During a recent call, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the United Kingdom’s commitment to providing increased support to Ukraine.

This includes the provision of advanced military equipment, such as the Challenger 2 main battle tank and additional artillery systems.

The Challenger 2 is a highly advanced and sophisticated main battle tank that is designed to provide superior performance and protection on the battlefield, and is equipped with a range of advanced features, including a 120mm L30A1 rifled main gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Additionally, the Challenger 2 is outfitted with advanced armour protection and other advanced features, making it one of the most formidable tanks in the world today.

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the recent successes of the Ukrainian military in pushing back Russian troops and highlighted the importance of accelerating global military and diplomatic support at this crucial juncture.

The conversation was confirmed by Downing Street.

“The Prime Minister and President Zelensky welcomed other international commitments in this vein, including Poland’s offer to provide a company of Leopard tanks”, a Downing Street spokesperson added.

“The Prime Minister stressed that he and the whole UK Government would be working intensively with international partners to rapidly deliver the kind of support which will allow Ukraine to press their advantage, win this war and secure a lasting peace.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Bob
Bob
1 year ago

I have mixed feelings about this. C2 is in desperate need of an upgrade and the logistics needed to support it in the field are hard to justify for twelve tanks.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Well this removes any chance of the cuts in numbers being reversed. I guess the next question is how many are we going to give and will that cut into the active numbers, as we have a bad habbit of cannibalising anything in storage for spares, and then moving to the active gear, to a point where they are useless.

peter wait
peter wait
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The lead time to have some parts made can be 6 months to a year because the original manufacturer has gone. This means robbing from storage! The Armed forces needs its own engineering facility like it used to have. Babcock scrapped the heavy engineering lathes, mills and gas cutting bed at Bovington as a cheap way of increasing space !

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

If they had stocks of spare parts (like you would need in a real war situtation) then lead time becomes a non issue, outside extremely unlucky situation where you have loads of breakdowns at once.

Germany has noticed the same thing, they keep the headline numbers of gear up but cut stocks so it looks like everything is ok.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

A lot of that has been quietly fixed in the background.

The 80 in storage have been fully reactivated.

With CNC making machined parts isn’t as hard as it once was.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago

3D metal printers I guess? The ability of these machines is amazing and ensures that most old kit can be restored. In regards to CH2, a new future plan is required beyond CH3 to ensure the MBT is retained by the British Army. Strangely, the deployment of CH2 to Ukraine may draw a spotlight on just how few of these MBTs we have. We all know on this site that the CH2 fleet is too small. Another plus point is the chance to identify any shortcomings in the current design in an European war environment, thus ensuring CH3 addresses such… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

In hindsight I wish they’d of followed through with Challenger E but just made~5-10 a year over the past 15 or so years for future sales + spares. Would of been fantastic about now to of had a ghost fleet of around 100 spare challengers!. Imagine Ukraine with that force be in Moscow by the of the week😀.

Nick C
Nick C
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

I think the spotlight is already getting onto the problem. There was a leader in the Times two days ago pointing out that we have very few of these tanks, not enough for a future war.
Whether it leads to anything positive happening in the future is another matter.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick C

Well, there is nothing like a major conflict to draw attention to the worthiness of a weapon. We know the CH1 & 2 was a master during both recent Middle Eastern wars and I’m sure it will not disappoint in Ukraine. If it does prove to be a success against Russian armour there could be considerable media emphasis on the UK retaining the MBT. The pure nonsense of the lengthy debate about whether the MBT was obsolete or not basically destroyed the ability of the UK to continue to build its own tanks. This being the case, we need to… Read more »

Simon
Simon
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Whilst I hope British tanks do well in Ukraine, as a civilian with no insights, can’t see how we develop our own MBT without strong partners primarily Poland. It’s a dead end to go it alone.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon

We could if the political will and funding was available.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon

Such a project would pose a number of serious issues but not impossible solutions. The UK could build its own MBTs if it had the will to do so. What I envision is not a ROF Leeds-size factory but something much smaller with an output of ten or so vehicles per year. For example, a small unit based inside COD Donnington, not far from the CH3 plant in Telford so the engineering excellence would be very local. The days of heavy steel castings are gone but the latest computer-aided tooling and milling and welding equipment, enable large components to be… Read more »

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Yes, yes, YES! Exactly. Like other key strategic capabilities and resources, I think the UK should go back to undertaking certain critical industrial activities like producing a MBT, and not relying on German, French or the UStates, With Challenger the UK had shown that it was capable of producing possibly the best MBT in the world. To have lost this capability was stupid. Any CH3 future replacement (CH4 or whatever) has to rebuild that capability – particularly design. Small, continuous production and upgrades are the way to go. As for export of a possible CH4 – that is a different… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago

Thanks, Albert for backing the idea of a small but important facility to build tanks. As Graham says, we build warships and fighters so why not heavy armour? When CH2 was developed it came with sizable R&D and manufacturing facilities, which today would be seen as excessive and costly. A modest plant based in Telford would draw on the competency of that area, which is rich in military vehicle engineering. This centre could also create specialised variants of CH4 thus keeping it busy throughout its existence.

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
1 year ago

Far too small a production number. Besides, that form of heavy manufacturing has moved on since milling out huge blocks. It’s now possible to perform high speed sintering in additive manufacturing. The UK is leading in that development, a rather good company in Leeds is finalising the process. When you add simulation and embedded metrology, it’s possible to deliver a product better, with fewer faults and at a highly reduced cost. We need the British government to protect the technology within the UK and not let it get sold abroad and lost. The production of tanks and other complex heavy… Read more »

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 year ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

MBTs are just an example and we can argue about viable continuous production numbers, but good to hear that industry in Leeds is alive and needs to be in the mix. I would argue for a much wider concept: an agency – independent of the UK MoD – that over-sees and nurtures key, critical, strategic capabilities and resources, military and civilian. I’m not saying Nationalisation of industry, just an agency that has overall responsibility for ensuring a UK focus so that money spent is kept within the UK, or resources (NS Gas) are not squandered on overseas sales. Funding could… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

Albert, don’t forget that CR3 is being built in the UK, as are all Boxers apart from the first 117 (I think), as is Ajax and all variants – all by different companies: RBSL, WFEL and GDUK. Perhaps you are being a little pessimistic.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Thinking off of the top of my head, another idea is to give a company like JCB for instance, an incentive to set up a duel use factory, where it produces it’s key product lines but could also use it’s existing equipment and resources to produce a run of MBT’s.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

JCB would be a perfect host company to build CH4.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Paul, have you suggested JCB before?There are currently 3 companies building AFVs for the British Army right now – RBSL, WFEL, GDUK. Why entrust AFV design, development, testing and production to a company that has never made them before?

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Think about the issues -a theoreticle small production run of a bespoke design with ( probably little ) export potential.Build,Boom and Bust typically happens,no long term sustainment to keep a Factory open indefinately.The solution ,and this is for a new MBT design or a remake of an existing one,and not AFV’s in general,get a specialist (RBSL/WFEL/GDUK ) to do the preliminary design and initial works,and get it prototyped and tested.Once testing is complete and the design is ready for production, pass the baton to JCB ,who have the skillset and equipment to produce Heavy Plant,to manufacture and fit out the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Paul, You argue your point well and perhaps I too need to think radical thoughts! Has JCB really got the equipment to make nearly 150 x 72-ton tanks or over 500 recce/strike vehicles and all the resources including test track etc?

I am very critical of GDUK as a company (selected from ‘a cast of thousands’ to build the Ajax family) on so many levels and don’t even trust them with doing design and initial work in future, let alone production (including QA) and testing.

I have more faith in RBSL, WFEL and LM (turret builders etc).

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Also, seeing as RBSL are producing a brand new Turret for CR3, I’m sure manufacturing a new Hull /Chassis cw running gear is not beyond the capability of UK Industry. Strangely enough I live in a Town where some of the first Tanks produced for WW1 were made by the Railway Works – sadly another capability lost as we don’t produce Locomotives in the UK any more.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Of course BAE was building tank hulls in c.2002-2004 when they built Titan & Trojan (and a little earlier then CR2 of course). You need some pretty big manipulators (giant jigs) and I am sure that the down hand welding would be done by machine rather than by hand now. Not sure if there is anything like that at RBSL Telford (may be useful if they have to reweld donor CR2 hulls for CR3 project – but not too hard to create the capability. Resources additional to the above would also be required.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

Our new MBT is of course CR3 which will be fielded from 2027-2030. CR4 is decades away. I am not sure if our new (military) Land Industrial strategy has come out yet, but it really must insist that AFV design and manufacture capability is kept in the UK, in at least 2 companies.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

Oh please don’t call it challenger 4😂😂😂
Matilda
Stuart
Badger
Elephant – save that for artillery
Dishy rishi deluxe
Monty
Most big cat names are in use.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

rhino ?😀

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Producing 10 tanks a year would mean it would take 15 years to produce CR3 – thats far too long for a production run.
I am not sure that CR4 should be based on CR3 – I think it would be time for a major change of direction at that time.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon

We develop our own naval ships of all shapes and sizes. How is it hard to continue to develop MBTs nationally? Many countries achieve this.
Anyway we have observor status at the Franco-German future tank project.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The issue, as with naval is drumbeat and stringing out production over a decade makes things very expensive and subject to cash flow fiddling cuts…

The other problem is that tanks and APC production is, in some senses, closer to heavy machinery production. Which isn’t so much production line built as you might think.

