On the 25th July 2023, during a Ministry of Defence question session, Tom Hunt, the Conservative MP for Ipswich, queried whether there were plans to advance the rollout date of the Challenger 3 battle tanks to the Army.

James Cartlidge, The Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded, confirming that the original plans are going as scheduled.

He stated: “The intent remains to build 148 Challenger 3 Main Battle Tanks, as set out in the 2021 Defence Command Paper. The programme is on schedule to achieve Initial Operating Capability in 2027 and Full Operating Capability in 2030.

Cartlidge also added that the number of Challenger 3 tanks would remain under review to ensure the Army’s Main Battle Tank fleet meets Defence’s needs.

Recently, a contract was awarded for the procurement of key hardware for the next phase of tests for a state-of-the-art rocket and missile protection system, the Trophy Active Protection System (APS), for the Challenger 3 tanks.

Contract awarded for Challenger 3’s missile defence system

The APS, supplied by Rafael, will be tested and integrated with the Challenger 3 tanks to provide enhanced protection against rocket and missile threats.

The unique feature of the APS is its ability to detect an incoming rocket or missile in less than a second and to counter-attack with its own ammunition while identifying the source of the hostile fire for immediate response.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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John Clark
John Clark (@guest_741922)
10 months ago

Strange question, why would there be a plan to advance the production schedule anyway??

In a related way, as many of us have hypothesised, with plans to procure only 60 Trophy systems, there is clearly only a plan to deploy at (re-enforced max) Brigade level in the future with single Armoured Regiment at its core.

This talk of having a Division ability ‘soon’ is utter horse shit, does anyone actually still believe the spin that spills out of Whitehall these days!

The devil’s in the detail as they say…

Last edited 10 months ago by John Clark
Callum
Callum (@guest_741932)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Because with war in Ukraine rolling on and the spotlight briefly focused on our own military capability, a lot of people are looking at defence programmes and going “ready 2030+?! we need it sooner!”

Agreed, the army deploying at division level solo without an impractically long warning is effectively impossible. However, retaining division-level experience and infrastructure is key to maintaining any sort of land-based NATO command role.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_741942)
10 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Exactly. To be taken seriously Divisional at the minimum is essential.

We still provide framework nation support to the ARRC, quite considerable RS And RLC assets too.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_741987)
10 months ago

Unfortunately chaps, a purchase of 60 Trophy systems tells you all need to know….

Its all just spin as the overall personnel numbers continue to slide.

I suppose, with the risk of general war, with call back of reservists and mobilisation of the AR, we could form divisions, not too sure what we would equip them with, do we still have pitch folk manufacturing facilities, are there enough broom sticks to tie bread knives too???

DH
DH (@guest_742016)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Fork candles?? 😳

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_742071)
10 months ago
Reply to  DH

APDS Fork Handles! HESH Hoes.

DH
DH (@guest_742089)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Bless you.

Neil
Neil (@guest_742063)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

They could always use the trusty pick helve 😂🤣

Pongoglo
Pongoglo (@guest_742152)
10 months ago

And more importantly the Command. COMARRC is always a Brit, DCOMD always US and the COS also a Brit., a Maj Gen to boot. The ARRC is the only truly viable NATO Coros HQ in Europe and having a viable UK Armd Div within key to the role.

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_742156)
10 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

When the minister said the MOD was looking at MBT numbers he did not necessarily mean more CH2 conversions, so don’t be surprised if it may be less than 148.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742171)
10 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

Absolutely.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742465)
10 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

DSACEUR has always been a Brit.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742139)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Perhaps Tom Hunt thought that there might be a plan to expedite production as there is the most significant war in Europe since 1945 happening.

The figure of 60 was mooted 2 years ago – I wonder if that is still the correct figure.

Rob N
Rob N (@guest_742453)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

I suspect it is but there is nothing to stop MoD buying more… as an urgent operational requirement. Personally I think the APS should be fitted as standard on all CH3 permanently. But I bet they will be installed a theatre entry standard upgrades..

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_742522)
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

They are never going to deploy all 148 at the same time. The APS will be like the armour packs, machine guns etc. Only put on when needed.
What more telling is that 60 will be max deployed

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_742884)
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

So if a few get knocked out in action the replacements wont have any APS. Makes sense.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742464)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

It was said a couple of years ago that the ability to deploy a warfighting div was planned for 2025. I am sure that has been knocked back by now.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742475)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Not unless they are planning a similar trick to the Rangers 250 man “Battalions”.

So perhaps a Division is now battalion sized Graham??? Who the hell knows, they seem to make it up as they go along these days…

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_743009)
9 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

To be fair, specialist units are often less than 500 or so. 22SAS is a case in point, with each Troop being just 16-strong. But 250-strong for a non-SF unit is stretching it a bit!

In my day a division was 20,000 – 25,000 strong when reinforced to bring units up to WE (War Establishment). Now Ben Wallace has talked about the 10,000 strong div.

jason
jason (@guest_741928)
10 months ago

What is the thinking behind the 148 number does anybody know the logic?

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_741935)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

No logic, short-sightedness, penny-pinching, and willful ignorance of the fact that there is a war going on in Europe.

We should be upgrading all the hulls we have including APS and then team up with Rheinmetall to develop/procure the next generation.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_742002)
10 months ago

Very true 👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742012)
10 months ago

Not so simple as that when the ORBAT is considered.

Steven
Steven (@guest_741936)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

I would assume that is three regiments.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_741951)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

That is the total needed to equip the two Regiments plus have a modest maintenance and attrition reserve.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr (@guest_741966)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

I haven’t been following manpower cuts for individual regiments.
Should I read this as the manpower has been cut and so the tanks are being cut to size or the regiments are the same size but the reserve is shrinking?

Edit: just read Dan the Mandelli’s below comment about the conversion to Ajax.

Last edited 10 months ago by Tomartyr
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742013)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Exactly.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742467)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

..and some to equip the Trg Org.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_741976)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

There is no thinking anymore. The army, governments of all persuasions and MOD have been thinking for twenty years instead of doing. That’s why the army is now incapable of deploying anything much beyond a brigade of old obsolete equipment.

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_741978)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

Yes. Island nation. No historical large scale main battle tank usage since WW2 by the UK. Tanks are obsolete on the modern battlefield. Other NATO members already based in Europe have much larger tank fleets. Need any more reasons?

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_742025)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Would make sense if the Navy and Air Force were big enough.

They arent.

BobA
BobA (@guest_742028)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

What history are you reading? The UK is probably 3rd on the list of major tank users post WW2 after the US and USSR. The ONLY army in NATO with current institutional memory of Divisional Armoured Warfare.

Tanks aren’t obsolete. Not being able to combine them in a full spectrum operation is asking for trouble – both Russia and Ukraine have struggled to truly combine arms, hence massive tank losses.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_742168)
10 months ago
Reply to  BobA

Mmm if you are talking about actual combat usage ? If so I think Israel, Iraq and Iran would have more usage than us.

