DSEI 2021 – Two Challeger 3 bound Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore L55A1 weapons for testing and trialling have now entered production, ahead of schedule, at Rheinmetall’s Unterluss facility.

The weapon is a key component to the Challenger 3 upgrade programme, which aims to deliver “the most capable tank in NATO”.

Steel has been cut to form the gun barrel, the breechblock encasing the firing mechanism, and the weapon mounts attaching the gun to the turret.

Rheinmetall

“Following production, the smoothbore guns will be integrated, tested and validated before delivery to Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) in the UK for integration with the new digital turret. As announced in May 2021, RBSL will be transforming 148 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) into the new Challenger 3 configuration for the British Army. The latest Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore is a key capability upgrade. The gun is state-of-the-art, firing world-class Kinetic Energy tank rounds and the latest programmable High Explosive multipurpose ammunition. Performance is also optimised with the latest gun and fire control system technology.

The smoothbore gun fires the most advanced, high-performance penetrators, bringing assured lethality to the UK. This element of the Challenger 3 upgrade also ensures UK interoperability with other NATO users. Challenger 3’s upgraded lethality sits alongside a new armour system that provides the highest standards of protection for the crew, with work underway to incorporate Active Protection Systems. Challenger 3 will also receive improved long-range Commander and Gunner primary sights with automatic detection and tracking, plus integrated day and night thermal modes of operation.”

Colonel Will Waugh, Armour Main Battle Tank Programme Director for the British Army, said:

“This is another and early step forward on the path to delivering a genuinely world-class MBT for the British Army. Pairing the tried and tested L55A1 smoothbore gun with the latest kinetic energy ammunition and programmable secondary natures will give CR3 a step change in the lethality over CR2.”

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dave12
dave12
8 days ago

I really dont know why they bother .

Last edited 8 days ago by dave12
Ulya
Ulya
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Serious question for a change Dave, why your comment? You disagree with upgrade or just numbers involved?

dave12
dave12
8 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Its the numbers Uyla ,its a great tank but 150 is useless ,yes the UK gov has prioritized the navy as we are a Island nation ,but we also need and army that can at least take and hold ground and the the tank is major part of that , 150 is not going to cut it in my opinion and so in some who have served.
I’m hoping its just a stop gap till the next gen comes a long.

Last edited 8 days ago by dave12
Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Totaly agree Dave, many forget that even in todays climate the blokes will/may need to fight, take and hold ground for whatever mission/task is required. However, and its a big however, im a firm believer that we should never get rid of any capability, as once its gone, getting it back, if needed, is virtualy impossible. 148 is absolute minimum (along with many other platforms at minimum) but it retains our ability to deploy something. I would like to see more, but than agin I would like to see an Armoured Divsions be equipped as an Armoured Divison (I like… Read more »

dave12
dave12
8 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

👍
Cheers AB always interesting from your point of view.

Last edited 8 days ago by dave12
Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I second that! Even during the Cold War, the BAOR’s life expectancy was about a week from sustained conflict/contact and that was with 500 or so Chieftain/Challenger Mk1s. Where it was hoped that they would provide enough of a sacrifice to slow the Warsaw Pact down enough to enable France and Spain to bring up their armour, but also to get the UK’s remaining armour across the Channel and ready to roll east. Which was hopefully enough to delay the Warsaw Pact’s westward march, to then allow the US to get their armour across the Atlantic. Today, there is no… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Spot on mate. Great example of the correct use of modern, efective and well deployed and crewed tanks in modern asymetric warfare. As for the reinforcing BAOR in the cold war, good old 24 Air mobile was an excellent concept, with light role, deployable teams, with extra Milans to provide a kintex fist to fill in the gaps and prevent breakthroughs. Thats something we could still provide, with a couple of re-roled light role Bns, shed loads of Jav teams, and give the Army wildcats a more useful role. This is something that is relatively cheap yet effective and deployable… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