The thought process gets confused by car production……

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

In my REME YO period I did a 3-month Industrial attachment at VDS Newcastle in 1980 – they were then building CHARRVs as I recall. Very much a production line, with a great deal of the structure of the vehicle being fabricated on site – they even had a furnace for making castings for the front of MBT turrets. Today as I understand it Ajax is being built on a mere assembly line – I don’t think they manufacture very much themselves – even hulls are bought in from GD Spain and turrets from LM. Anyway I suppose my point… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

All true.

Is it the rebound from the over-consolidation of BAE to be a national champion?

BAE were then a monopoly supplier and depending on your point of view either

abused it; or
didn’t understand some of their own business units.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

There was a phrase doing the rounds a few years ago ‘Anyone but BAE’. Not an army view who felt that BAE and the companies it had acquired (GKN, RO plc, Vickers Defence Systems, VSEL, Alvis etc) had produced very acceptable AFVs quickly and at reasonable price over many decades – but a politicians/Treasury view. There had been lingering discontent over the Nimrod AEW project, poor safety case work on Nimrods (crash of R1 over Afghan Sep 06), plus the ‘monopoly’ question. No idea why the Monopolies & Mergers Commission hadn’t put a red flag up about some of those… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon

We have always designed, developed and built our MBTs (and tk variants and othe AFVs) without strong partners.
However if the numbers for the tank after CR3 was very small, then economically we would have to partner.
We have Observer status on the Franco-German project.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

The very silly debate about whether tanks were obsolete has run for many years, but I don’t see that it was that which destroyed the ability of the UK to continue to build its own tanks. That is down to orders for both AFV replacement vehicles and factory-upgrades not being forthcoming for a number of reasons – army policy screw ups and changes, over-focus on Afghanistan ops, defence cuts, etc. In the UK, we are however building CR3 (a re-manufacturing project), Ajax (an assemly shop project), and Boxer – and came close to doing a very major upgrade on Warrior… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sadly, the silly debate did hang in the background like an ominous smell and was always touted about whenever the pro-MBT lobby became animated on the issue. My suggestion that CH4 should be based on CH3 chassis was simply to avoid over-engineering the design and limit facility/infrastructure creep. However, the UK may take the option to adopt either the French/German tank or the American M1 replacement in its basic form and then manufacture its vehicles to UK requirements. This plan would enable MBT capability to remain in the UK and offer employment to the Telford plant for some considerable time.… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Those opposed to tanks seemed to think that they were obsolete merely because anti-tank weapons existed – yet such counters existed from 1916 and ATGM existed from the late 1950s. Everything on the battlefield is vulnerable – you don’t scrap everything and start again just because there exists a counter. You can trace an evolutionary line from Centurion (the world’s first MBT), through Chieftain and CR1 to CR2 and CR3. I think it will be time to create a tank of revolutionary design with CR4 – if we are serious about having and holding to a Land (equipment) Industrial Strategy… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick C

We can curenlty field 3 x Type 56 armoured regiments – to reduce to two in future. You are right – that is not much.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

REME has only recently started to use 3-D printers. I doubt that they could make anything overly large and heavy.

Beyond CR3 – interesting. [The Navy always looks at and commits money to the frigate after the next one. Army can’t seem to be as far-sighted]. UK has observer status on the Franco-German next tank project (which will repace Leclerc and Leo2 – Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). I find that encouraging. I am sure we will also keep an eye on US projects.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago

Is this for real? 80 is a decent quantity.

George Parker
George Parker
1 year ago

So what happened to all the other Challenger 2s that were produced?
There were 380+ produced for the British Army and a few dozen supplied to Oman. None have been lost in combat and the vehicles damaged in accidents were repaired.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  George Parker

I think you mean Challenger I production numbers?

There were never as many Chally2 as Chally1.

Graham Moore is the best informed, first hand, on that.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

For challenger 3 it’s getting new turret and lots of other new stuff. Is it still a massive jump to make new complete tank? The plans for challenger 2 must be kicking about somewhere.
Asking for a friend that needs a lot of tanks.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

CR2 – 386 for UK, 38 for Jordan.

CR1 – 420 of which 392 were later sold to Jordan in c. 2001-3 under the Al-Hussein Project title.
Jordan seemingly abandoned plans to later upgrade these tanks by fitting the unmanned Falcon turret from c.2003. According to Wikipedia, Jordan is now phasing out Al-Husseins to be replaced by 141 ex-Italian Army wheeled B1 Centauro 8×8 which they will run alongside Marders (an interesting wheeled tank/tracked IFV combo!! Bizarre).

Photo of prototype Falcon turret on Al-Hussein:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_Turret#/media/File:Royal_Tank_Museum_95.jpg

George
George
1 year ago

The information I havefor Challanger 2 is the MoD placed a £520 million order for 127 and 13 driver training vehicles. An order for a further 259 tanks and 9 driver trainers worth £800 million was placed in 1994.
Not sure how many were sent to Oman but it could be 40ish.

There were over 400 Chally 1.

If this is wrong please tell me.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  George Parker

386 CR2s produced for British Army (1993-2002) and 38 for Oman (the only export sale – how embarrassing!). Many years ago, possiby 2010 defence review, MoD reduced the number declared as ‘in-service’ to 227 (which is the declared figure today) – this reflected a smaller size army and I think was also called for by the CFE treaty (but not sure). So where are the 159 (386-227)? It is understood that probably 3 tanks were written off including the blue-on-blue casualty (Basra 2003) and the Castlemartin range incident cas (June 2017). Some say that 80 tanks were scrapped but I… Read more »

Lawrence Duff
Lawrence Duff
1 year ago
Reply to  George Parker

Here’s an MOD document from 2016 itemising CR2 tanks in the BA and status:

https://twitter.com/LozzieDuff/status/1614228741437153285

So, we had 386 CR2 and 22 driver training tanks delivered in total.

What happened to the 72 that were in storage in 2016 “awaiting final disposal action”? (Note: these were in addition to the 227 in service at the time).

Were they actually disposed of? What does that mean? Literally scrapped, melted down and buried in landfill? Surely a scandal if that happened. Or broken up into spares?

George Parker
George Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Lawrence Duff

Scandalous bordering on treasonous. The loss of the strategically important tank manufacturing plants were the true crimes. Unless we go begging to former enemies, now allies. The nation who invented the tank (WWI Little Willy) and them developed the modern MBT (Centurion), cannot replenish our fleet. God help us if there is a war. But do not worry, no cause for concern. Russia, the CCP, Iran etc are peace-loving teddy bear nations. All using the correct pronouns. We have a cardboard cut-out of Tempest, two aircraft carriers (without airwings) along with the promise of Ajax and Boxer. Phew! For a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The army does of course have stocks of spare parts but not for those items that are very rarely used, such as wiring looms.
Also, invariably stocks were set to cater for normal peacetime usage and not intense peacetime usage or wartime usage – again, blame the beancounters.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

As I have said before.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

What should have happened is that a part should still have been ordered from the manufacturer even if a part was robbed from an inactive vehicle – than when the part arrives it should have been ftted to the cannibalised tank. In the real world, that did not happen all of the time – one reason is that a part may no longer be made, as you say. I served in the days when we had significant static REME workshops (later called ABRO, later GOCO operated by Babcock) who provided support to the field force REME. 18 Base Wksp REME… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thing is that most of the machine shop would have been, at best, partially digitised. Whereas now it would run fully digitised.

