Ukraine appears to be modifying the UK Challenger 2 battle tanks to protect a 'notorious' weak spot, report says

  • Ukraine is adding an extra piece of armor to its British Challenger 2 tanks to protect a weak spot.

  • The front of the tank's hull is less protected because it was designed for defensive combat.

  • A Challenger 2 was reportedly destroyed in September after a missile hit another weak spot

Ukraine appears to have added extra armor to its British-made Challenger 2 to protect a weak spot on the 69-ton battle tank.

A video shared on social media appears to show a Challenger 2 tank with a metal grate over the "glacis," the sloped section at the front of the tank's hull, Forbes reported.

While the tanks are well-protected with Dorchester armor, which a military expert previously told Insider is among the best in the world, they do have some vulnerability to attacks.


The glacis is weaker than the rest of the tank because the vehicle was designed for defensive rather than offensive warfare, Forbes said.

It meant the glacis would be underground while fighting from a defensive fortification.

While the British Army has in recent decades added bolt-on armor to the glacis, they did not appear to offer this extra piece of kit to Ukraine, per Forbes.

The UK sent just 14 of the powerful tanks to Ukraine in January, used exclusively by Ukraine's powerhouse 82nd Air Assault Brigade.

The brigade is fighting offensively in southern Ukraine, often using their Challenger 2s as long-range fire support, and so the glacis needed reinforcement. Another weak spot is the turret, which also has minimal protection, Frobes noted.

In early September, footage appeared to show the first, and so far only, Challenger 2 tank to be destroyed in Ukraine.

According to Forbes, the tank was immobilized after striking a mine, but the four-person Challenger crew evacuated safely. It was then hit and wrecked by a Russian Kornet anti-tank missile slightly above the vulnerable turret.

Military analyst Taras Chmut recently told The Wall Street Journal that Western-made armor is failing in Ukraine because it wasn't designed to sustain a conflict of this intensity.

Other analysts have noted that quantity is more important than quality when supplying weaponry to Ukraine, including Challenger 2 tanks.

"The Leopard is not as good a tank one-on-one, but I'll take 400 Leopard over 10 Challenger 2," Justin Crump told Insider in January.

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