kintex…wtf…kinetic.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Mate, that was a bloody scary contact. It was on the road from Kandahar to Kabul near a town called Ghazni. Remember the phrase from Zulu? Well it was pretty much like that. We estimated from the dead that we faced a force of around 250. Went dry on the Foxhound’s GMPG and had to go tactical. In all I remember checking my mags after the contact and had 8 rounds left, that included the 150 in the bandolier and I carried 8 mags. Those were all single shots, not spray and pray. I even called in a pair of… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Welcome to the Stan indeed!!!! That place never ceased to amaze and surprise mate! No matter how ill prepared or on a back foot you think the Talibs were they can always surprise us! And Ghazni, damn as a history buff that is quite a historic town and area, right from the early Greek culture right up to the 1st Anglo Afghan war when the citadel was attacked and burnt. Never operated around there mate, always seemed to be Sangin, MQ or bloody Nowzad. I’ve got to say all the tours and time I was in theatre I would always… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
8 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

If you have time I would recommend Robert’s Ridge. It shows how something benign can quickly be turned into a shit show. One thing that did come out of it, was that the Chinook’s miniguns were modified to run from AC to DC. Beforehand if the aircraft wasn’t powered the guns wouldn’t work. The miniguns would have made a difference to what happened on that mountain. Since that event, the guns are DC powered via a rechargeable battery. The FOB I was billeted at during my last tour was in Khandahar town. Lots of markets and shops selling pretty much… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Mate, bear came over the mountain was the book bloody predictive txt. Yes the citadel in khandahar, which loosely translated as Alexander in the caucuses! However they reckon Alexander’s campaign in the region he certainly founded very many “Alexander’s wherevers” all along the Greek lines. In fact so many people have no idea that the region of Bactria and others all had cities with the same grandeur and buildings as Macedonia at the time (although dried mud featured very common in the buildings and as we know that stuff is bloody tough to get through) anyway I digress once again.… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Roberts Ridge I will amazon prime that, cheers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

“I remember 24 and 16AA. I think the concept would still be doable, but we need to look at a dedicated aircraft to support them.”

To be fair I think we had as few RAF SHF helis then as now.
Just 1 squadron each of Puma and Chinook in RAFG if memory serves me well. The other Puma squadron in the Uk was for the AMF and Norway.

The brigade had 3 battalions and over 60 Milan FP.

geoff
geoff
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Morning Davey. What was the Phrase from Zulu?

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  geoff

“Thousands of them, sir!”

geoff
geoff
7 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Of course-Zulus coming over the horizon! Zulu was of course about Rorke’s Drift(driven past but not been there) but the bigger Battle was the day before at Isandlwana. I visited the site twice in the company of the late great David Rattray. We sat on the Sphinx shaped slope-half way up on the spot where one of the last skirmishes took place- a small group of British soldiers on this elevated position were overrun and killed by Zulus mopping up all over the battlefield. Dave could literally reduce us-men and women,to tears in his talks. I also have a friend… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I agree Airborne. I was in 24 Inf Bde in the mid-80s (before it went airmobile) and we had 24 Milan FPs per battalion (72 in all) and Saxon to move us to the Continent at speed. Saxon got bad press (much of it exagerrated, with some numties trying to compare it to Warrior etc!) but in that role it was very good. I was also in Colchester with 16 AA Bde in 2006-9, before the cuts to the brigade. Its role seems to be to supply paras at very short notice to places where there has been a cluster****.… Read more »

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I seem to remember that once being bounced out of camp on Active Edge we would only last a week before the Russians would be at the Channel. Probably even less these days if they could keep their supply chains up.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

I don’t remember it was as a little as a week – we did have some advantages over the WP which are glossed over. I will have to re-read Hackett’s book to see how long he thought we would last. It was telling that every exercise ended in a NBC phase as we (simulated) launched tactical nukes to hold the hordes back.

