The decision on how many Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks will be upgraded will not be made until 2021, says Minister Stuart Andrew.

Speaking to Forces TV here, the Minister made clear that the announcements will be made at the beginning of 2021.

The features originally touted by BAE for their ‘Black Night’ upgrade, which no doubt will likely feature as part of any new proposal from the recently created Rheinmetall and BAE launch joint vehicle design venture, include:

  • Active Protection System – Systems allow the tank to detect incoming anti-tank missiles or armour penetrating rounds and automatically launches a counter-explosive to neutralise the threat.
  • Laser Warning System – When targeted by enemy weapon systems, the tank can identify the source of the threat then automatically slew the gun to point at that source, making it quicker for the crew to counter-fire.
  • Regenerative braking – The tank has been made more energy efficient by using less energy-hungry kit and installing regenerative braking in the turret, which generates power when the gun slows down into position.
  • Thermal Imaging Technology – Front and rear infrared cameras (similar to those used in television programmes such as Planet Earth II) provide extremely sharp night imagery, helping troops identify potential threats and move undetected in hostile situations, while also shaving valuable seconds off reaction times.
  • Accelerated fightability – New equipment controlling tank’s weaponry is faster, meaning the crew can identify an enemy, target and engage more quickly.

The Challenger 2 tank, built by BAE Systems in the 1990s, served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. Upgrades are being sought to keep the tank battle-ready for the next twenty years, as part of the Ministry of Defence’s decision to extend the tank’s life until 2035.

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T.S
1 year ago

And I bet by the time we have done all the upgrades it costs nearly as much per tank as a new one. And that’s without addressing the power plant. If we are going to spend lots of money on them, do it properly or not at all.

jiminnorfolk
jiminnorfolk
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

absolutely agree T.S. but when have you known this to happen.

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

I believe the powerplant is being addressed by uprating the existing Rolls Royce condor v12 this is being handled by the contract with caterpillar. It believe they should at least be able to get 1500hp if not more and are working on reducing smoke etc.

GWM
GWM
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon m

Missed that when did that happen?

pete
pete
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon m

The challenger 2E export model had the MTU engine which is smaller,lighter and uses less fuel than the CV12. Increasing the power output with common rail will require extra cooling. This would mean cutting the rear and fitting the hydraulic fan pack off trojan. Good luck with smoke reduction without redesigning the cylinder heads, a low temps the black smoke cloud makes the driver choke if the wind is blowing towards the front!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago

2021, that seems like an awful long time to procrastinate.

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

I’m not sure it will have too much impact as it is now more or less certain RBLS will get the contract as they are the only game in town. This means by the time they have looked at both proposals, decided upon what combination would be likely for one full solution and gotten suppliers together started to plan facilities for production etc. It would be likely be 2021 until they are ready anyway. It may also give the mod time to discuss extra funding from the treasury- we can dream

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago

Depending on which site you read some have said the Chally will get the new smooth bore gun. Some sites have even stated that the engine and gearbox are getting replaced as part of a different program. From the published information I’ve seen, the Chally upgrade is primarily dealing with obsolescent sensors rather than upgrading the drive train or the gun. By giving it the Iron-Fist active protection gives it a better chance against anti-tank guided weapons and has shown it can deflect a FIN round. The tank should still be able to compete against the latest T90s and still… Read more »

T.S
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Well it’s stated that the later versions of the Abraham’s tanks cost the US just shy of $9 million each. Wiki states the budget for the challenger upgrade will be around £650 million, so in theory the budget could get us 50-60 new Abrams tanks in today’s money. Seeing as we are only upgrading 120 tanks potentially, it would seem to me buying new would offer better value for money.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

And then everyone will cry that the gov isn’t protecting British jobs and Tank manufacturing. Damed if they do, damed if they don’t.