I suspect that the logic was driven by the upgrade costs of the kit and that it is it is increasingly hard to find old school machinists?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

You may well be right. For Commercial companies such as Babcock, the ‘bottom line is the driver in decision making, not preparedness for war. IMHO its why MoD should never have contracted out ABRO.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

I think the number we could potentially donate is upto 88 C2s until we eat into the proposed C3 (148) numbers. Personally I’d give all of them to Ukraine and order 400+ K2 Black panthers from South Korea with some technological transfer delivering a return to UK tank production. Korea has done this for Turkey (Atlay tank) and agreed to build 880 Polish K2s . The advantage of K2 is Hunter killer mode, active protection system, co-operative engagement and networked interface with other units such as attack helicopters and infantry/ IFVs. Just need to find £3-4 billion to replace the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Really depends if the K2 Black Panthers are any good. have they been battle tested for us to be able to judge if they live up to their sales pitch?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes it was an option I was considering if a production facility could be arranged here with ongoing development work on tanks, we need some agreement if this type real bad, it would be more flexible and safe than designing a new tank (no chance anyway) in an environment where their whole future is up in the air, though Ukraine wanting them shows they still see a future. But yes how good are they? Our new found cooperation with Poland may help there getting an early assessment in European conditions from the horses mouth as a few have already been… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

‘Designing a new tank’? Were you referring to CR3? Design work was done some time ago. I was working on the project in 2016.

AlexS
AlexS
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

K2 of course was not battle tested.

Marked
Marked
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Few, if any, tanks the British army have bought have been battle tested at the time of purchase!

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Marked

But your suggesting that we give up our chally 2 tanks which are heavily based on the chally 1, and battle tested in both forms for a tank that looks good on paper.

Im not saying its a bad idea, but the MOD would need to properly test the K2 to ensure it is better than the chally 3, not something that can be done fast, which means we can’t give ukraine them all at this stage.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell
  1. Said this before but maybe be can add Montrose and Monmouth to the list of donations too? And maybe some spare Sea Linx/Wildcats? Ukrainian crewed and flagged shipped via Turkey?
JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Only after Turkey has opened the Dardanelles to warships other than their own..

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Deliver/Sell to/via Turkey as a 3rd party who then on-deliver to Ukraine, flagged and crewed by UK. CAMM, Artisan, Harpoon, some AAW, would all be very useful. Turkey is already building two corvettes for Ukraine so there’s a existing relationship there.
Understand the Dardanelles are closed.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*flagged,crewed by Ukraine.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Do we really want Turkey anywere near our tech? Ok its a NATO country but polictics there are getting a wee bit extreme and that position could easily change in the future.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Maybe keep the Montrose as a training ship for the RN and donate the Monmouth can get a bit of further fitout in Turkey for Ukraine, if the ships shell is still good. Yes, you’re right. We need to be wary of Turkey. Ol’ Edojan has a bit of an each way bet with the NATO and Russia simultaneously.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Gunbuster, who has personally performed maintenance on HMS Montrose during Gulf deployment, has stated it would require a significant investment of time and funding to restore her to fleet standard, but is theoretically feasible. HMS Monmouth, which is a stripped hulk, may require an order of magnitude more work to refit. Presume someone at Admiralty is pondering the fate of HMS Montrose?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Yes I remember GBs previous comments on both ships. But they both might still have enough life for further service on the Black and Asov seas. The old Harpoons might be useful too and a AAW platform for the donated Sea Kings. If I remember correctly some T22 Broadsword class went to Romania and had a refit (with 76mm added) are still going strong. I think Brazil has one too. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion and the powers that be will make their own decisions. As many have mentioned getting any ships to Ukraine could be very problematic anyway. 🇦🇺… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

, *ASW… not AAW… Lol 😁

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agreed, given sufficient funding and time, virtually anything is within the realm of possibility.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Morning Mate. I could be wrong but I think the Brazilians have retired their Type 22 batch 1s?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Afternoon Klonkie, how are you going? Not sure if Brazil still has its T22, but if still going they must have been built pretty well back then.
My Kiwi bro has moved back to ol’Blighty now so I only have my Uncle (Bob) in Tauranga now. Lol 😁 Hope NZ gets some upgrades to its ships happening soon including more personnel!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Like your “Jordan option”…a bit of re-engineering, upgrade work back on the UK. If it’s such a bargain option then the UK can keep a few more of the best ones for itself! Why not, the US is continually improving its Abram’s from old stock. Jordan will then probably seek its replacement from another country. The UK can also look at a light tank option based on the Ascod 2 chassis, which Israel has already done with the Sabrah tank, with a Cockerill 105mm turret that I think also fits on the Boxer. We know competition is fierce but the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Quentin, you are being ‘tongue in cheek’? CR1 was declared obsolete 20 years ago (and was fielded 40 years ago, having been designed in the 70s), was replaced by CR2 which itself is 4 years from starting to be replaced. Reintroduce to British Army service? I would imagine almost no spares are available to support them. What else – reintroduce F-4 Phantoms and Bucanneers to the RAF/RN?

I fully agree that export sales of British AFVs has declined over the years – very troubling.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, yes, probably a bit of a silly suggestion from me. Not sure how far back the US Abrams go. Was just a thought to take back some of the best if available. But if they’re that old then it’s just not worth it.
Gotta love the Buccaneer’s and Phantom’s… now that is tongue in cheek!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

M1 Abrams was designed 1972-1975 and was first fielded in 1980 with a mere 105mm gun, but it did have Chobham (Burlington armour) – ie fielded when we still had Chieftains and 3 years before we got CR1 into service. However it has sensibly been subject to very many upgrades and the newer ones are an order of magintude more capable. We rejected M1 Abrams years ago (when deciding what to replace the remaining half-fleet of Chieftains with – for a number of reasons, a major one being the thirsty nature of the Gas Turbine engine and the intensive engine… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Graham Moore
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

You are suggesting to HM Treasury to buy the most expensive tank in the world, when they have forked out for the CR3 costs? Good luck with that one!

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/expensive-worth-it-south-koreas-k2-tank-195732

I was in the team that dealt with the sale of CR1s to Jordan 20 years ago. Those vehicles are 40 years old and were designed in the 70s. I doubt these old warriors will be in the best mechanical condition for modern conflict, and spares will be near-unobtainable. Better that Ukraine has some CR2s and a lot of Leo2s to augment their existing Soviet-era kit.

Last edited 1 year ago by Graham Moore
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

One would certainly think so.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve
Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  John

BBC and Sky have the number at 14.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

A bit of creative and deliberately mischievous false information might just go down a treat. Why not? Keep the Russian buggers guessing on the battlefield. Hope Ukrainian forces can gradually push them back into the Asov Sea! Strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦, its forces, its people and its president!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

Clearly they are allowing none for an in-country Repair Pool or Attrition Reserve.
I wonder if the logistic and engineering support package to be delivered in-country has been announced.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

We bought 386 tanks, probably about 3 have been totally written off – and have 227 on the active list. I am sure finding a sqn of tanks from a pool of 156 non-active tanks should not be a challenge, even if many, but surely not all, will have been partly cannibalised.

George Parker
George Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

What really worries me, is there seems to be no complaints from the top brass about this stupidity. Are they scared of being the next victims of budget cutbacks. Or are they punting for lucrative jobs in the civil service on retirement. Either way, they are shirking their duty. Someone needs to explain that we have a very limited supply of Challenger 2 (C2) in storage, that can be upgraded to C3 standard. Even hulls scavenged for parts, can be brought back to full operational status. Much more easily than having to produce entire MBT’s from scratch, in factories that… Read more »

peter wait
peter wait
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Who is going to fix them and how are spare parts going to be delivered? Suppose they could be dragged back to Poland. Would need CRARRV for power pack changes!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

They would need CARRV for sure. Agree. Give them 12 C2s and 4 CARRV. Deploy quietly 2-3 F35Bs to Poland with LGBs so any C2 at risk of capture gets blown to bits by a stealth air strike. These tanks are generally very reliable. Hopefully of all Western tanks likely to prove the most suitable for Ukrainian use. Abraham’s is too complicated and requires intensive maintenance. Leopard 2 Herr Scholz won’t agree or support the transfer. Leclerc . Ditto Macron won’t donate any of these prized tanks. British army will need a small tank support unit sent to Poland to… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

On the F35 point they can fly from the uk if needed. Lots of tankers around Europe. Now can it get in and out without being hit? Will we then see 2 storm shadow/tomahawks flying in to blow up a CH2 and an F35.
More importantly can a ukraine tractor pull a broken challenger2

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

General principle of towing is that you need a tow vehicle to be of similar weight to the casualty, so I hope those Ukrainian tractors weigh about 72 tonnes. I assume CR2 is at TES.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Do tractors weigh as much as a T72? Maybe they are only good at towing on the flat road.
Time for some tractor research😂

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Biggest John Deere shipping weight 20,000kg and maximum weight 30,000 roughly.
They are chunky

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Enjoy!
T72? We were talking about CR2 (72 tonnes at TES state).