JohninMK
JohninMK
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

With the advent of cruise and highly accurate cruise missiles it is likely that there will be no resupply, the ports and airfields will be rubble. If the next war is peer to peer then all will fight with what they have already in position. Hence the prepositioning of US gear all over the place. If the Challenger 3 are in the UK their main task could well be very defensive indeed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Interesting point. We have only ever used our tanks overseas since 1916. At least some of them (or even most of them) should be pre-positioned in Germany in the BAG vehicle depots (Paderborn and Moenchengladbach). Armoured regiments only hold small numbers of primary equipment these days.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Good answer. I recall when the Canadians were on the point of giving up their Leo1s (C1s) and to come out of the armoured warfare business. Thank good ness they hada change of heart and actually modernised their tank force. I despair at amateur armchair critics talk about the demise of the tank and its replacement by drones and cyber gadgets.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

It’s hard to argue with a tank. There’s little else that can do the same thing as a big, heavy armoured vehicle with a massive gun on it. And whether it moves by wheels or tracks, effectively it’s a tank. The only thing that I disagree with is leaving the mass of heavy armour to Allies, because like it or not, high end conflict on the ground will get you the senior negotiating positions, while, admittedly important, support in secondary rear echelon theatres, will always be seen as perfidious Albion shirking the real fighting. Especially if we maintain the idea… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Relevant points mate for sure, good points of view to discuss. But yes, we dont want to lose our hard won reputation for always being up for a fight and willing to deploy assets when needed mate. Not many nations want, or able to be day one door kickers in. Cheers.

Ulya
Ulya
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Thank you Dave, agree numbers are low, to me it is made even worse by very confusing mod idea of what your army should be when it is seems such a simple question and solution for a small army but I do agree it makes sense for navy to be first priority

dave12
dave12
8 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

I agree there seems to be some confusion on future Equipment
and roles but then again I’m no expert, but the government will stretch them knowing the troops are some of the best trained in the world.

Ulya
Ulya
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

There is no argument your soldats are good, I have been reading about your military since being little girl but equipment is only part of the problem, the lack of clear idea of what your army should be organised as and the emotion behind keeping historical regiments blinds the military to practical or logical decision. You want heavy brigades but they lack depth, you want strike brigade (or did) but don’t arm properly and they lack depth and then you have all these under strength light battalion that do what apart from keeping history alive? You cannot decide on what… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Ulya, we have amalgamated historic regiments on a continuous basis. Some regiments only last 25 or 30 years before they are merged again.
There is still a role for light battalions, I would argue. The paras that went to Kabul airport were light role.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Is there confusion? We have the Joint Operating Concept document, have just had the Integrated Review which described Briatains place in the world and then had the Defence Review. Orbats have been well honed and the field army is based around a number of BCTs.

How can there be confusion? What don’t people know?

I agree that ‘Global Britain’ requires a pre-eminent navy – ours should be second only to the USN and significantly better than the French navy.

Reaper
Reaper
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

We should atleast convert all of the 227 we reduced the numbers to last time!, there must be challys in storage somewhere, anyone know? And where?

dave12
dave12
8 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Yeah that’s what I’ve been saying . I mentioned it before on similar post and I think DM corrected me but I heard from a former tankie they are stored in Ashchurch at the moment.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  dave12

With the closure of Ludgershall many years ago, there is only Ashchurch in UK to store A Vehicles. Some vehicles are in Moenchengladbach in store too (don’t know if that includes CR2s).
As far as I know no CR2 has been scrapped and certainly none have been sold but quite a few in storage will have been stripped for parts and left as ‘Christmas trees’ as the expression goes.

dave12
dave12
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Cheers I did not know Ashchurch was the only place.

John Clark
John Clark
8 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

The problem is (and I absolutely agree with 227 Reaper) the new force structure calls for two armoured Brigades, so 50 Chally3 a piece, the rest in maintenance and training facilities. It’s enough to equip the force structure ‘as defined’. Is it enough, nope, we need three Armoured Brigades, allowing us to deploy an Armoured Division with 100 plus Chally3 at its core. I can only hope they (the people in the know) are confident that the envisioned future combined arms force of a single Brigade, backed up by Spear3 equipped fighters, UCAV’s, swarming drones and AH64E will provide a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

We bought 408 CR2, but only declare 227 now.

‘Surplus’ CR2s will be stored in Ashchurch and some may be in Moenchengladbach in store too.

Quite a few in storage will have been stripped for parts and left as ‘Christmas trees’ as the expression goes.