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

How on earth are 50-60 tanks better than 148? that we already have parts for mechanics trained on? Nevermind recovery variants, bridgelayer etc.

peter
peter
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

Hard to keep any tank fully fit 50 -60 Abrams would equate to 25 – 30 usable with good supply chain

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

120 tanks is more than 50-60 tanks! And avoids mixed fleet problems.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The issues will come if we don’t upgrade the power plant. Where’s the power for all of these new gubbins coming from?

john
john
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

They will take the boiling vessel away,no more tea.

peter
peter
1 year ago
Reply to  john

Should have proper dummy socket stowage to stop the cable plug getting chopped off!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Modern electronics should reduce the power demand quite substantially, theres also the regenerative braking being added on the turret.

john
john
1 year ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

So we can keep the kettle?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 year ago
Reply to  john

Each time the turret is braked it should recover enough energy to boil around one and a quarter kettles..

Mr Simon Mugford
Mr Simon Mugford
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

The powerplant is being upgraded by caterpillar by adding a new common rail – basically tuning up the existing engine at least 1500hp is achievable

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago

Excellent. I’d not seen this anywhere!

peter
peter
1 year ago

Gearbox and final drive life would suffer, perhaps German leopard transmission would then be required as this is rated for 1500 hp!

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago

And so it goes on and on! What is disappointing are the numbers to be upgraded, possible only 130-150? You have to ask yourself why bother? Britain requires at least 350-500 MBT’s to avoid the begging bowl to request an emergency purchase from a Western power. The idea the UK won’t deploy large numbers of battle tanks in the future, is to forget our recent history.

I still believe it would be expedient to augment the CH2-LEP’s with refurbished M1’s, up to say, 200 hulls? Such an arrangement could pave the way for the UK to co-develop the M1 successor?

Brom
Brom
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

We’re simply not going to have the manpower to run that many MBT’s, 500 is a fantasy

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  Brom

I’d rather have 500 MBT’s at my disposal than 150. The attrition rate of a modern land conflict would see most vehicles in direr need of attention very quickly, and a fleet of 500 could be the minimum number, not the maximum?

Joe16
Joe16
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

You know, that is an argument that I’ve somehow not come across before and it’s actually a very good one! In WWII, we didn’t win because we had better tanks- we won because we had plenty of spare ones that tank crews could jump into when their first one got hit. This apparently happened a lot. Tank crews, contrary to what may be expected, suffered very few casualties in both US and British armies, and I would expect that to be just as true today with the improvements in survivability in tanks. We’re therefore, theoretically, going to need multiple tanks… Read more »

The Ironic Duke
The Ironic Duke
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe16

It OS a very good point but the bean counters will choke on their digestives at the thought of 250/350 tanks just being kept in storage. Of course, it won’t dawn on them that the tanks could be rotated during exercises and such.

Joe16
Joe16
1 year ago

I don’t disagree, I’ve no idea how it would be funded. But it would be naive (and unfortunately I think is the case) that we’re looking at this from the lens of Iraq and Afghanistan, when we didn’t lose a single MBT. That is just not realistic in a peer conflict scenario, and we shouldn’t be operating in that mindset.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

We already have hundreds of tanks and other AFVs in storage. Always have done.

Paul42
Paul42
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sadly not that many Challys. Someone has been selling them……

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

And what else is the defence budget would you sacrifice to pay for 500 MBT’s? Are tanks really what we need more of in this modern era? I’d rather have a few more F35’s or T26’s or increased cyber security.

Cam
Cam
1 year ago
Reply to  Brom

It’s choice if we have the man power, they deliberately cut placements at sandhurst for example, our troop numbers are pure choice, we had army’s far bigger and tank numbers far far bigger not long ago.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

Yes, but we didnt have the technology or the capability back then, id rather have 150 first rate tanks then 500 2nd or 3rd rate tanks, capability lets us stand shoulder to shoulder with the yanks on a first day of war, not lots of average equipment, I wish we could afford capability and good numbers, but that’s the world we live in, and the defence budget can only go so far.

Trevor
Trevor
1 year ago
Reply to  Brom

More than that, just ask the question… “how heavy is a Challenger 2?”

How and where to do we move 500 Challener 2 tanks? Germany and indeed Poland might need hundreds of main battle tanks. In the mean time we happen to have 2 66000tonne aircraft carriers instead… oh and 4 thermonuclear tipped intercontinental missile carrying nuclear propelled submarines.

Horses for courses.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

Agree, and plenty else besides.