You might get away with a lighter (than casualty) towing vehicle on a good road on the level (but avoid braking and can accept zero to poor response when pressing accelerator pedal) – but not on an upgrade or mucky track.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

As I stated elsewhere this is far more about politics than the actual benefit of 12 Challengers. They will barely be used I suspect it’s Leopards that Ukraines wants and needs in large numbers and by getting these it puts pressure on the Germans to at least free up as they 5 Countries already wish to provide them. We are taking one for the team, putting our heads over the parapet to rest the Russian response so Germany can find their own backbone. The US could have done the same of course offering a dozen Abrams to help push the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I agree, 12 random tanks making a tiny sub fleet (however good) are pretty pointless of themselves and may just end up in some form of emergency reserve cupboard ( as deploying them will be logistically hard work). But it’s the political message of the first donation of a Western MBT, as you say what they need is a western MBT that can be given enmass to start replacing the vast array of soviet linage MBTs they have and in reality that’s going to be the leopard 2s . Although Ukraine has a huge amount of soviet MBTs they need… Read more »

Nathan
Nathan
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Also a useful testing range. Might get a good idea about how well, or otherwise they will stack up against Russian tech and tactics – which was basically what they were designed to counter. Can then filter this into CH3 upgrade.

Graham
Graham
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

Ukrainians will be trained to fix them. Unrealistic to drag them back to Poland for repairs. They do need a CRARRV in the squadron fitter sect, and at least 1 more at second line as back up.

AJP1960
AJP1960
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

When only 2/3rds of our C2 are to be upgraded to C3 that leaves us with a surplus.

IMO this is a good use of that surplus. Not only that but it should act as a spur to shame european countries to provide Leopards

Bill
Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  AJP1960

Hear Hear, better used in Ukraine than ending up used for target practice like the Chieftains often did.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

We’re not in a hurry to put effective tanks such as CR2s onto ranges as targets. Only once they have been declared Obsolete – thats the usual thing.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  AJP1960

If it does lead to Leopard 2 deployments then yes that would be a good thing. My main concerns are logistical. Can the UK supply all of its ammunition and spares needed and are we willing to do so? Can the Ukrainians support it in the field?

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Yes they can, everything is covered, it’s all good, don’t worry.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

I guess we just need enough ammunition until the point the C-3 replaces it, no idea when that’s complete mind. But other than that factor, depending on stockpiles a good way to use up the shells.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Jim was talking about supporting the CR2s we gift to Ukraine. Not talking about our own CR3s which will not be fielded with Brit Army until 2027-2030.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, you are very confident. It takes a very long time to train REME technicians (who speak quite good English!) to maintain CR2. Not sure how long the course will be for the Ukrainian mantainers.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Main thing is Ukraine will be putting already trained tank crews/maintenance forward for challenger.
A tanker said it took him 1 day training to change from challenger 1 to 2. It won’t be that easy I think.
The combined arms training under way in Germany will serve the Ukrainians well with western vehicles.
Another person said the Bradley’s systems are idiot proof so that’s good.

Last edited 1 year ago by Monkey spanker
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There was huge familiarity between CR1 and CR2 controls and layout for crew members moving from one to the other and who had the added benefit of speaking the same language as their instructors. But I am surprised at the 1-day claim. I recall converting from SLR to SA80 required a 1-week course (including range time, obviously) and that was just a rifle. Familiarising crew with a different vehicle is easier than training maintainers, who have never seen a CR2 before. The combined arms training is essential and I am glad that it has been made available to UKR personnel.… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  AJP1960

Well quite.

But once Ukraine proves that properly used tanks mop up the Orcs then the pressure will be on to upgrade the rest.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago

Especially if Russia will restock with new equipment and an army of 2 million men I read somewhere!!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

How would the Orcs manufacture that much kit? There is the Stalinist view that ‘quantity has a quality all of its own’… Trouble is that in this high tech world you cannot simply put blokes in carp tanks who don’t know what they are doing without tactical or strategic support and expect them to triumph over highly motivated and supported opposition is for the birds. The rabbit hole the Russian went down was thinking that because the West didn’t ostensibly win in Iran / Afghan that it would be the same here. For one the West had a hand tied… Read more »

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
1 year ago

How? Once this war is over, the West with it’s famously short memory will fall over itself to buy cheap Russian oil and gas. They wilBuse that income to buy all the kit (SoC’s/chips) they need either directly or via a third party. Maybe this war and the limited sanctions will drive home the lesson that apart from the most needed equipment, such as optics and stabilised firing tech, they could use a more analogue construction that can be rough engineered, the way Russia has always done it? Don’t forget, the first equipment to go was its newest, the older… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

I’m not so sure.

I think everyone got jolted awake quite sharply. Nobody saw this coming apart from events in UK who were not listened to.

Rubbish like we can’t see a use for an aircraft carrier in the next 10 years doesn’t wash.

The Chicom situation isn’t going to go away either.

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

Trouble is that in this high tech world you cannot simply put blokes in carp tanks who don’t know what they are doing without tactical or strategic support and expect them to triumph over highly motivated and supported opposition”

Putin: “Hold my beer…”

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago

Hi SB, we wouldn’t be surprised if Russia isn’t restocking from Iran, North Korea, which haven’t thry already done? Maybe even from China, 3rd parties or from any black markets put there.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I am sure they are.

I’m also sure that the Russian equipment quality, training, tactics, logistics and leadership will still be failures.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

The real idea behind this is to be the first to break the NATO reluctance to provide MBTs. Once we have done so the US and Germany may follow suit with Leopard 2 and M1s.

so in this respect it is not about numbers but about leadership.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

That is the positive side of my mixed feelings.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

I don’t think so, I suspect NATO has agreed to supply the tanks but there some logistics to sort out, we don’t have that issue as they are sole country purchased. Germany stated a couple of days ago that it would not block supply of lepards. This feels more like us trying to beat everyone else to it.

Whatever the motivation it’s a good thing and should have happened a year ago. Ukraine needs to win this to ensure Russia is fully put into its box for decades to come.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve
Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

What German says and does are not necessarily the same thing. This puts the pressure on them to follow through and removes any excuses.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

That’s interesting, the last I heard reported a day or so after our first announcement that they were at that time still not going to offer Leopards and that it’s best, as with their Marders to only agree to do so with others/and a little later they stated more specifically the Americans. I have not heard as yet that they have agreed to other Countries supplying Leopards (which clearly our moved tried to encourage). As 5 have desired to do so so far I think the pressure is on, just wish the yanks would make a limited offer or at… Read more »

Marius
Marius
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

Yes, you may well be right in your summation. Time to up the ante and force further humiliation on Putin and Co.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

Quite

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

Finland and Poland have already said they would donate around 26 Leopard 2s to Ukraine (14+12 respectively) just awaiting Herr Scholz permission.
Which will be dithered about and ponder until Russia’s spring offensive is underway and then agreed but with loads of strings attached. Like you can only fire the gun at crippled Russian tanks whose crew have already escaped or only allowed to use them during daylight hours between 10am and midday on a Monday to Friday basis.
😅🤣😅

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

There may come a point when these nations say bollocks to Germany and deliver them anyway! I can see that with Poland who are not going to depend on German armour with their K2s and M1s!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

…Abrams are entering the Country as cover. But that would be a serious move to defy Germany whatever the mutual contempt. But if Germany want further military orders from Poland they too need to show flexibility.

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Nearly 400 tanks is a bit more than cover I would say😄

https://defence-blog.com/poland-orders-more-abrams-tanks/

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Got rid of Lambrecht, I hear

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

The US has thousands of first generation M1s just sitting in storage, we could in theory buy a load and just give them to Ukraine?

Chris
Chris
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Abrams is extremely maintenance intensive and very thirsty (gas turbine powered). The Saudi’s proved it needs to be maintained by a diligent western style force, or it will become a paper weight.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Yep Biden needs to stop bumbling on this one. Give them 25 of even short term generally unusable tanks would probably push Germany over the line. As I say it’s political rather than military considerations behind this hesitation from Germany, they don’t want to stand out as a target.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Countries should be loaning items to Ukraine. If they survive give us them back when ur finished. Ukraine will not want 100s of different types of weapons when conflict ends. That way countries still get to say we own x amount of stuff and Ukraine can put the vehicles to good use.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes Leopard 2 would be best for Ukraine as it is less thirsty, needs less tlc and uses standard NATO amo. Challenger is a great tank but not tge best match for Ukraine.

With that said it could be of use as a shock force to break lines or as a tactical reserve to break an assault in a key area.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

That is totally the point and it makes us look good too, after others supplied their light tanks/IFVs when we had nothing to offer … except Warriors I guess but we need them presently.

Graham
Graham
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I understand we bought 789 Warriors when the army in the mid 80s was much bigger. I’m sure we could spare a few now the army is half the size it was.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

yes indeed.