Johan
Johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

you are Forgetting the ones on Foreign ranges, Canada has a group and others have been spare parted.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  dave12

150 is not useless.
It’s 150 better than nothing.

dave12
dave12
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I would not like to think that no tanks was ever a option.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  dave12

You’d hope so, but that was the scuttlebut in the press pre-defence review.

Johan
Johan
6 days ago
Reply to  dave12

150 Look around the European Armies and compare numbers, Wherein a Current conflict does an MBT need to arise.
they are no good defending the UK as there too big.

And pretty sure an Apache is more mobile than a MBT, and time there all finished the next great thing will come Along.

Same as changes in history, need smarter weapons

dave12
dave12
6 days ago
Reply to  Johan

No offence Johan but i will take my army knowledge from people who have experience , who say the same argument as what I said. No offence if you served.

Matt McDonnell
Matt McDonnell
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

I have no issues with the numbers as long as we have a back up to 150 x Challenger 2. We have seen from the armenian war that drones can make tanks look very vulnerable, if we are saying when the army enters the field of war we have 150 x challenger 2, 50+ upto date apache, backed by drone swarms etc then surely this could be a very effective way of fighting a battle

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt McDonnell

We learned from Gulf War that ATGM’s make tanks look very vulnerable.
We learned from the Chechnian war that infantry with RPG’s can make tanks look very vulnerable.
We learned from Operation Overlord that Typhoons with Rockets make tanks look pretty vulnerable.
We learned from the Winter War that Molotov Cocktails can make tanks look very vulnerable.

At the end of the day all that the Armenian War really showed was that Tanks need to be properly supported or they’re vulnerable.
Which… isn’t anything new.

dave12
dave12
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well said spot on.

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The wars against Hamas and Hezbollah 2006 and onwards, showed that even the then brand new Merkava Mk4 was susceptible to ambush by RPGs and ATGMs. They lost quite a few crews to ATGMs. This led to a urgent requirement for a way to defend the tank against these threats whether it’s in an open field or in an urban environment. The led to the creation of Trophy active protection system (APS). Trophy uses both radar and IR sensors for threat detection. Once a threat has been validated, it then slews an effector (think of a claymore mine) towards it.… Read more »

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Quite, just like in the interwar period high-calibre anti tank rifles where quite the threat for tanks, and tank design adapted to that with thicker armour and skirts to protect tracks.

Drones of course are a threat to tanks, just like every anti-tank weapon has been since the Germans aimed a 76mm field gun at a MkI in 1916, but that doesn’t mean that, as you pointed out, design and doctrine isn’t capable of mitigating that threat.

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Pretty much spot on mate.

Johan
Johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Agree you can have the best Tank in the World, yet some brave bugger with a sticky bomb can spoil your day.

why should the UK taxpayer spend Billions on 300-400 tanks to defend Germany from Russia when they just built a tank highway alongside that nice gas pipeline.

The UK is moving away from defending Europe as there is such an ungrateful lot.

personly if it came to it and Europe was invaded, i would say have them, but defend my own country.

Dern
Dern
6 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Because the UK taxpayer isn’t spending billions to defend Germany? Germany is at precisely zero threat from Russia, it’s not 1990, in fact Germany is in a great position surrounded by friendly powers who have precisely zero beef with them, which ironically is one of the reasons why its hard to get the German government to increase the defence budget, the German taxpayer, who is less hawkish than the British one, simply turns around and asks why they should spend billions defending Estonia. The rest of your post is pretty much ranty brexit drivel and divorced from reality so I’ll… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Matt McDonnell

Everything on the battlefield is vulnerable to something – doesn’t mean you scrap it. MBTs are less vulnerable than any other less well protected weapon system.

Are you suggesting we have 138 CR3s backed up by 150 CR2s?

We are only declaring 227 tanks (of the 408 bought), by which I read 227 tanks in good to fair condition – and 181 tanks in storage in rag order.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
8 days ago

That name is such a cynical move. Really irks me

AlexS
AlexS
8 days ago

The 3?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago

True. Previously a first upgrade would be called CR2 Mk2.

Ian M
Ian M
8 days ago

“Challenger 3 will also receive improved long-range Commander and Gunner primary sights with automatic detection and tracking, plus integrated day and night thermal modes of operation.”