BobA
BobA (@guest_742222)
10 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I’ll give you Israel. Iraq and Iran are interesting as a case study, because although they used tanks in the Iran Iraq war, there was actually very little manoeuvre. Combat became very static.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742379)
10 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

USA, URSS-Russia, China, Israel , Egypt, Syria Jordan Kd., India, Pakistan, Angola, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan all with more tank combat than UK.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742471)
10 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Alex,

I think you need to give some details against each country – many of us need convincing. For example, when did China last use tanks in combat?

Since 1990. UK deployed 221 tanks in a division on Op Granby, and 120 tanks in a division on Op Telic. UK also deployed tanks in kinetic operations in the Balkans, several times.

I would say we had deployed tanks on more operations than the Americans – and had the most combat experience operating tanks amongst all ‘western’ European countries.

maico
maico (@guest_745023)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

In the Yom Kippur War Israel fielded 1700 tanks, Egypt 1020 (700 more in reserve) and Syria 1200.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_745151)
9 months ago
Reply to  maico

Thanks Maico.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742468)
10 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

We were talking about NATO and also about usage at div level.

Has Iran done a lot of tank warfare except for the Iran-Iraq war (Sep 80-Aug 88)?

Dern
Dern (@guest_742049)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Besides Granby, and Telic and the BAOR you mean Frosty? Oh dear. It’s almost like you’re spouting things you don’t know again…

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_742072)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Desert Storm-Large armoured UK tank formation deployed.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742472)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

221 CR1s deployed plus thousands of other AFVs.

Marked
Marked (@guest_742078)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Did you miss the entire cold War where we had tanks based in Germany? Or the gulf wars where armour formed the foundation of uk ground forces? Maybe your script writer missed those off frostski…

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742081)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Tanks are not obsolete sigh! Only those go don’t know or understand warfare think that! Tanks will develop, TTPs, passive/active defensive systems, combined with tactical OSR/UAV l, combined arms etc. I suppose you think when the shield was developed their was no need for the sword any longer!

Pongoglo
Pongoglo (@guest_742158)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yeah and President Zelenski has clearly been shouting ‘ no no please don’t send us anymore of these totally obsolete dynosoric relics to defeat the Soviet hoards , I’ve only been playing to the audience don’t you understand ? What we in Ukraine really need is loads of hyper expensive ASW frigates and a CSG to boot. War on land in Europe is very obviously a thing of the past. Don’t you watch Sky News??

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742167)
10 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

Not sure if that was for sad Frosty or me?

Pongoglo
Pongoglo (@guest_742482)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Appols Airborne def for the delusional Mr Frosty not for you ! I have a huge respect ( and love) for the RN and have spent a large part of my career in ‘purple’ jobs including a stint with CHF so it really saddens me how totally blanked to reality the ‘naval lobby’ are on here War is about politics and people live on land, that is why it begins and ends and is decided there .This ‘island nation’ cr*p really gets me – just how wide do they think the Channel is? Asides from the Falklands which again was… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_742905)
9 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

Sorry to say if you told that to the troops at Dunkirk, Singapore and D Day and they’d have laughed in your face.
The Navy is also a deterrent force.
Why do you think the Argies thought it safe to invade the Falklands in the first place?

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_742270)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

In the information age the position of main battle tanks will be impossible to hide. A heavy tracked vehicle will be a sitting duck. Hidden, distributed and rapidly mobile forces using drones and light vehicles can surely inflict more violence and cover more ground than a tracked vehicle? The shield is battlefield intelligence.

Last edited 10 months ago by Frost002
Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742327)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Absolute chuff, and by stating that shows two things, your lack of subject matter experience and knowledge!

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742473)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

So which countries are scrapping tanks?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_742515)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Well that depends on how you define scrapping ? Russia has discovered a new and novel way of doing it and then the nice folks in UA upcycle them for future use.Which just proves that Vladimir Vladimirovich is a true environmentalist.
As for already done so. Belgium has scrapped or sold all of theirs and are busily trying to buy some back. Holland is down to just 18 MBT which is a bit odd as they have more ARVs than Tanks now.
happy Friday😀

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742141)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

You clearly think the tank deployments on two Gulf Wars were small scale? 221 tanks deployed on GW1 and 120 on GW2.

If tanks are obsolete do remind me which nations have scrapped them? Why are we seeing tanks on the modern battlefield if they are obsolete – in Ukraine?

How many British fast jets have dogfighted since the Korean War? So consider Typhoon and F-35 obsolete – scrap them?

How many times has the Navy undertaken warfighting since 1982? So scrap the entire Royal Navy?

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742169)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Great yet simple answer mate, but alas will never get though to those who have an agenda to push!

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742283)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Mr Frost has an agenda to push alright, he’s trying to keep his ass from being shot off in a water logged trench in Ukraine, or have his skull explode from a Himars handshake!

If he can convince Graham and Airborne to get rid of tanks, he gets an upgrade to his Lada (sporting wheel covers and cable ties) and a one year deferment from conscription…

Dern
Dern (@guest_742359)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Has anyone ever noticed that there is always one.

Like I don’t mean “there’s one in every crowd.” But there’s always exactly one Russian troll account on this website. First there was the guy who claimed to be islamic (I forget his name now) who’d cry islamophobia every time you took his arguments appart, then shortly after he dissapeered Johnsky showed up. Johnsky gets banned, Frosty shows up…

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_742403)
10 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Frosty has been here a long time. Pro Russian, no. Critical of UK, maybe.

Dern
Dern (@guest_742404)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Yeah hey dumbass I can check when your first post was so don’t lie.
And Pro Russian? Yes. Being paid by the Kremlin? Almost certainly.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742587)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Nope, you’ve been here 2 months, pretty much since Esteban was getting his ass ripped every time he trolled! Then boom, new troll appears with exactly the same agenda!

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742854)
9 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Well let’s look at today, trying to make general enquiries regarding potential launch platforms for meteor, you will be asking for a what three words location for our nuclear weapons storage sites next, oh, anyone know any good launch codes comrade 😂😂😂😂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742439)
10 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Ikbal?

Dern
Dern (@guest_742489)
10 months ago

Ah yes.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742853)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

The troll farm UK desk only has one Stalintone PC and monochrome monitor, hence one UK troll at a time….

It’s not looking good for Frosty, trench foot is calling……

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_742402)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Riva is a good vehicle, remind me of UK car? Oh yeah the Rover, nice.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742855)
9 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

You take what you’re issued with Frosty, it will be a T55 next my morse tapping friend and free entry into the turret flying club…. Enjoy….

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742814)
9 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Mate you’re bad, you know that bad! Stop teasing him with a Lada, you know damn well the next chain in his promotion is the increase from 2 litres to 5 litres of 2 stroke per week!

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742856)
9 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

You’re quite right mate, getting my MSB promotions wrong ……

Don’t forget the extra potato ration, of course none this happens unless you and Graham admit we don’t need tanks……

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742902)
9 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Ah mate he’s going to be disappointed with the promotion board this year then, as I know we still need tanks and I’m no SME on armour! I reckon Graham should have the final word as he is more knowledgeable than me on armour 👍👍👍 old Frosty is going to need to do a bit more shnecking!