Cam
Cam
1 year ago

Yeah,Poland has thousands of MBTs but there on the Russian border so the polish think they need them, we British are pulling out of Germany and our tank numbers totally reflect that, it’s a Shame though, but we will still be keeping tanks in Germany for ages yet.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

Interestingly, at this very moment on Gabs blog is a piece on the Strike Brigades, and difficulty in their deployment. In it the “HET” Heavy Equipment Transporters are discussed. We have less than 100 left, 30 odd have been loaned to the US Army, and we have only 1 Tank Transporter Squadron. The MoD typically having cut the other one. Also typically, what little Railway capability we had has also been cut. I’m unsure if the Reserve has a Railway Squadron left, will check. MoD is trying to plug the usual short sighted cuts now. This all feeds into the… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago

Daniele, Gabs website is top notch, and like him I have severe issues with the mish mash of equipment, both wheels and tracks, in the so called strike Brigade. The strike Brigade will not have enough firepower, reach and resilience for either a low level conflict, nor a peer on peer conflict. It is a military fudge, directed by politicians to try to fit the kit to the role, not the role to the kit. Anyway that’s another subject, best we keep to the long running sitcom we call chally upgrade. Respect!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

Agree mate. It’s tragic.

Move the Ajax back to the Armoured Brigades where they belong, and get Cannons, ATGW, and other variants in an all Boxer Strike Brigade, and we might be in business.

Mate, the Respect is all to you, believe me.

Ulya
Ulya
1 year ago

There are some interesting articles on UK Land Power regarding your tanks and the new strike brigades that are worth reading if you have not done so already

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Ulya

Thank you Ulya. I’m well read on the Strike Brigades, will take a look to see if anything new.

Ulya
Ulya
1 year ago

It is an interesting topic, I have read Gabs site but if you have anymore sites you can recommend I would be pleased

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago

Why does everyone bring up HET for deployment surely any serious armour is going to be deployed by sea? Therefore as long as we have enough HET to get tanks to the port surely that’s enough. Plus if things get bad and we are actually at war damage to our roads would be the least of our worries

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon m

What about the other side of the channel, still might be a 1k road move plus, depending where the armour is needed mate. HET are essential.

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

Possibly the very large point class vessels we have for moving heavy armour? Plus the probably already planned STUFT components Another capability we have

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

350 to 500 MBTs will require more regiments of the RAC to operate them, or cut the Jackal and use the 3 Light Cavalry Regiments that operate it to re equip with more MBTs.

My idea. Keep numbers roughly as is, as we are not a land power, and beef up the RN, RAF, RM, UKSF, and intelligence assets instead.

We have 3 Armoured Regiments, soon to be 2.

We don’t need hundreds of tanks.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago

I think the MBT is still relevant and numbers matter. Ideally, the tank should be designed with more autonomy, so crew numbers can be reduced, but that would require an all new tank. Remember, the US is in truth, not a land power either, yet like the UK, it is asked to police abroad, and when required fight with MBT’s. The UK is the same only on a smaller scale, but 150 MBT’s is too small, if the UK is drawn into a land conflict alongside the US. As for manning, I’d rather have a bruising 60 ton tank than… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Reducing crews on tanks is a false economy. You don’t just have to drive/operate them. You also need to maintain them, and stag on them when not operating etc.
Reducing the crew just means that the same tasks (actually more since you have to maintain the new autonomous systems) fall to fewer people… or you just move people from the tank into a supporting company.

julian1
julian1
1 year ago

I agree with Daniele here – we are not a land power. we have withdrawn from continental Europe both physically and now politically. Who will we fight with 500 tanks? how will we get them there? I would say beef up Apache numbers instead. It offers much greater flexibility and mobility. If we still think Russia is about to launch a land invasion, then we should still have 30,000 troops and BAOR in Germany

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  julian1

I understand your responses, but the MBT is not dead nor will it be any time soon. Too much nonsense has been leveled at the MBT and its usefulness in war. The fact we have fought in two recent (in historical terms) major conflicts with MBT’s, says we could do so again? The threat of a land war has not reseeded, in truth, it’s possibly closer than we think? Strange, that many countries around the World are designing and developing new MBT’s and plan to build them in considerable numbers?

