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UK govt reportedly considers scrapping tanks altogether

Photo: Pictured is a Challenger 2. Crown Copyright


Recent newspaper and online reports have suggested the British Army is considering the possibility of scrapping its ageing fleet of tanks due to the changing nature of the modern battlefield.

The BBC said “senior officers” had confirmed the army was looking at whether it could do without tanks instead of upgrading the Challenger 2, which is already considered old, or buying Leopard 2 tanks.

In a recent speech, head of the army, General Sir Mark Carlton Smith, said the role of the tank had changed in modern warfare. “The main threat is less missiles and tanks. It’s the weaponisation of those elements of globalisation that hitherto have made us prosperous and secure, such as mobility of goods, people, data and ideas.”

But the move has drawn criticism from various quarters, with former army chief General Lord Dannat quoted in The Times saying getting rid of tanks was “very dangerous” considering the threat posed by Russia.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Have tanks passed their usefulness? Let us know by emailing

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