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_742401)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Agreed. Based on sand

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_742400)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

The UK lost in the middle East. Iraq was worse after the UK invasion than before. The UK and US created global terror. Tanks did nothing to influence the outcome. If the UK in 2030 had 50 tanks or 600 tanks the global outcome would remain the same. The UK is NOT a global “player”. The state of Texas is more powerful than the UK

Dern
Dern (@guest_742406)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Yeah I can see how the Vatnik would think that living under a Dictator who regularly used Chemical weapons on his own people would be a good thing.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742588)
10 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

Ah diddums is Frosty getting like Esteban with his pro US fetish anti UK rhetoric! I see you are still too afraid to answer simple questions!

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742858)
9 months ago
Reply to  Frost002

By 2030 Russia will be reduced to horse and cart operations and throwing stones, 18 months into your ‘ special operation’ Russia is down to using T55’s, what’s next, rob museums of T34’s?

Russia has become a laughing stock and a joke in the international community.

Just look up little MSB puppet, your spy master is cutting your strings, you get thrown into an army truck next heading for a world of hurt…

Last edited 9 months ago by John Clark
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742011)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

By way of wider explanation. We currently have 3 Armoured Regiments. They are known as “Type 56” as that is the number of Tanks each Regiment has when deployed as the core of an Armoured Bde. The rest of a tank fleet will be in maintenance, in the training organisation at Bovington, known as the “Armour Centre”, at the Land Warfare Centre for Ops training, or in store, either Ashcurch or Munchengladbach, both sites having CHE hangers for vehicle storage. Since 2015 the plan has been to reduce the number of Armoured Regiments to just 2, and convert the KRH,… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_742077)
10 months ago

Do you know how large the CHE hangars are?
CGS mentioned that he wanted to end WFM, presumably that would free up a lot of space in the CHE hangars for the 79 not to be upgraded and any others that could be saved. Hopefully we don’t make the same mistake we did in 2010 and scrap surplus vehicles. It really makes absolutely zero sense if there are vehicles of the same type in service.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742143)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

We always dispose of vehicles and other equipment (by gifting, selling or scrapping) that have been declared Obsolete (not Obsolescent as that is a different thing).

Louis
Louis (@guest_742149)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Scrapping a vehicle that’s recently retired is one thing, scrapping vehicles that are the exact same as vehicles you still have in service is completely crazy.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742240)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I completely agree. Someone high up ordered a number of CR2s to be scrapped in 2010 or earlier – when the vehicles were barely 10 years old.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_742271)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Was that early 2010…or late 2010 ….

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_742273)
10 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

reply to myself I see you said “2010 or earlier” so that would be Brown then…I assume CH2 wasn’t built in his constituency.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742326)
10 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

Don’t know. It was pretty much a state secret at the time ie highly controversial.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742274)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

I think it was all after 2010.
I read a report saying that in 2010 345 were in service with another 40 in deep storage. Whether they were serviceable or even saveable I don’t know but at that point none had been scrapped.
Hopefully it was the older tanks that were scrapped, of course even the oldest tanks would be 15 years old maximum.

I assume any out of service CH2s that haven’t been scrapped have been sitting in bad conditions for more than a decade with CHE obviously prioritising in service vehicles (something to thank WFM for).

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_742310)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

The drawdown of the CR2 Fleet started before 2010 – makes some grim reading -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delivering_Security_in_a_Changing_World#:~:text=The%202003%20Defence%20White%20Paper,aftermath%20of%20the%20September%2011

Louis
Louis (@guest_742345)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Of the 386 CH2 ordered, 1 was lost in Iraq- there’s some grim photos of it on the roadside- and 345 were in service before the 2010 SDSR. I heard 40 were in deep storage which could just be in a non CHE shed in which case they would be in terrible condition but none had been scrapped.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742476)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Oh my, that is a shocker – somehow I had missed that.

84 tanks (and 48 AS90s) withdrawn as consequence of 2003 DWP – the tanks would have been about 5 years old, as ISD was 1998.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742709)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Mate, I have been mentioning this repeatedly. The army cuts, to Tanks, to SPGs, were going on long into Labour’s watch way before 2010.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742859)
9 months ago

Yep, you are right. How can governments of either stripe seriously claim that the first duty of government is to provide for the defence and security of the people and the nation.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_742907)
9 months ago

Wow, you sometimes wonder don’t you.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742474)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

To me, it is criminal to scrap vehicles when the type is still in service – and to scrap vehicles that are only 10-15 years old is even worse. If the Orbat shrinks and fewer tanks can be crewed then still keep the entire fleet in case of major war.

I hope out-of-service CR2s and in-service but held in depot tanks are in good storage conditions, preferably CHE, but I have no info on that.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo (@guest_742484)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

I very much hope your right. To make a Challenger 3 you need a Challenger 2 so every veh we have in storage we need to retain. If it is only 148 that will not be enough to equip the third Armd Regt (KRH) so will rule out being able to deploy a balanced three Brigade Armd Div. Could still do it if we moved to the German and French Type 44 model rather than the UK Type 56 Regt but that’s another debate. A UK Type 44 Regt would still allow for 3 X 14 CH3 tank Sqn and… Read more »

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742871)
9 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

It is only 148 CR2s to be upgraded to the CR3 standard. Yes, that is of course not enough for a third T56 regiment. My point is that we should have a third regt in a proper third manouevre brigade and that means we should convert more than 148 tanks. The UK once had Type 44 regiments so that is not a new idea – it would mean 132 in the field force and 16 elsewhere would not be enough. A novel idea to have a sqn of Ajax in an armd regt – they will of course have a… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_742553)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

CH2 should be the top of the list to store in CHE as it’s the hardest to start a production line to replace. It’d have been better to have scrapped a thousand CVRTs than to scrap those 150 CH2s.

In Future Soldier there’s 3 regiments worth of tank crews but only 148 CH3s. New crews are much easier to train than new tanks are to build if there’s no production line.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742620)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I am sure that CR2 is top of the list for CHE for the reason you state and also the value (£) of the vehicle. The high percentage of electrical and electronic systems on the vehicle would also benefit from low humidity storage. In FS there are 2 regular armd regts (RTR in 12 ABCT, QRH in 20 ABCT). Are you counting in the armd reserve regt (RWxY) in 12x? This was once known as the armd delivery regt and is now known as the armd reinforcement regiment. Their role is to provide trained tank crews as BCRs and officers/SNCOs… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742710)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

My thought process exactly mate.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742173)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I don’t mate.
I know Aschurch had too many vehicles to fit in and many were left outside in leaky unmaintained sheds getting rusty.
Not surprising as at one point there were over 7,000 vehicles and plant, boats, on site.
Graham will be best to comment.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742184)
10 months ago

I assume Ashchurch will start to get even more busy with all the vehicles leaving service but the CHE’s will clear out to leave more space for CH2s which I assume out of all the out of service vehicles there will have priority on the assumption WFM will actually go.

peter wait
peter wait (@guest_742533)
10 months ago

The asbestos roofs were in a poor state, visitors got shown the one posh climate controlled building, once the tanks are crammed in leaky sheds with birds pooing on them hard to maintain. batteries go flat sights get damp etc !