Callum
Callum
1 year ago

Spot on Daniele. NATO has an overabundance of land powers, the single division we can feasibly deploy just isn’t relevant in the context of peer to peer warfare. What NATO doesn’t have is a powerful fleet on this side of the Atlantic: the Norwegian Sea and GIUK gap are wide open for the Russians to exploit. We’re the only NATO member with the means to secure that vast area via MPAs and strike aircraft in Scotland and ships and submarines in the Gap.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Callum

Spot on!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 year ago

With heavy equipment a lot of it is about having it available in store when needed rather than being in constant use all the time. Having more than enough some could be put in warm store then down the line exchanged for the mire worn ones prolonging service life before heavy overhaul required. Another possibility is allowing you to deploy them to different locations and simply move the men around and not have to move their vehicles.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Precisely Watcherzero. Okay, most of Ashchurch is going but other MOD sites (with controlled environment) could house reserve Challengers, that don’t receive the LEP package. It’s better to have stock in reserve than being denied replacements. I’ll be unhappy if the vehicles that don’t get the upgrade are scrapped……I know, wishful thinking.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

On Ashchurch, last I heard it had a stay of execution.

Hope so, given it has railway access and CHE facilities.

Closing sites always has the problem of where to put that capability, resulting in cost, and the need to store thousands of vehicles has not gone away.

Not a simple cut for the beancounters to make.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago

Thanks, Mandelli, that is good news if true. The old place may be a rambling bunch of sheds but it is a remarkable establishment. A lot of money has been spent creating humid free storage, so that should be a good argument to retain it. Why do all these interesting places get replaced by bloody housing estates? It is what it is, a massive depot for our great army and should stay that way!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Agree.

Not sure where else such a place would go. A rail link is a must. Bicester is big but bits are closing and it stores kit and supplies, not vehicles as far as I know. Same with Donnington. Warminster houses the LWC training fleet.

The army is also retaining CHE facilities in Germany at Ayrshire Barracks.

No formality needed, call me Dan 😉

Bob
Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Only the hanger they show visitors!

peter
peter
1 year ago

It would perhaps be better to build a new storage facility if the land is high value. However it seems cost of transporting all the vehicles is too expensive. Somewhere near Salisbury would be a better location!

peter
peter
1 year ago

Asbestos problem has closed Aschurch, with all the housing built round it this could be a problem. A new facility built near Salisbury would be the best solution with the Aschurch land sold off to fund a new site once it is cleaned up. Some idiot thought it should be closed with the vehicles moved at great expense to Germany!

Smudge
Smudge
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

70 units have already been scrapped. We are down from 384 to just over 300 total stock.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago

I’m a long time served army guy and I agree. We need more reach, more ships and air power, in order to project an offensive capability. If we get to the stage we are using our armoured and field forces in a general conflict, we are f#cked! We will always need the ability to adopt an offensive posture and capability, and that needs to be relatively quick. That means air power, and ships. Our ability to assist a land invasion of Europe, which may or may not come, will need to be air power, warships, and the ability to move… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

One area of the army I would like to see expanded is yours.

16AA has had bits of its CS and CSS removed.

Same with the RM.

RM, The Parachute Regiment, and the Gurkhas who have no recruitment issues, should be our rapid reaction, raiding forces, supporting DSF.

Keep the heavy stuff the size it is. But improve the enablers and other logistics.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago

The loggies, Sigs, OS support have all been decimated in the Brigade mate, as I’m sure you are aware. We are becoming a bit of a paper tiger. However logisitic support in the form of CS and CSS are the make or break of any operation. However they aren’t as glamourous and therefore don’t get as many shiny items which politicians like to stand next to for a photo op, or put on lists in the daily mail.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yes, I agree we should build up our Navy and Airforce. We should also build up 16AA, as they should still be used for plugging gaps and attacking the rear etc. However, I still believe we need a credible heavy force and yes a strike brigade. I am convinced that the strike brigade concept can be made to work, but it needs investment and the right kit i.e. all wheeled. It must have the capacity to be defensive and offensive so will need vehicles mounting a direct fire weapon, IFV with ATGM, dedicated anti-tank vehicle, short range air defences plus… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Apparently RUSI have recommended some form of SP AA weapon to combat UAVs in the Strike Brigades too.