Esteban
Esteban
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

Typical UK leadership…. Talk a big game and then have someone else do it. When it actually comes to the heavy lifting portion of the program.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

US fan boy time…..but not allowed to be a US citizen, must hit you hard hence the jealous and childlike posts. Understandable though it’s ok.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Initially I viewed this, when suggested earlier this week, as being diplomatically motivated. Figuratively to get the ball rolling of other countries donating MBTs – especially Germany. However, looking back at the performance of Challenger 2 in both Gulf Wars, in terms of losses versus kills, then a dozen could easily turn the outcome of any battle in Ukraine. Yes the Russian tanks are newer than those fielded by the Iraqs, but the Ukrainians have shown that even newer Russian tanks have many of the design flaws – particularly magazine storage – of earlier models. I expect a tank repair… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Depends if we provide depleted uranium shells or not. That was the big advantage in the Iraq wars (well that and GPS).

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve
Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Hopefully as the shells are going to be useless anyway after the upgrade from CR2 to CR3 so might as well use the remaining stock in a good cause.
The Ukrainians certainly won’t have qualms on their side about using them.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

There is no point “looking back” to a situation where the West had total air dominance and the ability to degenerate opposition command, communications and logistics support. That is not the situation in Ukraine.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

My ‘looking back’ is with regard to the performance of Challies against Soviet built tanks, so it’s entirely valid. You either didn’t bother reading my post correctly or you’re being disingenuous. Currently the Russian Air Force avoids flying in Ukraine airspace, due to its losses to manpads and SAMs. So after Ukraine gets modern Western aircraft, which has to be the next step after MBTs, then it won’t take long for it gain air dominance. If you’d been paying attention these last few months you’d know that Ukraine has been degenerating “opposition command, communications and logistics support” since the start… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Your completely right with your comments, however how much does the MOD/army take out of the Ukrainian C2s? In regards to thermal sights etc. My worry is the Ukrainians might get the best tank in the world but a stripped down “best tank in the world”.

Marked
Marked
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The thermals etc are all outdated now, way behind the best in the business, and key components that are significantly upgraded in C3. There’s no reason to strip out gear that’s already a generation out of date.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Good points 👍🏻

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Ballsy move to supply Gen4 aircraft to Ukraine – the Orcs will huff and puff and blow our house down; at which point, western pollies will have spincter movement not related to being on the big white telephone.

If only we hadn’t made razor blades out of the tonkas.

As you said earlier, they will need substantial repair facilities; let’s start training their Airforce now and be prepared to underwrite their endeavours with both MBTs and Gen4 a/c.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

I think balls wouldn’t be required. Putin only had 2 ways to escalate, both of which are suicidal as he would end up fighting NATO directly • attack a NATO country, perhaps targeting a marshalling depot for weapons to Ukraine • use nukes NATO is currently not directly fighting, that’s the biggest escalation on the board. Putin gambled that • he could decapitate Ukraine before NATO could respond • that any NATO aid would be fragmented and slow coming • that NATO would get bored and aid would eventually dry up He was wrong in the first two, and I… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Certainly any tanks will need a combined arms aspect for European use.
One thing Lukashenko had better taken into account if he thinks he’s going to aid Vlad in an offensive from the north that’s different from 12 months back is that ‘Russian’ military bases used to attack Ukraine are now legit targets as a defensive concept. No need to decimate Belarussian civilian infrastructure or nationals, few of whom may be fans of Luka; so the punk needs to ask, “Do I feel Lucky.”
Rgs

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

I think you are right in that assessment.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Nothing cuts through Russian tanks like C2. HESH rounds are probably dead handy in Ukraine as well. As you say even a small number concentrated on a crucial operation could tip the balance. Look at the effect of single companies of Tiger Tanks in WW2, they could have an effect far beyond their numbers.

Let’s see if the Russians think the 120mm rifle gun is not up to the job any more.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

And indeed the Fireflies when they were able to operate effectively. One was known to take out three Tigers in one engagement but few and far between sadly, and were of course for their effectiveness prime targets themselves, but that gun was the best anti tank gun of the war, forget the 88s. That was the start of a glorious 50 years of unrivalled British gun mastery. Sadly so good that with the Challenger we forgot to think what comes next in gun design (or tanks for that matter I guess) and now out of the business ironically to the… Read more »

Esteban
Esteban
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Ummm no.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

Ummmm yes.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Chally 2’s L30 was tested against the armour of a modernized T80. Getting the T80 is a story in its own right. From what I understand the glacis and turret armour was examined and reproduced to build representations that could be used as a target. This when was then tested using Charm rounds. The outcome of the firing trials has not been publicly disclosed. But there has been no sudden drive to replace the Charm round. Which I suppose means that Charm can still do its job.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Agree the C2s probably will tear the Russian armoured forces a new sphincter. If the crews are properly trained I’d expect a 10-20:1 loss ratio. I’ve seen plenty of videos of Russia’s piss poor army handling of their tanks. A decently trained C2 crew would have a field day.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Only the latest T-90s look to be a ‘challenge’ for them I agree.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Even a T90 is still just a warmed over T72. See it first, hit it first matters for tank on tank.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Agreed mate!

edwinr
edwinr
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Sean, I believe the donation of the C2 to Ukraine goes far beyond a diplomatic ploy to shame other countries to donate MBTs. While that is a factor, it’s not the main one. Once deployed, I cannot see them sitting in reserve behind the battle lines. The C2 has the capability of tipping the balance in many battle scenarios. They will be a game changer as far as the Ukraine military is concerned.

Esteban
Esteban
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

The “Challie” is obsolescent. The rifled 120 mm and HESH is no longer viable against modern tanks. There’s a reason the UK is getting rid of them. And the simple fact that no one even makes ammunition for them anymore. It’s a little political stunt. Well-meaning…. But nevertheless hardly a game changer in actual warfare.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

Nobody with any real military knowledge things that, which means you’re either a complete idiot or a liar with an agenda. On previous form, we all know it’s the latter.

The U.K. is not getting rid of the Challenger, nor are your claims about the rounds true. Not even an idiot could get these wrong, so a liar.

QED

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

We like to use the term sad bell-end, he responds to that one so much better.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

Will remember that, as he seems the kind of bellend that is too stupid to realise when he is embarrassing himself and has everyone laughing at his inadequacies. So I’m sure we’ll see him posting again…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

Please…
Entertain us…
Why is HESH no longer viable?
If spall linings in ivans tanks are anything like the paper mache helmets and body armour thats been seen they will be very effective at turning the crew into red mush.
It is not only for use against Tanks.
Why put a APFSDS round into a BMP with thin armour. It would be a waste of your silver bullets.
Hit it with HESH

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

His view is not to say why only to point out that every thing is 💩.
The chieftain YouTube guy was saying challenger is still a great tank and can take a hit or 2 from a 125mm gun on the nose. His main thing was the challenger and western tanks should see the target first and get the first round off and that’s most important.
The Russians probably sold most of the spall liners and replaced them with fishing nets. Yes comrade these catch everything. Best nets I mean liners in all of mother Russia.

Last edited 1 year ago by Monkey spanker
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

“ His main thing was the challenger and western tanks should see the target first and get the first round off and that’s most important.”

Plus accuracy at range?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

Yes

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

Oh dear, how sad, never mind wrong again.

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

Know much about the British military or it’s equipment do you Esteban? You only ever make disparaging comments against the British. The Challenger II isn’t a tank anyone would buy today, but the last of them were made only 16 years ago. They are proven against anything the Russians have. The reason they were designed as they were was for a European conflict against the Russians. The British have a decent history and success with that type of barrel and ammo. Tell me, what tank has the best record against any Russian tank post 1980? What tank has never been… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

An unagraded CR2 will be more of a match against T62/72/80 as been proven in the gulf! As the people who decide these things are not really total idiots despite what we might think you can be sure that discussions with Ukraine have been had and if they want them give them!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

I think the Chally will give the Russians a run for their money, and the more the merrier! “The Challenger 2 is a main battle tank, designed to destroy other tanks. It has been used by the British Army on operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq, and has never experienced a loss at the hands of the enemy.” You might recall my post earlier this year regarding the Main Ground Combat System, At the time I thought this might be a better option than upgrading the current version of Challenger for obvious reasons, not least compatibility with other… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Nigel Collins
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Good if somewhat sad news but the only real option looking ahead a decade or so.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I tend to agree with you. 227 Challenger 2s to 148 Challenger 3s when we had 420 Challenger 1s in service at one point. A lite version might be an option on the tracked Boxer to help fill in the gaps with a 120mm gun. Fast and agile appears to be the way things are looking at present. “A more agile, integrated, lethal and expeditionary force” Announcing the new details in the House of Commons, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “Future Soldier is reinforced by the ambition outlined in the Defence Command Paper to transform the Army into a more… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Nigel Collins
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Why restrict our choice to the Franco/German offering for the tank after CR3?