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742176)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Btw, I read your reply re artillery on email but could not find the comment on the site to reply. So thanks, anyway.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742183)
10 months ago

Cheers mate 👍
It was just a really long way of saying K9 is the best option in terms of capabilities and UK industrial input.
It’s only downside would be MFP has to replace L118 in 7 LMBCT and 4 LBCT so would obviously be really unsuitable in such units.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742244)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yes, Ideally we have 2 Regs of K9 and 2 of Archer. Then L118 gets a big upgrade. L118 remains with 16AA and 3 Cdo.

2 K9 Regs. 2 Archer Regs. 2 MLRS Regs. 2 Light Gun Regs.
Has a nicer look to it!

And if only they properly expanded the SHORAD and MRAD and we had a 2nd Reg of HVM and Sabre too. Not happening.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742269)
10 months ago

Going to have to find another artillery regiment somewhere. In fairness it isn’t impossible, Future soldier increased the Army by 500 to 73,000 which I’m pretty sure saved 32 reg RA. K9a2 is by far the best vehicle for the armoured brigades, but unfortunately as always compromises have to be made. I think the biggest priority right now is to get 16x and 7x to be a GRF as the best they can. Armoured Brigades are a long way off being operational so if we want to have a credible army for the next ten years those two brigades have… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742375)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I was hoping 7X goes to 3XX, and gets an upgrade.
4, 16, 3 Cdo as GRF, with 102 in support.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo (@guest_742485)
10 months ago

There is also an L118 Regt in 7 (Light Mech) Bde and 4 ( Inf) Bde as well.. Even given those we have gifted to our Ukraine friends we still have a fair number of barrels to meet our needs when it comes to light forces that is. There’s also the saluting Batteries at the Tower, Hillsborough, Cardiff and Edinburgh Castle if push comes to shove – and oh yeah I forgot those on Gib lol

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742661)
9 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

Yes, I’ve covered the LG Reg with 7 Bde, commenting that I hope it is upgraded to Archer considering the Bde is Light Mechanized in Foxhound, so give it wheeled SP artillery. I’d like to see the A2020 plan restored for 3 UK. I’d like 7 Bde restored to the level of the other 2 BCT. It has its CS CSS already. Retain the 3rd Armoured reg instead of converting to Ajax, so there is it’s Armoured Reg. By doing that, the 4 planned Ajax Armoured Cav Regs become 3, so a Recc Reg is possible to add to it,… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_742490)
10 months ago

(Don’t forget you need to equip the Reserve Reg’s too).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742662)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

I’m losing track mate, of what. We talking guns?

Dern
Dern (@guest_742746)
9 months ago

Yes. You’ve got 2 Light Gun Regs (I assume for 16 and 3 CMDO), but don’t forget the 2 Reserve Light Gun regiments and the reserve MRLS and AS90 ones.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742767)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, that’s right mate, I was ref to 29 RA and 7 RHA. I thought there were 3 LG AR Regs? 103, 104, 105? One of those AR Regs ( forget which ) is the reg allocated to 4X isn’t it, as that Bde lacks regular CS CSS, while the other, I think that provides formed Dets and guns 7&8 to the regular Reg supporting 7X. Don’t recall where the other fits in, hang on….augments DSRB? 101 on MLRS provides a Battery each to the 2 regular MLRS Regs so they can sit with DSRB too. AS90 in the AR…..… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_742842)
9 months ago

104 Reg was supposed to convert to SPG’s in order to support 1 DSR.

I don’t see 1 DSR disbanding. 7 is already a big formation, 5 infantry battalions and a cav regiment. Adding 4 Ajax and Jackal battalions would make it a a very big and unwieldy formation, same goes for 4 (more so as it has 6 battalions).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_743063)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

104, right, wasn’t aware of that.

Course not re 7X, I was thinking of it and 4X getting even bigger. I thought, maybe a standard 3, or 4 ( as in 16x ) Inf Bn Bde and either distributing the other infantry units or disbanding and creating more CS CSS.

Example, and just throwing ideas out there, with 7X having 5 and 4X with 6, could some of those move to DSRB to give it infantry? Akin to the convo we had about giving it that 3rd Armd Reg.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742243)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

It always was a massive mistake to close the vehicle depot at Ludgershall (in the 90s, I think). It had the A Vehs and Ashchurch had the B and C vehicles. Ashchurch is quite a small site but at least money is being spent on it now. I visited in 2002/3 to see how my CR1s were being looked after at the time of their main disposal to Jordan – and it was not a pretty sight. I don’t know how big the CHE-equipped hanger(s) are but I guess it would be a small percentage of the total. Hopefully the… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Graham M
Louis
Louis (@guest_742266)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

https://www.defenseadvancement.com/news/uk-mod-awards-contract-for-british-army-vehicle-storage-facility/
Apparently it’s being expanded to hold 4,100 vehicles in CHE.
Seems like the asbestos was a blessing in disguise.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742324)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Thanks Louis. Very impressive that so many vehicles will be in CHE – that surprises me.
Only a few years ago MoD was considering selling the site to a housing developer. Where would the vehicles have then be stored!

Louis
Louis (@guest_742343)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

The asbestos really was a blessing in disguise.
38 old sheds being demolished. 12 new CHE facilities. One of them is 165mx99m no idea about the others.

I think the plan was to ship all the vehicles to Germany when they closed Ashchurch!

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742370)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

It has taken so long to spend decent money on Ashchurch – the refurb plans sound very good.

We do of course have some vehicles (and other kit) in Germany, but to move all stored vehicles there is mind-boggling – how ridiculous.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742373)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I heard that too. All to Germany. With all our armour concentrated around SPTA….🙄

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_742381)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

I’m sure they would have then just reduced the numbers even more to fit the sites they had….

peter wait
peter wait (@guest_742538)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Cameron had a stupid idea of storing them all in Germany , think his chum wanted to build houses on the land . The site is contaminated with asbestos in the soil so would not be viable !

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_743183)
9 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Exactly what I heard. So if chum had built on the site, the army would have no vehicle depot in UK. What would have been next to move to Germany – ammunition depots?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742376)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I’d not seen this. Cheers.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742242)
10 months ago

Good post Daniele, When I was serving (up to 2009) there were very few of the sheds at Ashchurch in good condition. I visited there in 2002 or 2003. My CR1s were in hangers that had broken windows, large puddles and quite a bit of mud on the floor, birds flying in and out of the broken windows. The vehicles were very close parked to each other (virtually touching each other) and could not be easily accessed for any reason. The sheds were of course unheated. I don’t think CHE had been installed at that time. I would guess that… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Graham M
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742245)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

About bloody time! It is a strategic asset. And, like our discussion on Ludgershall a few months ago, it has rail access. Those places need enhancing and a proper RLC railway capability restored and expanded. STRE Reservists still do that role but I’d like to see more.

Never neglect the enablers!

peter Wait
peter Wait (@guest_742122)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

This may be based on the number of power pack and final drive assemblies available without building new ones !

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742140)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

Good question. It is two Type 56 regiments, so 112 in field force units. Then somehow the other 36 are split between:
a. The Training Organisation
b. Repair Pool
c. Attrition Reserve.
Rather more than 36 would ensure optimum resourcing in these three areas.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742344)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

I think the tank regiments have now moved back to T58 structure, or at least a 4 armoured squadron structure.

