Britain to provide Ukraine with depleted uranium tank shells for Challenger 2
Russia says it will equate them to a "dirty bomb"
Along with the provision of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, the United Kingdom also intends to provide ammunition containing depleted uranium.
Source. This was statedby Deputy Defense Secretary Annabelle Goldie in response to a question from Baron Hilton, a member of the House of Lords, according to the British Parliament's website.
"Do any of the munitions currently being supplied to Ukraine contain depleted uranium?" the question read.
"Along with providing Ukraine with a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks, we will be supplying ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. Such shells are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles," Goldie responded.
As part of the January military aid package, the United Kingdom agreed to provide Ukraine with 14 Challenger 2 tanks and 30 AS90 self-propelled howitzers.
Uranium has a high density and hardness, so it is used in the production of armor-piercing shells, which are usually fired from tanks, airplanes or helicopters.
Such shells do not explode on impact, but rather heat up and burn through the armor, the ICRC writes.
Russia will consider the use of depleted uranium ammunition in Ukraine as the use of "dirty" nuclear bombs, Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov said earlier, The Moscow Times reports.
"If Kyiv is supplied with such shells for NATO heavy military equipment, we will consider it as the use of dirty nuclear bombs against Russia with all the consequences," he said.
The use of depleted uranium shells cannot be compared to a dirty bomb because they have a lower radioactive background, experts explain.
"The use of such shells can increase the lethal force of an armor-piercing shell, and it is assumed that it is more likely to penetrate the armor of modern tanks," they note.
Background. As reported, Ukraine will receive Abrams tanks without uranium armor no earlier than the end of this year.