The Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme is designed to replace obsolete equipment, enhance protection, increase range and provide improved lethality of the tank until an out of service date of 2035 – extending its life from 2025.
Teams led by Rheinmetall Landsystem and BAE Systems had been chosen as preferred bidders for the assessment phase by the MoD. The Rheinmetall consortium includes BMT, Pearson Engineering, Supacat, and Thales UK and includes an option to retrofit Rheinmetall’s 120mm L55 smoothbore gun should additional funds be made available. The BAE team includes General Dynamics UK, Qinetiq, Leonardo, Moog and Safran.
Chris Stephens, Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Fair Work and Employment, asked via a written question.
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent progress he has made on procurement under the (a) MRVP, (b) MIV and (c) Challenger 2 Life Extension programmes; and if he will make a statement.”
James Heappey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement, responded:
“The Multi-Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P) programme is being delivered in two packages. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) has been identified as the preferred option for Package 1, Command, Liaison and Logistic Vehicles, procured through a US Foreign Military Sales case. A decision on the procurement of JLTV is due this year. For Package 2, Troop Carrying Vehicles and Future Protected Battlefield Ambulances, the competition is ongoing. Subject to the conclusion of current negotiations and internal approvals, the competition winner is planned to be on contract later this year.
For the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme, a contract was signed on 4 November 2019 between OCCAR and ARTEC. The Ministry of Defence aims to have the first vehicles delivered in 2023.
On the Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme (CR2 LEP), further to the expanded Assessment Phase, work is ongoing and current plans are for an investment decision in late 2020.”
The full scope of the LEP is indicated (via a Royal Tank Regiment newsletter) as being broken down into four areas:
- Surveillance and Target Acquisition: Updated Commanders Primary Sight, Updated Gunners Primary Sight, Replacement Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sights (TOGS) and, 3rd Generation Thermal Imaging (TI).
- Weapon Control System: Fire Control Computer (FCC), Fire Control Panel (FCP) and, Gun Processing Unit (GPU)
- Mobility (Through In-Service Efficiencies): 3rd Generation (Horstman) Hydrogas Suspension, Improved Air Filtration, CV-12 Common Rail Fuel Injection, Transmission and, Cooling.
- Electronic Architecture (Modernised Electronics): Gunners Control Handles, Video Distribution Architecture, Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) Compliant Interfaces, Increased On-board Processing and, Improved Human Machine Interface (HMI).