Last edited 10 months ago by Louis
Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742368)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Routinely tank regiments have invariably comprised four squadrons but of course the T38 and T44 were not.
T58 makes more sense than T56 – four sqns of 14 tanks and two for RHQ.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742466)
10 months ago
Reply to  jason

Two armoured regiments plus a quantity (too few in my opinion) for the Trg Org, Repair Pool and Attrition Reserve.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_741929)
10 months ago

What happened to Ben Wallace saying they were going to look at an uplift in numbers?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_741943)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Still ongoing.
When Wavell reports, we will know. As in, retaining the 3rd Armoured Regiment rather than its long planned conversion to Ajax.
Staying at 3 Regiments would surely mean a slight uplift unless they slash the numbers per reg.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_741945)
10 months ago

I sadly wouldn’t put it past the decision makers to retain a 3rd regiment but hollow them out.

Personally I think either have 3 proper regiments with reserves for training and attrition (180-200) or don’t bother at all!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742014)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Ha! Yes me neither.
I agree, I want to see a 3rd regiment, simply because a Division has 3 manoeuvre brigades, and 3 Div effectively has only 2 plus DSRB.

Each Bde should have an Armoured Regiment.

This was the correct A2020 plan until General Carter ripped it up.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_742067)
10 months ago

It’s been articulated by more knowledgeable people than me in the past but it’s really hard to see why even a smaller regular army of 73k can’t do better than 4 combat brigades containing only 2 armoured regiments. If they were prepared to radically amalgamate/ditch capbadge’s to rebalance the infantry/supporting arms ratio and cut down on duplication/waste and kit out however many brigades could then be formed and supported with Challenger, CV90, Boxer, (an IFV variant of either to replace Warrior) and Foxhound with Archer, MLRS and Sky Sabre providing support the British Army could quite easily be in good… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742085)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Absolutely. The cap badge mafia is alive and well.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742145)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Capbadges have been amalgamated since time immemorial, including the most sacred of cows. Some have not survived 30 years. I am not spotting the duplication that you do – please explain.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_742189)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

The last amalgamations occured around 2006 when the regular army was around 110,000.

Since then they have cut larger regiments down to single battalions in some instances and rebranded others as having specialist roles so they could be reduced to 300 soldiers or less.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742254)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Interesting that Defence Reviews since 2006 haven’t advocated another round of amalgamations.
I agree that it is a nonsense for a Regiment to consist of a single battalion – although counting in the AR Inf battalions as you must do, are there any single battalion Regiments? DLR and MERCIAN and RWELSH has I think 1 reg and 1 AR bn. To be credible I think you need at least 3 (Reg &AR) bns per Regt.
I agree the 300-strong specialist battalions (Rangers) are an oddity but surely they have the Ranger capbadge rather than a historic one?

RobW
RobW (@guest_742229)
10 months ago

Is the Wavell report the same as “Future Soldier Next Steps” that is supposed to be published this autumn?

I can’t find much on the scope of Wavell, but the wording on the army’s website makes it sound far reaching.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742294)
10 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I was not aware myself of “FSN Steps” so unsure there. Wavell, to me, outlines how the previously stated changes and enhancements to things like AD, C-UAV, SHORAD, MRAD, and the wider RA will actually play out at unit and sub unit level, and any changes to the overall organisation of the ORBAT. I do hope they make an effort to improve because having even a 73K army with only 4 deployable Bdes with CS/CSS seems ridiculous, and an Armoured Division of just 2 Bdes and, in effect, the DAG and other groups attached. A Division should have 3 manoeuvre… Read more »

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742440)
10 months ago

Bravo!

Pete
Pete (@guest_741946)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

The resignation from his position and politics in general speaks volumes to what happened I fear.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_742003)
10 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Maybe the man’s give up with our government .🙄

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_741930)
10 months ago

I read that Russia is now down to its last serviceable 1400 tanks (from 3500 before the Ukraine war). But it is estimated that they can roll out about 200 T90-Ms per year

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_741953)
10 months ago

Russia won’t be running out of Tanks anytime soon – they are still able to Build New and Upgrade legacy examples.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_741961)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes that much is true, They still have dedicated factories producing new Tanks, while we are struggling to update the few we have left.

It shows that industrial capacity is just as important as military capabilities.

andy a
andy a (@guest_741967)
10 months ago

really upgrade them with out the thales kit and other hi end stuff they source from the west? all the thermals and commanders sights apparently contain western components

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_741997)
10 months ago
Reply to  andy a

Yeah but they still have the facilities to produce the tank itself, I am sure in time they will find alternatives to the electronic bits they can no longer source from the West.

Farouk
Farouk (@guest_742080)
10 months ago

Bringer of facts wrote: “”Yes that much is true, They still have dedicated factories producing new Tanks,”   Russia has 2 factories which can build tanks (yes 2 more than the UK) UralVagonZavod aka UVZ (which is around 855 miles east of Moscow) Omsk (around 1300 east miles from Moscow) Of the two UVZ is the main tank factory and is capable of producing around 20 tanks a month Omsk, is much smaller, where the T80 was built and is now used primarily for refurbishing and upgrading older tanks as well as building niche vehicles such as the TOS-1A flamethrower… Read more »

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_742104)
10 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Indeed, I believe the figures to be around 20 tanks rolled out a month, including new T90Ms and upgraded/refurbished older models.

The UVZ factory is dropping all non-military production to concentrate purely on tanks, Russia says it is aiming to have production figures of 1500 a year…which I don’t believe is achievable right now.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742172)
10 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Yet again your research and knowledge far outstrips mine, but I bet I drink more rum than you and struggle to maintain concentration and interest by the third “home measure” 😂👍!

Farouk
Farouk (@guest_742237)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Airborne wrote: “”but I bet I drink more rum than you”” I’ve a few bottles of rum in the kitchen my go to at the moment is Signature Rum Bought the following these past few months (for scientific purposes I should add) and not impressed with them:  The Kraken Black Cherry & Madagascan Vanilla Black Spiced Rum Spice Hunter Mauritian Spiced Rum PHRAYA Elements, Premium Dark Rum, NO.1 Old Caribbean White Spiced Rum The lad next door thinks I’m great, as I palm off stuff I don’t like onto him. That said my absolute favourite is Rosemullion Spiced Rum, which… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742590)
10 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Mate that’s a selection of varied flavours! Not much off the shelf stuff is nice but Navy Rum is still a solid drink! I do love the Rumbullion, the spiced, wax top, no coke, little ice, touch your lips and savour. Sacrilege to put coke in it like a few of the off shelf specials! As for Gin……🤮👍

Keith Thomas
Keith Thomas (@guest_742118)
10 months ago

Industrial capacity is FAR more important than military capabilities. In all wars the side which can produce more weapon systems faster than the enemy can destroy them, Wins the war as in WW2.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742442)
10 months ago

Industrial capacity won WW2 for the Allies.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_742074)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Plus if they were running too low I’d expect the likes of PRC etc might donate some of their older tanks, T55s etc.

Frost002
Frost002 (@guest_741980)
10 months ago

Does that include the inflatables?

