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Military chiefs could SCRAP British Army’s tanks in move to prioritise cyberwarfare

MILITARY chiefs could scrap the British Army tanks in order to prioritise cyberwarefare.

The idea of getting rid of the ageing fleet of armoured vehicles is reportedly being explored by the government.

The Times reports it comes as costs to upgrade the 227 Challenger 2 tanks and 366 Warriors has soared.

Last year the Ministry of Defence said cybercapabilities, space and other technologies should get more investment.

A government source told The Times: “We know that a number of bold decisions need to be taken in order to properly protect British security and rebalance defence interests to meet the new threats we face.”

It is thought the idea to scrap a number of tanks has been floated with senior US army members and Nato.

But the option of upgrading the Challenger 2 or purchasing German Leopard 2 tanks still remains.

Discussions are also said to have taken place on shutting down the British Army’s training base in Canada.

 A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “Our commitment to NATO is unwavering, and the UK recognises that as a global military power our greatest strength remains our alliances.

“We are engaging our international allies and industry partners as we develop and shape defence’s contribution to the Integrated Review.”

The Challenger 2 is the British Army’s main battle tank – it is based on the Challenger 1 tank, which served in the Gulf War and the Balkans.

These tanks have thermal imaging, a laser range finder and a chain gun that can fire 4,000 rounds.

The Warrior infantry fighting vehicle is fast, heavily armoured and can keep up on the most difficult terrain.

They have heat rockets, a mounted cannon and a chain gun.

Last year we told how Britain was set to be hundreds of tanks down on the world’s military minnows under cost-saving plans.

Only 148 of our 227 Challenger 2 tanks were set for an upgrade, with the rest mothballed or used for parts.

Britain had almost 800 tanks in 1990, with critics saying the lack could leave us vulnerable in a conventional war.

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