Exactly the same system as used in Ajax, made by Thales, Glasgow.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
8 days ago

Pity 148 tanks is pretty much a waste of time. A token force.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Assuming you were so desperate that you had to throw the training org’s tanks into the mix, I agree that 138 is too few to be in the first echelon against Russian hordes but is enough for use as a NATO reserve.

We used 112 tanks on Op Telic, Iraq, 2003 – so 138 tanks would be enough to replicate that feat of arms.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
8 days ago

Right now I don’t give a sh– as to numbers. If MoD/UK Land Forces can get something that shoots like a tank & moves like a tank without destroying itself or the crew long before the enemy get a chance, then I’ll count that as a result.

Bakes
Bakes
8 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Are tanks not obsolete now anyway if you have air superiority due to attack helicopters such as the Apache and the advancements in jets and precision bombing?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
8 days ago
Reply to  Bakes

I’m content to wait until our adversaries put that money where their mouths are. Can say pretty much the same for all currently accepted weapons platforms: Air, Land, Sea.
Regards

John Hartley
John Hartley
8 days ago
Reply to  Bakes

An Apache cannot hold a spot of ground for 24 hours. Aircraft have limited endurance.

Johan
Johan
6 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

how much ammo will a CR3 hold? and an Airstrike from a fast jet and it won’t be holding anything.

Air superiority over holding a hole in the ground, Tanks still have a purpose.
just not a force they once were and if everyone has the same is a stalemate.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  Bakes

If the tank is equipped with Trophy APS that can defeat Hellfire, what will the Apache do next? (Depending on how quickly the tank crew can replenish the Trophy’s effectors and how many Hellfires the Apache is carrying.)

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  Bakes

Not at all, tanks are like any other platform, as threats change it needs to change to counter those threats, both active/passive defences and tech, with a differing and relevent TTPs. All systems and weapons are the same, and with the right planning, ideas and funding they will be as relevent as long as armour is needed, cheers.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Bakes

Bakes,

If the best protected, most mobile, direct fire heavy gun system is considered vulnerable and hence obsolete, then so too is everything else on the battlefield down to and including the dismounted soldier. May as well scrap the entire field army.

Also, how many countries with tanks are cutting them from the Orbat? Only Belgium did, and then only for financial reasons. Many other tank owning nations, especially Russia, is modernising and recapitalising their tank fleet. Scrap western MBTs when Russia is producing Armata? No way Jose!

Johan
Johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

How do you get your Armata which currently total less than 20 over the English Channel?
150 CH3s seems good compared to 20 Armata which haven’t even been tested. and only intend on building 132.
stopped the development of the T80s for the Arms,

of the 376 Ch2s ordered this included all variants on the chassis
33=Titans
33=Trojans
33= CRARRV22=Driver Trainers

so losing some 120 chasis of which some were restructured Ch1s but still counted as Ch2s of the order of 376 MBTs equals 256 MBTs

so brings the 150 upgraded out of the 256, not so bad

Johan
Johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Bakes

kind of, not forgetting UAVs carrying ATM and laser-guided. that was the Army take on the Tank. hard to transport 4 plus crew. Apache crew of 2 and fast to move.

i know which i would rather be in.

apoplectix
apoplectix
8 days ago

Will both the British army’s tanks get the upgrade?

eclipse
eclipse
8 days ago
Reply to  apoplectix

What do you mean by both? There is only Challenger 2.

Marked
Marked
8 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Went so far over your head you didn’t even need to duck…

Reaper
Reaper
8 days ago

Should we keep the must be over 100 odd chally 2s as reserves?, and the British army’s recently got rid of 2900 vehicles loads were armoured, and the armys getting rid of 800 odd Mastiff, Ridgeback and Wolfhound vehicles too and making other fleets smaller.. So the army is vastly reducing wether we like it or not. But why not keep some as reserves!?.ilike the 800 MRAPs or that pointless in today’s world guys? We have loads of spare relatively new mine resistant vehicles so could almost double our armoured vehicles over night if we kept some in reserve and… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Reaper
Joe16
Joe16
8 days ago