The British Army is woefully equipped concerning air defence, with 2 regular regiments left.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
1 year ago

Totally agree

MattW
MattW
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

When will the UK ever need that many Tanks, when will we ever be in a ground based mechanised infantry assault requiring that much armor….350-500 is just pink fairy dust…

You have to look at modern warfare, its surgical strikes from long range, smart bombs hitting required targets, then mechanised groups move in with ground cover from Helicopters and Ground strike aircraft.. The days of Rommel and such are long gone imo.

Tom
Tom
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

Test

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago

No rush then! After all, why would we need to build up our armed forces at little more than a snail’s pace?

“China tests anti-ship missile in South China Sea, Pentagon says”
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/03/asia/south-china-sea-missile-test-intl-hnk/index.html

And build a brand new tank as well when Rheinmetall and BAE have joined forces? Silly idea!!!

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I’d wager they’re waiting to see what the outcome of Brexit and the next election are before committing to numbers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago

Let’s kick the can down the road.

Will be interesting how much the MoD gets milked for this, considering by then we will have 2 Regiments left.

Ian
Ian
1 year ago

Hardly rocket science!

Rheinmetall has the 130mm gun, whilst BAE has the chassis, power unit (UK Manufactured Perkins), armour, Future Orders to invest in RaD…

How that equates to a 55% majority share beats me!

pete
pete
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian

Perkins is now owned by cat’ so that would be American, its a heavy large lump and should be replaced by the MTU engine which is smaller, lighter ,more powerful and uses less fuel. fitting common rail to the perkins as proposed by BAE to increase power would require the rear of the tank chopped out to fit a hydraulic fan drive cooling system as in the titan and trojan to get rid of the extra heat.

Ian
Ian
1 year ago
Reply to  pete

“UK manufactured”.
Yes, fully aware of CAT being the parent company.
I’m of the opinion that BAE should/could develop a totally new tank, capable of competing with the best MBTs.
Smooth bore guns are of relatively basic engineering and we already have the next generation munitions technologies.
We really need to start investing in our industries again! Especially coming out of the EU.

Stephen
Stephen
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian

Surely the new joint venture with Rheinmetall will be the obvious choice for a new British M.B.T.? (and also the new German one, and no doubt export orders too). That would safeguard British engineering jobs. The best of British engineering combined with the best of German engineering, I dare say it’d be something special.

Also, surely the future is un-manned?

Also agree about the smooth bore, rifled barrels are more accurate, this will give our tanks the edge in battle, we have to stick with this.

Ian
Ian
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

The problem is, Rheinmetall don’t make the Leopard Tank, they only supply the gun.
The German MBT is produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
This is why I question the whole deal.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

The problem with remotely operated vehicles is they can have their communications easily disrupted. Therefore, the vehicle will need a very high level of artificial intelligence. But then do you give the decision of firing the weapon to the vehicle’s AI?

Gandalf
Gandalf
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

FYI, that ship has sailed
France and Germany are already working on a new tank MGCS. KNDS is a merger between KMW and Nexter and it was finalized in 2015. They even made a technology demonstrator to showcase they could work together with EMBT that was displayed at Eurostaory 2018, which is a first stage to develop the MGCS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KMW%2BNexter_Defense_Systems
It’s pure fantasy to think that Germany will fund/develop a second MBT project with UK.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian

Rocket science? We will leave that to the RA lol

Charlie
Charlie
1 year ago

To be fair, an active protection system is very good news. Everything I can find about the testing of it suggests it is very, very effective. Could be a game changer.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Charlie

The Israeli Merkavas have been using the Trophy system for at least the last 5 years. Before it was fitted, they got a severe mauling with a high number of crew casualties, when they crossed into the West bank. After fitting they didn’t lose one crew member. The Trophy system is battle tested against most ATGM and RPGs. It has proven itself against multiple simultaneous targets, with some of the attacks captured on Youtube. The Chally Blacknight fitted with the Iron Fist system is in my opinion better than the Trophy, in trials it has proven that it can deflect… Read more »

Dan
Dan
1 year ago

“Accelerated fightability”? At least we know the MoD is still able to innovate when it comes to jargon!