Kizzy p
Kizzy p
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I would suggest the chally 2 was designed more as an infantry support tank ….Hence keeping the rifled gun and the HESH round . Tank on tank actions are very few and far between. With the rifled gun we accepted a slight degradation in performance of APFSDS as it was offset by the more numerous advantages of using HESH. Even with the poorer performance of APFSDS fired from a rifled barrel its still more than an over-match against 95% of Russian tanks it would ever likely encounter. It would struggle against modern western tanks at stand off ranges yes ……but… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Good to hear 😂 We can do without a blue on blue!

Somebody on UKDJ mentioned the possibility of up to 1300 Boxers, so a mix including these would no doubt be a useful addition.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nigel Collins
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The jury is out as to whether Boxer will work with tanks as well as Warrior did. Pity we don’t seem to have trialled that before placing the Boxer order.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Fingers crossed all works out well in that case Graham.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Infantry Support Tank? That is a WW2 term.
We Brits invented the MBT to replace infantry support tanks and cruiser tanks.
You suggest a poorer performance of APFSDS from the rifled gun – yet we took out all targets engaged in GW1 and GW2 and still hold the record for the longest kill with ‘fin’ – happy with that.
Good to use HESH on tagets that dont warrant ‘fin’ ie medium armour and bunkers and other strong points.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

MGCS – first one is not due to roll off the line until 2035 (and I am sure that will slip by a few years), so it is far too late for us. It (or rather a later version) is in fact a possibility as the tank after CR3, not instead of it.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Remember it’s not about Challenger 2, it’s about a major NATO nation providing tanks. Assuming Mad Vlad does not nuke us this opens the door for other European nations to share Leopard and M1 that are available in much greater numbers.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

He’s not mad, Vlad is just bad and sad. He won’t nuke us, though he may desperately start throwing more forces into the battle trying to secure as much as possible before western donated MBTs appear in Ukraine. More in the military, and in politics will begin to realise the war is becoming unwinable for them. Nothing is as fatal to a Russian leader than being regarded a loser. The final straw for some to move against Putin might need to be the donation of western aircraft, such as F16s. His replacement might be no better, but he would be… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

You mention F16s, but, I wonder if the Ukrainians are doing the fan dance and learning about operating behind enemy lines.

Certainly, causing the enemy to displace and increase transit times for their a/c is quite an achievement, smacking several of them into scrap is highly noteworthy – seems UKR SF are unhindered in the rear com z of Russia – and good luck and logistics to them.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

UKR SF certainly seem to be following in the traditions of the SAS in destroying enemy aircraft on the ground, far behind the lines.

I’d still love to see the Ukrainians having modern combat aircraft to destroy any Russian aircraft that do get airborne, and then demolish Russian depots and bases that are beyond HIMARS range.
Oh, and a certain bridge too…

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

When a politically pressured Germany finally allows sufficient of the more ideal Leopard 2s out of their cage then I’d foresee our C2s likely being used to protect Kyiv from northerly incursions, particularly as approaches to the city appear to be limited. Happy to hear counter views, though.
Rgs

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Totally agree with you our tanks would likely be kept in reserve and for that very purpose simply because of logistics. Makes sense too in your scenario as they would be a lethal line of defence and release other tanks further east.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

As a complete aside (sorry, just could not resist), I note that Ajax has marked up another milestone. This automobile can now add ‘turning something of a corner’ to it’s previously acknowledged ability to a) move, b) carry passengers. Seriously, this according to the latest interrogations by the Defence Select Committee. What is notable, to my mind, is the evident blase-passivity of the two principal Army Brass in their admittance of making mistakes. Not an iota of pained contrition discernable. Seemed to sum up perfectly just why we’re in the mess we are on land procurement issues. The DSC observations… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

cxd?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

OK – WCSP, GM.
(rgs 🙂)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Thanks I understand WCSP!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Just for clarity, I ended my full-time employment as CS (civil service). Cxd short for cancelled. Now not saying I got so used to this, but cxd became shorthand!

David
David
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

My concern is what happens if one or more should fall into Russian hands – and I’m thinking purely of the Dorchester armour. Even though the C2 is relatively old, the armour is by all accounts top secret…..

Graham
Graham
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Still we must have delivered some engineering and logistic support for the 6xMLRS we gifted.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

CR2 should have had 2 or 3 major upgrades since it was produced in 1998-2002; shocking that did not happen – but the tank should be more than adequate to defeat poorly commanded, poorly supported and ageing Soviet-era MBTs.

Engineering & Logistics – we clearly provided this for the mere 6 MLRSs we supplied in Sep/Oct last year – so would do it for a sqn of tanks – the cost of doing so properly is not an issue.

Phil
Phil
1 year ago

Good news. 12 is not a lot, but if it triggers a larger supply of Leopards, then that will make a difference.

Chris.
Chris.
1 year ago

We don’t have enough of them to give them away!!!.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris.

Well what better way to give them away for use in an actual war. Better use there than sat on Salisbury plane.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

ABSOLUTELY!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris.

We have plenty spare to give 12 to Ukraine. Look at the army ORBAT, how many we bought, how many we have declared in service, both in the operational regiments and in reserve, storage, and so on. Even if many have been cannibalized.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

Hopefully at the nato/Ukraine weapon meeting soon they can work out more vehicles. Ukrainians are doing combined arms training in Germany. Would be perfect to give them nice vehicles to work with on return.
The uk could do 50 I think with no big issues on operations if they can get all the other vehicles sorted out.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago

14 Challies plus a brigade’s worth (30) of AS90 I’m hearing.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris.

14 is a very small number – we can spare that number and in fact a lot more than that.

HamishUK
HamishUK
1 year ago

Isn’t Dorchester still classified?

RobW
RobW
1 year ago
Reply to  HamishUK

Can it and will it be removed prior to shipping?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

If you removed the DL2 you would make the tank far more vulnerable. Is that a good idea?

peter wait
peter wait
1 year ago
Reply to  HamishUK

Still classified, extra add on armour like the TES kit is now required on the modern battlefield. This was not designed to swing out for access on a double hinges for maintenance repair and inspection of running gear. This increases job times as crane is required. Also must be removed for transportation!

Donaldson
Donaldson
1 year ago
Reply to  HamishUK

Yes, One of the risks is obviously Russia getting a mission kill and towing back and analyse the armour

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  HamishUK

There will be lots of aspects of weapons already in Ukraine that are classified.
It must be a risk worth taking in the uk eyes.
I think they need sent. Do we really want Russia next to Poland?

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
1 year ago

Give them all the Challengers; they will tear the T72s to bits. But only if Sunak orders a complete set of replacements. The days of the Tank are not over, not by a long chalk. As we’ve seen in Ukraine, the Russians appear to be on the ascendency. To take trenches you need combined arms. Tanks cannot take them alone and neither can troops unless you decide to do what the Russians are doing by throwing men at it to be slaughtered ala The Somme. I wouldn’t want to be attacking a trench knowing that my section will be wiped… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 year ago

A silly daydream – but if a Russian tank is confirmed to have been taken out by a CHR2, I’d love to see it brought back to this country, melted down, and used for future Victoria crosses

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago

Oh what a thought how perfectly to f..k off Boris… the Russian one that is.

George Amery
George Amery
1 year ago

Hi folks hope all is well
As ever I’m guided by you experts on this site.
Is possible that we require those Challengers that Jordan has for us to upgrade to C3?
Also, at this juncture of theater, maybe there’s a school of thought to bring back MBT, or equal to the UK building our own?
What do you think?
Cheers,
George

RobW
RobW
1 year ago
Reply to  George Amery

Any of that would require this Government to fund defence properly. Unlikely to happen I’m afraid. We’ll give 12, then some more. All it’ll mean is we end up with the 148 ch3 promised, with fewer hulls for spares. We could probably give 40 and not impact our plans too much. Might as well do it now.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

I would say it’s better to give a good number all at once. Give the spares, ammo, add on armour the challenger based engineering vehicles, bridging etc. I don’t know how many bridges in Ukraine are rated for 70+ tons so challenger capable bridging equipment will be needed or restricted areas of operations. Ukraine’s recovery vehicles may not be able to get a challenger out of a stuck situation as they only have 45t max vehicles. Give enough for a battalion perhaps with Bradley’s if warriors aren’t spare, artillery, air defence etc. Finally start new tank project. Challenger 3 is… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There is a ready made tank solution for the UK. K2 Black Panther. The South Koreans have already agreed technology transfer and industrial manufacturing to Turkey (Altay MBT programme) and Poland 880 K2 PLZs.
A British built K2 Black Panther would be a most excellent option. 400 vehicles would cost around £3.5-4 billion. Not a terrible option for the future of the British army.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Good evening Mr Bell, I’m unsure if you’ve seen this link, but it includes a great deal of detail regarding the K2BP.

I never realised the main gun was German. Not my area of expertise at all, but it looks impressive!

“This gun is a German Rheinmetall gun, that is licensed-produced in South Korea.”