Personally, I don’t have a problem with only 150 CH3s in two regiments (I think that’s how they’re being split?)- I think that’s justifiable in relation to the other things the Army in particular needs.
What worries me is depth, we have no replacements for combat losses, as far as I can make out…

Reaper
Reaper
8 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Nope no depth in anything, should we keep the warriors as reserves when Ajax finally comes and maybe the 800 Mastiff, ridgeback and wolfhounds we are scrapping right now, we just got rid of 2800vehicles from the Army…

Joe16
Joe16
8 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

It’s a lot, although I suppose that there are still maintenance costs associated with stored vehicles. I don’t know about all of them, but I’d want something like 15-20% allowance for losses for most vehicle types. As a balance between cost and risk.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

And that reserve fleet will cost a small fortunate to maintain in useful condition. Money that good be better spent on new kit. Kit we actually need in the 21st century. To fight the next war, not re-fight old wars.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Most of them are UOR’s.
What should the Army flog off to pay the Treasury for them?
Remembering that Mastiff has terrible off-road mobility….

Last edited 7 days ago by Dern
Johan
Johan
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

and to wide to drive on English Roads, clever

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  Johan

come down Aldershot, they’re constantly on the roads.

Reaper
Reaper
8 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Also we do have more than 100 chally 2s left over after the 148 get upgraded.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Agreed. I can live with the Tanks. At least we still have them.
I’d rather the army get more ISTAR, Artillery, UAV, SHORAD, Helicopters, and above all, an IFV and CS and CSS enablers, to make sure our brigades/BCT are proper all arms deployable brigades with the supporting assets to do their job.

Gary
Gary
8 days ago

Tremendous tank, pleased when announced it would finally be getting a real upgrade. The treasury has cheaped out over the years and CR2 (our troops) were neglected. Personally i’m disheartened they didn’t go with the 130mm, as per the photo of Rheinmetall’s Advanced Technology Demonstrator. I feel other countries are already moving in this direction. Like HS2 Britain is investing in old technology, not cutting edge & proven. CR3 will be on par with Abrams and Leopard hopefully with engine upgrades. But cynically I can’t believe the quote “the most capable tank in NATO”. So yes, with the low numbers… Read more »

Mike Emmett
Mike Emmett
8 days ago

Any sensible government would upgrade all of the Chall2s but do we have a sensible government?

Johan
Johan
5 days ago
Reply to  Mike Emmett

the issue is regardless of purchased CH2s is that over 120 chassis were for other options Trojan/Titan/CRVVV. it leaves approx 267 CH2s MBTs. so suddenly chopping numbers to 150 is not as bad as it seems, even thou its still bad.

Barry M Griffiths
Barry M Griffiths
8 days ago

The key word here is CREDIBILITY. A British army of 76,000 is simply not credible for a modern nation of over 70,000,000 people–even when armed with a few good tanks. The Army, not including Reserves, needs to have a minimum all-ranks strength of 300,000, with at least 500 MBTs. The six treasonous Prime Ministers: Heath, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and May, not only presided over Britain’s subjucation to the EU, they also presided, for almost a half century, over the slow death of the British Army, the RAF and the RN. The British people (thank God) finally intervened and demanded… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago

My position too, on most points. Well said.
I only digress on army size. I see the UK as a maritime, air, and intelligence power, not a land power.
A 300,000 strong army including reserves is not realistic to my mind. 100,000 is.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago

While i understand your point. Our NATO partners and Allies see us having huge credibility, despite numbers. And one of the most professional, and capable Armed Force’s in the world. Look at France, it has better numbers on paper, still didn’t see them deploy 3 times the number of transport aircraft to Kabul comparedto the RAF, or double the troop numbers. Because they can’t. We can still achieve a huge amount, despite our small numbers. Because we have the capability. It’s not all bad news. We can still kick arse 😄👍🇬🇧

JohninMK
JohninMK
8 days ago

The key word is not credibility, the key word is FINANCE and we don’t have any. The reduction, not death, of our armed forces is a reflection of the UK’s change in priorities, from the days when there was an actual risk of a Soviet invasion to current times when that risk is virtually nil, from protection to peace. Then those major actions that we did, in Iraq and Afghanistan, achieved what apart, from untold lives lost or damaged and an increased terrorist threat? We are probably, apart from the RN, heading towards a Spanish sized military.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago

Just going to point out that the only time the British Army had an all-ranks strength of 300,000 in peacetime was in the 1950s….
Lets not bring back Conscription please.