Mike O
Mike O
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

“Accelerated fightability” It is an excellent example. It may be my new favourite bit of management speak. It is good the MOD can still implement synergistic methodologies whilst underscoring collaborative schemas in order to envisioneer mission-critical channels with the final aim of engineering customised deliverables. Good for them.

david pope
david pope
1 year ago

Been in the forces served 15 year. Love Reading your comments.
IT’S NOT WHAT YOUR ENEMIES HAVE BUT WHAT YOUR ENEMIES THINK YOU HAVE OR HAVE NOT.
DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU ARE TOLD.

Cam
Cam
1 year ago

Lucky if we have 150 when they are done! It’s so embarrassing! I bet we can build new tanks for cheaper in the end!

Expat
Expat
1 year ago

Most of the development work for the upgrade was done in 2018 so by 2021 will be 3 years old already, and that just the decision to be made how long to complete the upgrade? Were like to be fitting equipment that is already becoming dated. As an example the thermal imaging cameras have been used commercially for a few years already.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago

It appears we are at least aware of the current problem?

“LONDON – Britain has fallen behind its allies and potential adversaries in key armoured combat vehicle capabilities and must do more to become a force to be reckoned with, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has warned.”

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/06/05/will-the-stars-finally-align-to-upgrade-britains-obsolete-tanks/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“Britain declined the opportunity to buy a fleet of German tanks due to “worry about negative press headlines,” a defence source has claimed.
German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann offered to sell between 100 and 400 second-hand Leopard 2 tanks to the Ministry of Defence in 2015, but despite it being allegedly the best deal, the offer was turned down.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ministry-of-defence-mod-german-tank-deal-manufacturer-krauss-maffei-wegmann-leopard-2-tank-fear-a7510681.html

jiminnorfolk
jiminnorfolk
1 year ago

The upgrade will probably be a change of name knowing GB plc.

dan
dan
1 year ago

Let’s hope the Challenger 2 gets an APS system sooner than later because now ATGMs are the new RPG for insurgents everywhere now since the Syrian War. I bet all those unused ATGMs have ended up all over the world by now. Just look what happened to the Turks with their Leopard tanks in northern Syria. They were slaughtered.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

To be fair to the Turks, the Leopards they lost were very basic 2A4s and did not have additional bar or ceramic armour. The base armour of a Leopard 2 is bloody thin compared to a Challys base armour. It’s compelling that the mish mash of opposition forces in Syria are using both Russian, Chinese and Western ATGM. One of the Leopards was taken out with a TOW, so where did they get that from?

dan
dan
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The TOWs that destroyed those Turk Leopards was an older version comparable to some of the Russian stuff that terrorists organizations currently have. The most modern Israeli Merkava 4 tanks didn’t fair very well either a few years back against Russian ATGMs when they lacked an APS system. Hence the rush to equip the West’s MBTs with an APS system.

Lee H
Lee H
1 year ago

Good morning all This shows what an absolute shambles the MoD has become, despite the excuses and protestations that will follow on “thethinpinstripeline”. This has been dragging on for 10 years now. The Army need a new tank, at the moment they are slowly killing of a capability that has been steadily reduced since the early 2000’s. This comes from a lack of leadership, vision and strategic decision making at the top of the MoD that is now starting to directly affect the combat capability they are supposed to be there to maintain and grow. The UK has a great… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago

The UK Land Power site adds an extra dimension on this issue, from what I gather is an erstwhile insider; but the ultimate conclusion can still be summed up as, if we had more money….., though looks as if the Army could do with some outside help in coherent forward planning to me. The author seems to think that the RAF & RN top brass have gone a long way along the coherence route, interestingly, which considering how often the army’s had the CDS role seems somewhat surreal; and I do note that the new 1SL does not seem to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

