The British Army will upgrade of its main battle tanks to ‘Challenger III’ standard, the rest will be retired.
The Defence Command Paper released today, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, states:
“Modernising the Army will mean some legacy platforms that have already been extended beyond their planned life will be retired.
In doing so, the Army will be able to invest new funds into accelerating the in service date of the Boxer armoured vehicle and enhancing its capability.
Boxer will allow the Army to respond at pace to deliver soldiers around the battlefield, travelling long distances quickly, cross country, and in the most austere and hostile environments.
As planned, the Army will invest around £1.3bn in our armoured capability by upgrading 148 of our main battle tanks to ensure the Challenger III will become one of the most protected and most lethal in Europe. The remaining fleet will be retired.”
The current fleet size is 227.
It is understood that Challenger 3 specification features new turrets and a Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun used by other Western forces.
This defence review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War.