The Ministry of Defence has awarded contracts to BAE Systems and Rheinmetall Land Systeme GmbH to progress the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project.
The agreements, worth £23 million each according to the Ministry of Defence, mark the start of the competitive Assessment Phase.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:
“Modernising the British Army’s Main Battle Tank under the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project involves partnerships across Defence exploring innovative solutions.”
A press release adds:
“Recent developments in electronics, computing and sight optics mean upgrades to several of the tank’s components are now possible.
The total value of the Challenger 2 Assessment Phase is £53 million. This includes both £23 million Assessment Phase contracts and a further £7 million to cover additional work. The MoD’s investment will allow BAE Systems and Rheinmetall to undertake technical studies, produce detailed digital models and consider how upgrades will be integrated onto the current platform.
At the end of the Assessment Phase the companies will present their solutions to the MOD for consideration. The Demonstration and Manufacture Phases of the project will follow.
We are building the most adaptive force to meet the threats of the future and this phase will enable the companies to develop innovative upgrades which will keep the formidable Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, crucial for the delivery of a modern ground manoeuvre warfighting capability as part of Joint Force 2025, in service with the British Army until 2035.”
Chief of Materiel (Land) for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, said:
“Challenger 2 is an excellent Main Battle Tank with an impressive operational track record. The Challenger 2 Life Extension Project will upgrade the vehicle with the latest technology to make it available for operations out to 2035.”