According to the press release of UK goverment, UK will send tanks and self-propelled guns to aid the Ukrainian offensive.
The Prime Minister is set to accelerate the UK’s diplomatic and military support to Ukraine in the weeks ahead in a bid to push Russia further back and secure a lasting peace.
The UK' Prime Minister has already committed to match or exceed the UK’s defence support for Ukraine in 2023 and he instructed ministers and officials this week to ensure we are being proactive as possible across the full spectrum of our support.
UK defence and security officials believe a window has opened up where Russia is on the backfoot due to resupply issues and plummeting morale. The Prime Minister is therefore encouraging allies to deploy their planned support for 2023 as soon as possible to have maximum impact.
Sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine is the start of a gear change in the UK’s support. A squadron of 14 tanks will go into the country in the coming weeks after the Prime Minister told President Zelenskyy that the UK would provide additional support to aid Ukraine’s land war. Around 30 AS90s, which are large, self-propelled guns, operated by five gunners, are expected to follow. The Defence Secretary will set out further details of this support in the House of Commons on Monday.
The UK will begin training the Ukrainian Armed Forces to use the tanks and guns in the coming days, as part of wider UK efforts which have seen thousands of Ukrainian troops trained in the UK over the last six months.
The Prime Minister has tasked the Defence Secretary with bringing together European allies to ensure the surge of global military support is as strategic and coordinated as possible. The Defence Secretary will travel to Estonia and Germany this week to work with NATO allies and other international partners to this end.
The AS90 nicknamed Braveheart is a 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer manufactured by the British company BAE Systems. The AS90 project was completed in March 1985, and the first prototype was shown at the British Army Equipment Exhibition in June 1986.
The design of AS90 is based on a tracked armored chassis with the driver seated at the front left part of the hull with the power pack to his right, and the turret at the rear. The howitzer has a crew of five including a driver, commander, gunner, and two loaders. The chassis of AS90 is of all-welded steel armor construction with a maximum thickness of 17 mm. The armor of the hull and turret provide protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters.
The AS90 is armed with a 155mm, 39 or 52-caliber gun barrel and is equipped with an automatic loading system enabling the gun to fire with a burst rate of three rounds in fewer than ten seconds, an intense rate of six rounds a minute for three minutes and a sustained rate of two rounds a minute. A total of 48 rounds are carried inside the vehicle. It can fire all standard NATO 155 mm ammunition with a maximum firing range of 24.7 km with standard HE-FRAG (High Explosive Fragmentation) projectiles and 32 km with a rocket-assisted projectiles.
The AS90 is powered by a Cummins VTA-903T-660 V-8 diesel engine developing 660 hp. at 2,800 rpm coupled to a Renk LSG 2000 fully automatic transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 55 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 370 km at 45 km/h.