Hopefully, they won’t require German permission to fire it!

LINK

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The only negative about the K2 MBT is that sans APS it doesn’t have the same protection levels as you will find on the CR2-3.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Gets us into the tank manufacture game again, though! Once more into the breech – ?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Many bridges in Ukraine are sub-standard, but I don’t know how many can take a Chally – and then a Chally on a tank transporter would need a 100 ton rating.
https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/a-tale-of-two-bridges/

We are supplying a CRARRV to support the donated squadron. We really need to supply at least one more (if not two) to allow redundancy.

A bit late to suggest a different tank project to CR3! What is the problem with CR3 in your view? My only problems with CR3 is that the programme costs are too high, and we are building far too few.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

If they survive I’m sure we will get them back, moving forward Ukraine wouldn’t want them and if they are used as Gavin speculates above and I concur to defend say the Capital there’s every chance they will indeed survive.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  George Amery

Jordan received British Army surplus CR1 not CR2,but saying that the differences in the Hull between the two are minimal.The CR3 upgrade basically involves the installation of a new Turret – so in theory you could use the same CR3 Turret on CR1 Hulls and end up with pretty much the same Tank.Whether this has been looked into is another matter,it could be a source of extra Tanks for either the BA or Ukraine if they are in reasonable condition.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Jordan is soon to get rid of its CR1s – but it is a terrible idea for us to buy back vehicles for their hulls that were designed in the 1970s and were fielded with the British Army 40 years ago, in order to to get more than 148 new tanks.

I also think you will find that there are a lot of differences between the CR1 hull and the CR2 hull

Last edited 1 year ago by Graham Moore
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  George Amery

Jordan has 300+ Challenger 1s. They are circa 1980s technology and have only about 35% commonality with the current C2. They are still great tanks though. Perhaps foreign aid budget should be used to buy as many as possible back from Jordan , refitted and then given to Ukraine. A C1 is likely to be superior to all current Russian tanks upto and including T90 derivatives.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  George Amery

148 of our 227 in-service CR2s are being remanufactured to CR3 standard,. Why would we want Jordan’s CR1s back??

UK building our own? Our own what?
Sorry I don’t understand your points.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  George Amery

The CR3s are being built from donor CR2s.
I am sure we could manufacture tanks from scratch again, rather than re-manufacturing from donor vehicles. But the economics don’t look great for fleet sizes of less than 150.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

It will be very interesting to read about how the Chally 2s and Leo 2s perform in combat on the European steppes, lets see if the can drive back T 80s and Armatas whilst avoid being taken out by Russian anti tank weapons.

Julian
Julian
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

I agree but – as a genuine question because I don’t know about this stuff – with the Challenger 3 upgrades on the horizon how much of what we see regarding the Challenger 2’s performance in Ukraine will still be applicable to what we could expect from Challenger 3? Will C3 be a sufficiently different beast to C2 that not much C2 data will still be applicable to C3 or is there still so much commonality (armour?) that there is much to be learned? One thing that would seem somewhat irrelevant in terms of assessing how C3 performs in combat… Read more »

Bill
Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian

From what I’ve read and heard the Chally 3 is as far removed from the Chally 2, as the Chally 2 is from the Chieftain. Better gun and sighting / aiming systems, better engines, better armour, better electronic stuff etc. I believe ( not certain) than no Chally 2s were destroyed in Iraq or A/Stan but other notable tanks were. So an uprated Chally 3 could possibly, maybe, perhaps a game changer?? But, But, BUT, I admit to being rather startled as to just how good anti armour weapons are nowadays.

Julian
Julian
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Thanks. That was what I was wondering. So perhaps while for a lot of the other stuff that we are donating to Ukraine, e.g. Starstreak, we are getting invaluable info on how those systems perform in combat, that will likely not be the case to any great extent for Challenger. Still presumably putting the stocks of C2 ammunition to good use is a good benefit because otherwise it would probably just get junked. Even as training rounds I assume it becomes obsolete once C3 is in service since we would want live-fire training to be using the C3 not the… Read more »

Bill
Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian

Oh you can be sure our spooks are getting intel back off every bit of kit we sent them, And I would imagine a few of the russians latest military vehicles that got taken out are enroute to the UK and US for inspection.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Oh definitely. Russia has lost a handful of T-90Ms – if there isn’t one currently sat in a shed on Salisbury Plain or at Bovington I’d be amazed

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian

We already know quite a bit about how Challenger performs in combat – the army actually has done a fair bit of warfighting over the years. However its always to good to get more info especially if different enemy weapons systems are being deployed than in former operations.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

It can’t have a better engine as it’s staying the same. Suspension is getting an overhaul, commander sensors, main gun changing.
Personally I don’t think it’s worth the money. It’s costing roughly the same as a new tank but it isn’t.
Most important for tanks is first look, first on target shot.
A new thermal commander sight is what challenger will benefit the most from.
Challenger 2 has more chance of surviving a hit from a Russian tank than the other way round.

peter wait
peter wait
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Engine has new turbo’s , improved cooling system and new imh , this would indicate power increase and less start up smoke at low temp’s!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  peter wait

After some deeper reading u are correct. The current engine Perkins CV12-6 will turn into the CV12-9 I think. The armoured challenger based vehicles use the CV12-8 with some having -5 variant getting -8 on overhaul.
I’m not a big engine guy so hadn’t realised that bits could be swapped in and out so easily.
There’s not a lot of easy read info about the difference between models on the web.
Fascinating stuff. Glad u posted about the engine. Hopefully I got the numbers correct

Last edited 1 year ago by Monkey spanker
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

For some reason I thought the Ch3 was getting an upgraded engine surely the present engines can’t last for ever.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The best way to think of it is the engine is being modernized. The core of then engine is staying the same. However, reports are saying the engine could produce near 1500bhp, but will be detuned closer to 1400bhp. Part of this is due to the newer turbos. But part is also due to the engine being given a common rail system for its diesel injection. At 27L it will still have less torque tha. The Leopard’s 47.7L will still produce more. So the Leopard “should” accelerate faster. Though even with the smaller engine, the Chally has shown it’s no… Read more »

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Caterpillar did design a common rail system, not sure they put it on. The fuel in tanks is prone to bacterial growth which can attack fuel sponges and bags. Common rail fuel systems don’t like dirt.

Simon
Simon
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

If you mean Afghanistan,CH2 was never deployed there

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

C2 wasn’t deployed to Afghan. Just so you are aware. You are right about both gulf wars where C1 and C2 suffered zero hostile combat losses.

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

C2 was never in Afghanistan.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Both NLAW and Javelin would take out a Chally2, when using the top attack mode. The only tank that has proven to survive a ATGM using top attack is a Merkava 4 operating near the West Bank. Where it’s Trophy APS took out the missile. As far as I’m aware Russia do not have an anti-tank missile that can do what NLAW does. Which flies over the tank and detonates a downwards firing HEAT jet. Their ATAKA ATGM used by the Mil-28 has only a direct attack mode. The Vikhr ATGM used by the Ka-50/52 is also a direct attack… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Correct – CR3 is far more than a new turret and gun being dropped onto a CR2 hull.
No CR2 (or CR1) has ever been destroyed by enemy fire – a remarkable record.
One CR2 was written off after a blue-on-blue in Iraq. We did not deploy Chally to Afghan. Worth googling M1 Abrams and Leo2 destroyed in combat – a surprisingly high number, especially of the former.
Chally 3 will be excellent but it is expensive, the programme very drawn out and we are not producing enough – we’ll just have two tank regiments.

Last edited 1 year ago by Graham Moore
Conde
Conde
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

If they have DU rounds there should be no contest, not forgetting they won’t be sitting ducks. They almost certainly (if not then that’s plain stupid) will have full cover from LR Artillery, SHORADs, Brimstones as well as troops using Javelins and NLAWS etc.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Conde

Unluckily for T-series Russian tanks, they don’t make much use of spaced armour. Their primarily armour uses a combination of composite steel and explosive reactive armour (ERA). ERA has shown that it can defeat a sabot dart, but it’s not always guaranteed. The best method to defeat a dart is spaced armour. Where the initial armour absorbs a lot of the impact energy, but then causes friction on the dart as it passes through the hole. This causes the dart to destabilize and makes it yaw. Which then strikes the secondary armour obliquely. Which then gives the secondary armour the… Read more »

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

There are no Armatas in Ukraine

Bill
Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

YET

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Ever. You can’t deploy vaporware

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago

Indeed if they do appear it will be desperation they are in short supply still being worked on due to reported serious issues In Libya and would be needed to defend their deluded idea that NATO will invade. Equally the fear of losing any would be humiliating for them.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Syria not Libya I think you mean,

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Even if it were actually ready why would they ruin the export prospects of the last tank family they have a chance of selling?

