle leader and the TOGS II viewfinder for the gunners, which can display thermal pictures for accurate shooting and battle in any environment.
The T-90M Proryv-3 tank will be Challenger 2’s opponent, according to Global Security. According to reports, the T-90M will continue to be a crucial component of Russia’s tank force until the army has a sufficient number of T-14 Armata tanks.
A 2A82-1M 125 mm gun with a long barrel and a new fire control system, resembling the T-14 Armata tank, is mounted on the T-90M Proryv-3. Sabot shells, Telnik fragmentation rounds, and Sprinter anti-tank missiles can be fired from this kind of gun to attack targets that are outside the main cannon’s shooting range and to destroy helicopters. A remotely controlled 12.7 mm Kord heavy machine gun and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun make up the tank’s secondary armament.
The T-90M Proryv-3 has barn armour on the lower portion of the turret and aft, which boosts defensive, and new generation explosive reactive armour from Relikt. With French-made components, the PNM-T viewfinder replaces the earlier Sosna-U viewfinder on the T-90M Proryv-3. By doing this, Russia’s reliance on Western technologies will decline.