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_741952)
10 months ago

The thing about items like tanks is that it takes a long time to replace them if they are no longer in production. So you have to have the replacements available before they are needed. You need at least 3 levels: Current use, Replacement for battle losses/’normal’ wastage, Vehicles required for any potential wartime expansion. We just seem to be going for the first.

Jon
Jon (@guest_741958)
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

I don’t get how it works during the conversion process, which obviously won’t happen instantly. Will people be trained while conversion takes place, so we can field mixed Challenger 2 and 3 regiments, or will it happen one regiment at a time, with training complete on one before breaking in the next one, or will it be big banged?

If a war kicks off in the middle, will we always have two tank-equipped regiments?

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_741984)
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I assume one Regiment at time, one squadron at a time.

I would imagine its a squadron going to a conversion course and being re-equipped with Chally 3 at the same time.

I keep hearing that Regiments have been (are being) reduced to 50 MBT’s each, is that right?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742015)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not heard that?

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_742195)
10 months ago

Evening Daniele and Graham, I can’t bloody remember where I first heard it now, possibly the rumour mill. From a few different sources though…

I regularly shoot with a chap who’s currently involved with certain aspects of the forthcoming downsizing and he pulled a rather ‘sour’ face at me a few months ago when I brought it it up….

Sometimes a look is more telling 🤔

So… If I was a betting man….

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742150)
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

I think your surmise about conversion is a good one – quite likely. I had not heard that regts will reduce to 50.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742125)
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I guess it depends on panic and desperation.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_741963)
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

It is the price we are paying for letting our dedicated AFV factories close down.
Hopefully, partnerships with Rheinmetall and similar companies can get us back up to having some local manufacturing/upgrade facilities.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742079)
10 months ago

The only thing letting us down is domestic design.
RBSL is making new armour, turrets and cannons for CH3. It’s also making hulls for Boxer.

Elsewhere Horstman makes suspension and David Brown transmission.

The only other constraint would be engines. To my knowledge Perkins lost that capability so the only domestic AFV engine production is RR that builds MTU engines under license. Of course there’s nothing wrong with using a foreign engine which is what Korea has done with K2, K9 and K21 until domestic companies have learnt enough building under license to design their own engines.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_742115)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

We need more capacity than we have. Currently, it will be 4 – 6 years to upgrade just 148 tanks.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742127)
10 months ago

Capacity is quite easy to step up. One of the reasons the order is taking so long is because if they rush and complete them very quickly, a lot of new workers will be hired who will all then have to be let go. I suspect RBSL and the Army are waiting out for an IFV order for Boxer so they still have turret manufacturing capability.

Edit: I suspect the army are also hoping for an increase in numbers so having a slower production rate gives them more time.

Last edited 10 months ago by Louis
Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_742147)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

That does not make sense to slow pace the CH3 upgrade, the threat of conflict is very real now, so we should get it done asap. UVZ is producing and upgrading 20 Russian tanks per month right now

Last edited 10 months ago by Bringer of Facts
Louis
Louis (@guest_742170)
10 months ago

This is not an obsolete vehicle we are talking about though. CH2 is more than good enough against the Russians.
Got once the MOD will get a vehicle in service before the vehicle it’s replacing hits 30.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742446)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Funding is in place for a total of 1,016 Boxers.
I can’t see the CR3 order size increasing.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742483)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Neither can I, but once the CH3 upgrade production line shuts down there is zero chance of an increase.

Good to know all those Boxers are funded, it does seem a huge amount for just 5 battalions though. 1,304 is the requirement but that probably doesn’t include the Air Defence, bridging or possible artillery variants so the total requirement is probably north of 1,500.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742712)
9 months ago
Reply to  Louis

That number will also furnish other Regiments CS elements, much as the 500 plus Ajax variants will furnish more than jus the 4 Armoured Cavalry Regiments.

I’m hoping more Inf Bns get Boxer myself, looks at 7 Inf Bde.

Louis
Louis (@guest_742897)
9 months ago

Of course but it’s still a lot more than what’s needed for 5 infantry battalions and 2 brigades CS/CSS.

Less than 1,800 FV430 and Warriors covered 12 later 11 infantry battalions and 6 later 5 brigades CS/CSS and that also included roles which Boxer doesn’t cover and will be covered by the ASV that will replace FV430.

7x does need to be reroled as 3xx needs 3 manoeuvre brigades.
It has 5 infantry battalions so 3 could be reroled to provide a brigades worth of CS and CSS. 4x would then split into 2 brigades each of 3 infantry battalions.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_743006)
9 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Hi Louis, FOC for CR3 is 2030, so I guess it will be a while before they shut down the build line. I was expecting DCP2023 to give clarity on whther extra CR3s would be authorised as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, but it sems we are waiting for Project Wavell to report – should be within a few months. By no means are all the 623 (523 + 100) Boxers on order for the Inf Bns https://www.forces.net/news/how-many-boxer-vehicles-are-order Of the Tranche 1 (Qty 523) order – only 85 are Infantry Carrying Vehicles – enough for two or three… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742129)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Are you sure the RBSL is making the cannons? I read somewhere ( a defence webpage) that UK was now unable to make heavy guns.
Which is not surprising the last 4.5″ naval gun was probably build in late XX Century and 120mm rifled guns for Challenger 2 would have be there abouts with some replacemnts made in XXI first decade?

Louis
Louis (@guest_742166)
10 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

I’m pretty sure that originally came from BAE who obviously have a reason to say that. Production of M777 ended recently with the last order being 2016 for 145 but only 25 to be built in the UK and the rest in India. Of course the entire M777 wasn’t UK built but most of the manufacturing was with the US fitting out. The latest I could find online was BAE saying they might close the factory in 2021- with that presumably having already happened. You are probably right that RBSL doesn’t build the cannons but I don’t think it really… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742206)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Ok. I have found the article in Shepard media

By BAE like you said:

The UK may need to cannibalise stored Challenger tanks and AS90 howitzers to source replacement barrels for platforms sent to Ukraine as no manufacturing capability currently exists.

peter wait
peter wait (@guest_742544)
10 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

The barrels from the 40 scrapped CR2’s were boxed up and likely still in storage somewhere. Also the hulls converted for challenger 3 have a turret with spare barrel on .

Last edited 10 months ago by peter wait
Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742160)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Beyond CR3. I am sure we can recreate tank design expertise in the UK, but MoD needs to sow the seeds with Industry – mutually work on some concepts, get some Technology Demonstrators commissioned etc. Some limited AFV design work has been undertaken with: CR3 (more so on the Rheinmetall side than the BAE side of RBSL, though); Boxer; and a whole lot more with Ajax (notwithstanding that ASCOD was the ‘point of departure’ for the design). Being an observor on the Franco-German next tank project is not an adequate substitute to the above even though it is still worth… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_742208)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

Of course MGCS can be built in the UK anyway with KNDS UK subsidiary but it’s a really unimpressive vehicle so I think that’d be a terrible option.