As a wunderwaffen it has no chance of making a difference in the war, but as an export it could be a lifeline for Russia’s defence industry after the war.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tomartyr
Thomas Afred Came
Thomas Afred Came
1 year ago

We really need to beef up our army! Challenger 3 upgrades look great. But perhaps we also need to look into a total ‘new’ tank

Sean
Sean
1 year ago

We’re observers on Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) – the German, French, Italian project to produce a new MBT.

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

You know how that will end! They will not agree on the spec France will want to be the lead and like most European projects it will fail and everyone will go their own way🙄

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

If they were designing something new, then yes. But these seem to be settled on using the latest Leopard chassis but with the lighter Le Clerc turret. That shaves tons off the weight, has a better auto loader, and only needs 2 not 3 men in the turret.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yes Rheinmetall are hoping that they can sell the Panther as the replacement for Leopard. As it is MGCS is making glacially progress and countries that were looking at it, like Poland, have gone elsewhere.
The Panther does look like a tank that could eat T90s and Armatas for breakfast.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Yeh. Sorry, see you’d clocked Panther on another post here. At the Paris exhib shows a certain chutzpah.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

I agree and given that the Company is now effective owner of our land warfare core business would serious interest by Britain to co produce it not appeal to them?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I think the problem is the serious interest back up with cash. Uk procurement has issues. There have been a lot of projects delayed/stretched out and without a funding increase or dropping some items the Uk seems a bit stretched for new stuff. These delays have just increased costs and the funding is needing to come from next years budgets. A lump sum of £20+ billion could do a lot to fund current projects and allow a kind of fresh start. Pay for challenger 3, typhoon upgrades, rest of Ajax, chinook upgrades, apaches, new medium helicopter, wedge tail and loads… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Rheinmetall is 50% of RBSL. Don’t forget BAE.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

First MGCS is planned to be 2035 (but may slip a few years in reality). Very glacial.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Extremely glacial which is why the Italians tried to form a rival tank project with Poland and Spain, but the Poles instead and went and bought South Korean K2 Black Panther instead.

I suspect the glacial pace is why Rheinmetall has begun developing its own successor to the Leopard, the Panther KF51.

To stop confusion, would all future tank manufacturers please not use the same name as another manufacturer has for their tank? 🤷🏻‍♂️😆)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Good points. I think the MGCS is not for us due to timeline and it may well not be that revolutionary – but we will pick up some design points probably. Our tanks after CR3 must be revolutionary – we have done evolutionary development since Centurion.

I agree about terminology. My minor peeve: I wish people would use CR for Challenger (official army abbreviation) rather than CH (which was always Chieftain).

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

That is downright heresy to suggest the French will have a hissy fit and walk out, Joan of Arc would be screaming at you from her pyre for such views.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

A little unfair – there are many examples of collaborative European military projects.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Get the Germans on the gun and tracks, France the auto loader and sensors, Britain the chassis and armour, suspension and the Italians can do interior and seats.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Germans could do the PowerPack too.
Britain should also do the BV!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

CR3 effectively is a new tank.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 year ago

Think we’re only doing so the German government let there leopards tanks go as there seem a little reluctant to make the first move .Has the leopards are in more numbers and could make a difference .Don’t begrudge the Ukraine getting Equipment and that theses CH2s are in storage but do have mixed feelings about this ,what next Typhoons ?🤔

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew D

If that’s what it takes to get the USA to give Ukraine access to some of its vast store if F16s, then I’d say yes, Typhoons next.

Sooner the Ukranians get modern tanks and aircraft, the sooner Russian is defeated, the sooner the death and destruction stops, AND the sooner the U.K. and other economies stop suffering the collateral damage caused by this war.

Stephen Davis
Stephen Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Typhoon Tranche 1 maybe? Better than scrapping them if we can’t afford to bring them up to the standard of the others?

Chris
Chris
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Davis

MX footprint is too big. Even in peace time it would take years to train the Ukraine Air Force up to operate these jets as they were designed.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago

We are “fighting” a proxy war so anything we can give to the Ukraine must be good. I don’t know what’s knocking about in depot’s, Challengers, Warriors, 432’s, whatever, but move them to the Ukraine NOW.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

You right about that Geoff. We are in a proxy war.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I agree. If Russia takes all of Ukraine it will be a disaster. Luckily the Baltic’s got into nato. Poland would not react well with Russia as its neighbour, then how long before that sparks off.
One big issue is what does the world do about millions of Ukrainian refugees. 3/4 of Ukraine would probably leave.
The Ukrainians are fighting the fight the west has been focused on since WW2. The need lots of help.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Tragically another world problem my friend. Every continent now has a refugee crisis. With China, Iran, North Korea and Russia sticking their noses in for no other reason than their leaders meglomania.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 year ago

Does anyone know if we still have DU APFSDS for the Challenger, and if so would we let the Ukraine have them ?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I think it was just stored.

The rounds are out of date so are no use to UK forces.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 year ago

I am surprised that DU in this case has a shelf life.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

It doesn’t in itself.

Other parts do.

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

Probably has a half life.

Taxi!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

Is the challenger round not separate projectile and charges? I don’t know much about the rounds but would that not mean the DU rod is just a metal rod?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Exactly so.

But the the projectile isn’t just a lump of metal.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

Ahh. I need to do some reading on projectiles.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Stored away. I think the sabot rounds are Tungsten now.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The DU Charm rounds are manufactured by BAe in the UK.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago

Question… one of the reasons why the German’s decided to look at a replacement for the Leopard 2 was that it fired tungsten rather than depleted uranium rounds. From reviewing fighting in the Donbas in 2014, the Germans believed the Leopard might not be able to punch through T80 or T90 armour.

Has this changed? Can the latest Leopards fire depleted uranium?
If not, the Challies could be earmarked for those tank engagements where the Russians field their most modern tanks.

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

The reason we are going Smoothbore 120 mm on CR3 is that it can penetrate the latest Orc armour! As it has greater velocity than what we have now( stand to be corrected).

Last edited 1 year ago by Jacko
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

Agree. The M1A1 was in gulf war 2 and had no trouble cooking up any Russian tank. Considering the gun on the M1A1 is essentially the same 120mm smoothbore as the Leopard 2 firing NATO standard ammo. I’d say this is a non issue. Leopard 2. Leclerc. M1A1 will all be capable of defeating Orc T series tanks from 64 all the way upto T90 series. The only unknown is the heap of junk Aramata. It’s absence from Ukraine is telling. The Russians don’t want the world to see just how rubbish they are.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Except the tanks in Gulf War weren’t T80, T90, or Amartas. Putting the Soviet-era tanks in the Gulf War on par with Russia’s latest designs is equivalent to putting the Challenger 2 en par with the Chieftain.

The M1A1 also, like Chally 2, fires depleted uranian rounds. The Leopard fires tungsten, big difference in performance.

Ref
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/leopard3.htm

Last edited 1 year ago by Sean
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Not many have said that the Armata is rubbish, so you surprise me. Big problem is that there are only about 20 of them. It is not in series production, as I understand.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

My understanding is we’re looking at going that route because we are the only ones using rifled barrels. Switching will allow to use the same munitions as our allies, which has advantages for munitions availability AND access to new exotic rounds being developed for smoothbore guns.
The big downside is that the Chally can’t carry as many rounds after switching to smoothbore.

Personally I’d follow Rheinmetall’s thinking with the KF51 Panther and go for 130mm rather than existing 120mm.

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

So you would go from one end of the spectrum to the other!
130 mm will be ok IF the rest ofNATO accepts it.
The Panther will have to downgrade to 120mm for the above reason if it wants to sell.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

Yes I would given the sales success Rheinmetall had with the Leopard. Plenty of countries will be looking to upgrade from these in the future.
The Russians have moved to 125mm with the Armata, and while there’s few of those in service, it appears the Russians want this larger gun going forward with future designs.

When looking at purchasing your next MBT to last 30 or 40 years, you don’t spec it to defeat your opponents current tanks. You design to beat their next-generation tanks.

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

The Orcs moved from 100 mm in the T62 to 125mm in the T64 onwards mate! The only difference between T72 through toT90 is basically newer sights,reactive armour etc they are all based on the same design.Armata will very likely not be seen in anyones lifetime,they can’t even manufacture T90 with the sanctions in place hence the refurbishing of T62.we can’t go 130 on our own it would put us out of the main supply chain again!

Last edited 1 year ago by Jacko
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

Later T-90s have new turrets better armour and active defence mind (is that the M?). Want to see as some are in Ukraine how they fair, I think a couple with the new turret have been taken out one last week but don’t know if they were full factory spec or how or whether they were taken out through fire and by what or were just effectively abandoned though pics of one had serious damage so got hit by something.

AlexS
AlexS
1 year ago