Mark
Mark
8 days ago

Having read alot of articles recently and seen alot of new drone tech being talked of by the MOD maybe there’s another reason why we’re only going to have 150 chally3’s. Just as the navy and airforce are developing drones wont the chally3’s and boxers and cough…Ajax be digitally connected and able to operate and control drones and not the crappy flying type but seriously unmanned armour that makes 1 chally have 3-4 mechinzed gun/missle platforms and able to direct remote operated artillery. So while having 150 tanks may be a small force in the years to come when chally… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark

That is what the top brass were suggesting as part of Conceptual Force 2035.

But lets face it, most of what comes out of CDS Carters mouth is cobblers.

Derek
Derek
8 days ago

Well, an Army needs boots! …. I’ll get me coat!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Derek



Dern
Dern
7 days ago

Let the blokes buy their own boots, most of them do so anyway.

Andrew D
Andrew D
7 days ago
Reply to  Derek

That’s right Derek top Brass say it’s all about tech ,not boots but will tech drive Ambulances 🤕

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I think that’s the idea. New tech and concepts designed to fight the next war, not re-fight old wars. And i don’t think any western government has any apitite to fight in hot sandy places for 20 years again any time soon.

Johan
Johan
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Its one of the main driving elements of the modern Armed forces, REQUIREMENT TO DEVELOP POWER, the power required to deliver these networks is a reason some Items, are being retired. they cannot be upgraded to deliver the required support power.
HMS Ocean/Montrose/Mamouth/R1s/E3s/Hawk T1s/Typhoon Trans 1/Puma/Gazzele, all older designed platforms that cannot be upgraded. computing power is the issue

Finney
Finney
8 days ago

Sad that the country that led tank gun development from 1946 to the 90’s can’t even contract manufacture a foreign design these days. A German gun to be entirely manufactured in Germany. Vickers used to do R&D off their own back, speculatively, thanks to that we got the excellent 105, 120, CH1 and CH2, AS90 and M777. Since BAE took over all they are interested in is closing facilities and taking govt research grants, often for no end result.
Bring back the establishments.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
7 days ago
Reply to  Finney

Right now, better to have a German gun than no upgrade at all. Given that currently, the MOD lacks the ability to design, procure and deliver anything combat worthy on time and within budget, we need to buy foreign.

Last edited 7 days ago by Bringer of Facts
Johan
Johan
6 days ago

OK while digging around i found these numbers which may answer some of the questions over numbers of the 376 Ch2s ordered this included all variants on the chassis

33=Titans
33=Trojans
33= CRARRV
22=Driver Trainers

so losing some 121 chassis of which some were restructured Ch1s but still counted as Ch2s of the order of 376 Ch2s equals 256 MBTs only as a fighting tank.

take out the know destroyed chassis which is 3

no that makes a hole in the 376 originally ordered.

Last edited 6 days ago by Johan
W WilkinsonLtd Tuckwood
W WilkinsonLtd Tuckwood
4 days ago

Why Smooth Bore we always have Rifled bore Just asking And 148 is Not enough 🤷‍♂️

Jason Barnes
Jason Barnes
4 days ago

It’s not 148 though, is it? We’re getting 60-some APS. That’s the true number you’ll be able to use at any one time.

simon richards
simon richards
2 days ago

All 227 tanks should upgraded not 148

Pacman27
Pacman27
22 minutes ago

quick question for the group. If the CTA ammunition is so much better than conventional ammunition, and the uk are committed to it, why don’t we upgrade the challenger with a 120mm version (I believe there is a version). From what I read on the 40mm round, it saves space and allows for more rounds in the vehicle and is more lethal, but is expensive, would this not be a big improvement (I understand nato logistics concerns etc.), would the same characteristics transfer to the larger round. Additionally, can we not also standardise the guns for the RN around this… Read more »