Industry is definitely recovering, just needs support from the MOD with design as you say. Work for CH3 replacement should probably begin 2030ish at the earliest to give enough time to replace CH3 fairly fast as those hulls will be pretty tired. If IOC is 2027 they shouldn’t be in service for more than 10-15 years.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_742179)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Sorry but RR absolutely do not build MTU engines under licence from anyone. And that is because MTU is an actually a fully owned subsidiary of RR Power systems and has been since 2014. No licence needed to build your own products, it’s also a very profitable part of the portfolio. We always forget that some of our big companies such as RR and BAe are very successful multi nationals with lots of subsidiaries. You just need to look at the the engines for the B52J upgrades to see what RR is up to they will have 8 RR F130’s… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_742187)
10 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Cheers mate 👍

Easy to forget how large those RR is.
MTU of course also builds diesel engines for maritime use some of which will replace the Wärtsilä engines on T45 in PIP.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_742210)
10 months ago
Reply to  Louis

It’s way more than that all the T26, all the T23 ASW, and just about everything else that floats. Even Russia was buying them pre 2014 !
And then we get to the MT30 which is a hell of an export success Canada, Australia, Korea, Japan, Italy and the USN are all signed up fitting them.
People forget exports aren’t just about finished systems it’s what is put in them. For example 8 T26, 9 Hunter class, 15 CSC all powered by MT30 and MTU.

Expat
Expat (@guest_741988)
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

I would think in times of war JCB would switch to military production and apply best practice manufacturing techniques to knock out a foreign tank under license. Liberty ships were a British designs made in America after all. in the 1930’s Morris motors where approached to build a factory at Castle Bromwich which could be flipped to Spitfire production (now the Jaguar factory). What’s interesting is the government didn’t approach existing aircraft manufacturers, why? Because Morris knew how to mass produce not knock our a handful to items per year. Its all very well have a token tank production but… Read more »

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_742048)
10 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Only modern equipment is several generations more sophisticated and complicated than it was back then. Plus our manufacturing base isn’t there.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_742138)
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Armstrong Works in Newcastle is still in existence,Pearson Engineering reside there and they have just announced the purchase of an 800 ton Press so options still exist.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_742142)
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

It may be, but I can remember when it stretched for miles along the Tyne, from Newcastle along Scotswood!

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742148)
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

We have tanks in Unit Establishments (Field Force and Training Org), tanks in the Repair Pool and Tanks in an Attrition Reserve.
There are currently no tanks to expand beyond three armoured regiments. In the CR3 era there will be no tanks to expand beyond two regts.

Steve M
Steve M (@guest_741968)
10 months ago

Cartlidge also added that the number of Challenger 3 tanks would remain under review to ensure the Army’s Main Battle Tank fleet meets Defence’s needs.’
I take that to mean as it won’t be here for 5-7 years were hoping the Urkranie war will be over so we can reduce the total…………….

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve M
Tomartyr
Tomartyr (@guest_741969)
10 months ago

Am I supposed to be disappointed it’s not been accelerated or relieved it’s not been delayed?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_742001)
10 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Both… and… neither… Lol 😁

Marcus FARRINGTON
Marcus FARRINGTON (@guest_742007)
10 months ago

60 trophy systems on order is the key.First 60 C3s get Trophy,MOD hopes Ukraine war is over or at ceasefire so they can slow down or cut the final numbers delivered.Another example of MOD fudge, delay,fence sitting etc.Reality is UK still doesn’t have a coherent,definitive geo- military- political plan for next 30 years.Cant face down Russia and China simultaneously ,can we?.UK defence is short of everything , equipment,ammunition,personnel,everything is delivered late,over budget.Perhaps conventional defence needs to be treated the same way as the nuclear deterrent in that the next 30 years of operations/capabilities are planned and ring fenced financially. All… Read more »

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_742019)
10 months ago

Would make sense if our Navy and Air Force were correspondingly big enough.

They arent.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_742041)
10 months ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Memo to MOD: ‘Must try harder!’.

Micky C
Micky C (@guest_742033)
10 months ago

Why are we refurbishing a tank that is 40 odd years old and no longer in production. I should imagine getting spares is going to be a nightmare .Gulf 1 3RTR stripped there Challengers for spares.
It’s not as if there are no new tanks out
there .Leopard. Panther South Korea tank. New with spares available.
We can’t keep cutting tank numbers.

Farouk
Farouk (@guest_742062)
10 months ago
Reply to  Micky C

Micky wrote: “”Why are we refurbishing a tank that is 40 odd years old and no longer in production”” The Challenger 2 tank entered service in 1998 making it 25 years old. It is actually one of the youngest MBTs in service Leo 2: 1979 M1 Tank: 1980 Leclerc: 1992 Ariete: 1995 T90A: 2004 K2 Black Panther: 2014 T90M: 2016 The problem the British military has with the Challenger 2 is it was never upgraded (which is a common trait for the UK) that said it was designed around ceramic armour which affords it better all round protection than other… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Farouk
Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_742108)
10 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

And that is the tragedy, such a great piece of kit as Challenger 2 was so hastily thrown away in the 2010 defence review.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742164)
10 months ago

Well, 40% of them were.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742177)
10 months ago

Don’t forget the ones before as well. 7 Armoured Sqns I recall.
Just for balance. This is not an all Tory party by any means. The armoured cuts started before 2010.

Simon
Simon (@guest_742399)
10 months ago

Graham did suggest, on another thread that wasn’t the case.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_742714)
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Morning Simon. Sorry, not clear on your meaning, what wasn’t the case? That cuts to the armoured warfighting elements of the army were NOT happening pre 2010, or are you agreeing?
Because they most certainly did, to 4th Armoured ( which was withdrawn to the UK and changed to Mechanized ) and 19 Mechanized ( then became Light, as it lost all its armour ) Bdes as well as 1st and 12th AI Bdes Tank and CVRT formations.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742128)
10 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Any tank can be disabled by a Lancet or do you think Challenger or any other tank have heavy armor in top of engine deck, or its sight is armored to resist it? One data point do not mean much. No tank can be operational after a side, rear hit by Kornet. Tanks are getting the same treatment as battleships. Without APS they can’t survive. I also should note that without an indirect fire capability its usefulness will suffer compared to new technologies appearing. Technologies that improved the precision of long range fire and that Lancet is an example. The… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk (@guest_742249)
10 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Alex wrote: “”Any tank can be disabled by a Lancet or do you think Challenger or any other tank have heavy armor in top of engine deck, or its sight is armored to resist it?”   I don’t think I mentioned that the chally 2 is invulnerable , I simply pointed out that it was designed from the ground up later than others (which included combating chemical warheads the staple of Russian armour fired from a 125mm smoothbore gun, which are larger than then warheads carried by loitering munitions) In contrast the Leopard 2 was designed during the70s based around… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Farouk
AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742315)
10 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Every tank has more armour in front than side.

The Merkava 2 was probably being hit by crappy Sagger that did not hit anything important. like wise Challenger.
Merkava 4 initial version (without APS) was defeated at hand of Heezbollah with Kornets in 2006.
For example it is not possible to armour the wheels, the tracks so that is right there a mobility kill and if you don’t own the terrain at end of the day it is a captured tank and maybe a captured crew.