It’s not really fair to compare the three services. The RN hasn’t really been needed for a long time and is effectively preparing for yesterday’s war without that assumption being challenged. The air force is there to drop bombs and is pretty simple to buy for, and most war options needing the same kit. They have also not been challenged in the air for a long time The army however has to prepare for a number of threats from top and bottom end, each requiring different kit within a really tight budget. They have also been tested time and time… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Germany isn’t “getting it’s finger out” because it’s stingy. It’s not doing it because Military spending and activity is viewed with EXTREME suspicion by Germans and Europeans (and Americans too). Just look at some of the reactions to the idea that Germany and France might want to co-operate on an aircraft carrier. Even in defence quarters, an area that is always screaming for more German defence spending the cry “Fourth Reich” was instantly raised. Ideally Germany would of course become the premier European Land Power, but until we’ve worked out a lot of bad feelings and national trauma that’s not… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Dern

Good Morning, Dern. I very much regret that Germany’s time to sort out it’s bad feelings & trauma, very understandable during the latter 20th century of course, has expired now that we’re experiencing increasingly volatile state-on-state antagonism. Of course all democratic peoples are reluctant to face potential aggression when it begins to surface (which is a very reassuring opening reaction), whether American, British, German, Japanese or whoever, but they do face their commensurate responsibilities when required:- America has never stopped umbrella-ing us all within NATO and beyond; Britain did it’s best for Europe, and is clearly still having that discussion… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Gavin, you, as an individual, may feel like it’s time for Germany to forget it’s past Trauma, however it’s not up to you. As a culture we still revel in WW2 movies and video games, we still chant “2 world wars and 1 world cup” at football games, we still shout cries of “4th Reich” whenever we hear of increased German defence spending. The German people still struggle heavily with this, and over the last 80 odd years have developed a massive pacifist streak as a result. You can say what you think it needs but until the underlying trauma… Read more »

T.S
1 year ago

Just read on Janes that the decision to delay is to conduct further studies on replacing the main gun.

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

That would be sensible if the 130mm is around the corner then waiting a year or 2 would be best especially with a smaller fleet

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago

A question for the experts, would it not be a better option to purchase these rather than upgrading the Chally? Surley we can add to it if required?

“Leopard 2 A7+ Main Battle Tank”
https://www.army-technology.com/projects/leopard-2-a7-main-battle-tank/

Gandalf
Gandalf
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

If purchase is urgent, the EMBT would be better 😉 the “LeoClerc” combines the best of both tanks in one platform, while KNDS further develops the concept into the MCGS
https://www.military.com/video/european-main-battle-tank-embt-field-testing
It was made as a technological demonstrator, but they have said they would sell it if asked

peter french
peter french
1 year ago

Please be advised, Russia, Challenger will no be able to confront you till at least 2015, so u have plenty of time .

Pathetic

simon richards
simon richards
1 year ago

upgrading the challenger is a waist of time tell bae to get off there asses and build a new one russia has

Wayne R
Wayne R
1 year ago

We have been in need of this upgrade for CR2 for a long time. I look forward to hearing the details of the new vehicle. It is good to see the only high end war fighting division improved with the Warrior CSP, the Challenger 2 upgrade and the CVRT replacement AJAX. I would like us to retain three Armoured Infantry (AI) bdes with one Strike bde. Rapid deployability is important but if your fighting unit is not up to the task of fighting want you are up against you rapidly lose. A upgraded AI bde is a fearsome formation especially… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Wayne R

There’s the catch.

They could have retained the 3 AI Brigades and converted one of the 2 “deployable” Infantry Brigades in the Adaptable Force ( just a collection of orphaned units with little or no supporting assets in reality )

But there would be no cut in that would there Mod….

Wayne R
Wayne R
1 year ago

I completely agree.
1Div could have been the home of the new Strike Bdes. Add that to the Protected Mobility units already there and suddenly you have a mixed bag of deployable bdes ready for most types of conflict. I’m sure they looked at it before, possibly still are? Cost will be the driver for all this.

matacaster
matacaster
1 year ago

The automatic positioning of the turret when a laser designator is detected sounds great – but what if a cunning opponent deploys a number of soldiers with small lasers at disparate points? Will the turret be pointing all over the place?