Farouk
Farouk (@guest_742481)
10 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Alex wrote: “”Every tank has more armour in front than side.””   The point I was addressing was the design philosophy of the Leopard 2 tank , which alone out of all modern day peers (until the arrival of the Indian irjun) had a slab faced front which clearly shows that the Germans placed great faith in such frontal armour, everybody else used sloped frontal armour. As I pointed out, the Germans knew they faced thousands of Soviet tanks to their front and that the main threat was also their front. That mindset slightly changed with the A5 iteration which… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Farouk
Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742163)
10 months ago
Reply to  Micky C

40-odd years old? You are thinking of CR1 (not CR2) that was fielded from 1983.

A key part of the CR3 project is managing any obsolescence of the CR2 parts – such parts will be binned and replaced by modern alternatives.

We are re-manufacturing a very capable (but ageing) tank.

Many Leopards (albeit older ones, A4s?) were destroyed by rebels in Yemen in Dec 2016 – are the newer ones as survivable as CR2/CR3? However maybe that is not fair – Kornet is a very capable weapon.

Last edited 10 months ago by Graham M
Martin
Martin (@guest_742034)
10 months ago

Not enough…..we always fall short…our defense procurement always is wrong..Ajax…HMS Prince of Wales…F35..

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_742113)
10 months ago

“the number of Challenger 3 tanks would remain under review …”. I fear potentially downwards as much as upwards. I read somewhere (maybe this website) that the British Army now has only 158 Challenger 2’s nominally left on strength after the 2021 scrappages and the early 2023 Ukraine transfer. Perhaps that excludes a few tanks already in the hands of RBSL, but would it be possible to increase that 148 by enough to field three rather than two regular armoured tank regiments? I’m dubious. Also, money is being saved by only converting only the CR2’s who a survey identified as… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_742137)
10 months ago

The BA has more than 158 CR2 Tanks i can assure you .,if i could learn to format lists properly and had more time i can give you some key numbers,but for now 386 produced,302 of ALL conditions left before 14 were donated to Ukraine,227 in the current operational fleet,148 to be converted to CR3.👍

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742165)
10 months ago

213 tanks on the active list following transfer of 14 tanks to UKR. Some of those will be with RBSL.
The decision to convert just 148 has nothing to do with how many CR2s were in good condition.

Mick
Mick (@guest_742151)
10 months ago

I find all these posts interesting but not sure if everyone is missing a glaring point that armour in this latest conflict has not been a game changer, whether it is the mass mobile junk heaps of the Russian divisions or NATO armour, The use of trained anti tank teams, drones and effective artillery seems to be what demoralises units and gain ground. I know the Tank is in our hearts after all we invented it, but with all the cuts going on perhaps we need to concentrate on upgrades and increased artillery and anti tank weapons. The big question… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742178)
10 months ago
Reply to  Mick

They are using the Viper to breach MFs mate and in regard to armour, has it been a game changer? Hard to tell if both sides have it, imagine if only one side did, then it would be a game changer for sure! The tank is a relevant today as any other platform, and the same as any other platform or system it adapts, changes and moves with the times! TTPs change, adapt and mirror the oppositions efforts at the same! At the end of the day it comes down to training and correct tactics! For example, both me and… Read more »

Mick
Mick (@guest_742182)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Thanks interesting to know they are using viper, I get what your saying ref armour, I think what I was getting at is that we all can have a wish list and bemoan the fact that our government has effectively destroyed our armed forces capability to project power, but we will have to decide what we can afford, armour is great if you have dominance in the air and the other resources, that means a proper budget and procurement of the above, I can’t see that happening any time soon. ref the Gunfight I am afraid you would probably miss… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742186)
10 months ago
Reply to  Mick

Lol I have to agree, a number of successive governments have fell for the peace dividend bullshit, and we are weaker now than ever! The RN, then the RAF should be priority, but the Army still needs to be able to deploy a war fighting division which it cannot! As for our gunfight, it’s a covert job, my jacket zip is already undone, I have a waist holster and you are 30 feet away……no problems, like I said it’s all down to skills, drills, experience and training…..and I will follow it up with the good old fashioned, always effective kick… Read more »

Mick
Mick (@guest_742193)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Lol I love it, well it won’t be a challenger tank that turns up at this rate. they will all be in the work shops. Skill, drills and experience is a valid point, but never go into a gun fight thinking you are the only one with those attributes, that’s just what Putin did, !! Look where that’s got him. Cheers I’m off to sleep, gotta get up stupid o clock tomorrow, speak soon.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742196)
10 months ago
Reply to  Mick

Did I mention I also have a grenade? Night night Micky boy, keep one eye open 😂😂😂👍 PS I know a few chubby tankies who are confident their gorgeous lump of armour ate fully serviceable at this time!

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742197)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Ate? FFS predictive txt crap!

Mick
Mick (@guest_742199)
10 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Cheers mate, I will sleep with my CZ under my pillow just in case.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_742202)
10 months ago
Reply to  Mick

😂👍

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_742207)
10 months ago

Korea Redback IFV wins Australian Army order.

Of note:

30mm Bushmaster gun
2 Spike LR launchers in turret
Ironfist APS
Some advanced Elbit sights with heads up displays and integrated with battle management system.

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742448)
10 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Also of note is that the order was roughly halved before contract was signed.

Col Bishop
Col Bishop (@guest_742631)
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

It was a required number of 450 cut back to 129 by thr aLP Goverment

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742678)
9 months ago
Reply to  Col Bishop

Thanks for the numbers Col. So an endorsed Australian Army requirement for 450 IFVs is cut to 129 by a politician on a whim. Unbelievable. Australia is now less defended. A capability gap has been created. Just the same as happens here though.

Col Bishop
Col Bishop (@guest_742904)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham M

One can only hope of more batches being ordered down the track

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742926)
9 months ago
Reply to  Col Bishop

More batches of Boxer are expected as funding is in place for 1016 units – and the current 623 order can only equip 2-3 battalions out of 5 with the section carriers variant.

CR3 – I had expected DCP 2023 to make a statement on CR3 numbers as IR23/DCP23 was meant to consider the war in Afghanistan. We must wait for the Project WAVELL report seemingly.

Col Bishop
Col Bishop (@guest_742421)
10 months ago

Enough tanks for three regiments and some training tanks. In 1989 we had three armoured divisions

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_742625)
10 months ago
Reply to  Col Bishop

…and up to 1982 we had 4 armoured divisions in 1 (BR) Corps. Also let’s not forget the armd bde in Berlin throughout the Cold War, additional to the Corps.

Richard.C
Richard.C (@guest_742459)
10 months ago

If I’m right a lot of cut backs were ordered by the government in the 80s 90s Army Navy and Air Force,we are leaving the UK into a weak Force in General and other countries will notice this which if we came under attack say from Russia,we wouldn’t be able to defend efficiently.

stevie
stevie (@guest_742748)
9 months ago

Their we have it under review we have seen this government last year have spend the lowest level of funding compared to other countries in europe of just 2% just to keep ticking over. however cuts stilling coming and our armed forces having to cut now for future projects compare to other countries we are becoming a third rate country for defence no wonder the US are not happy with these cuts and we can’t keep having the US to fill the gap .