The increasing deployments of British tanks to the European continent due to Russian aggression has “not affected” the decision to reduce the British Challenger tank fleet from 227 to 148.

The information came to light via a Parliamentary Written Question.

John Healey, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether plans to send Challenger II tanks to Poland will affect plans to retire one third of the Challenger II tank fleet.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“Deployment of Challenger 2 tanks to Poland will not affect the decision to retire elements of the CR2 fleet.”

The drop from 227 to 148 is because the British Army is only planning on upgrading a limited number of its main battle tanks to ‘Challenger III’ standard, the rest will be retired.

The Defence Command Paper released last year, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, states:

As planned, the Army will invest around £1.3bn in our armoured capability by upgrading 148 of our main battle tanks to ensure the Challenger III will become one of the most protected and most lethal in Europe. The remaining fleet will be retired.”

It is understood that Challenger 3 specification features new turrets and a Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun used by other Western forces. This defence review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War.

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jacko
Jacko
7 days ago

Well got to say that’s not very clever is is?

david
david
7 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I guess it depends on what we expect our forces to do in the future. We are an island and I think that we have to prioritise defence. I think if we were bordering Russia like Finland, our navy would receive next to nothing and our army would get almost everything.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
7 days ago
Reply to  david

Agree, but this “common Sense” does not sit well with the bigger is better, more is better, we should do everything brigade in the majority on UKDJ.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The problem is that once they are gone they are gone, there is not ability to increase that capability. The truth is the capital expenditure to keep all 227 is peanuts back of the sofa money to a nation like the U.K….finding more challengers if we needed them is impossible. It would only take one point class loaded with a couple of battle groups of tanks to flounder and we no longer have the numbers we need. If you cannot replace something you need redundancy. It as you put it common sense or as a risk manager would put it,… Read more »

Jeff Webb
Jeff Webb
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

👍

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Johnathon, the decision regarding any future British Army MBT was secretly finalised by the fused entity we call Blair/Brown/Cameron/May. As part of the EU Armed Forces plan. An agreement was reached to placate the Brits industrial complex with the largest slice of the naval component. Germany/France were allocated the largest slice of the MBT fighting vehicles and so on. In the future unless our government is reminded of BREXIT, NATO and persuaded otherwise. We will be forced to buy the product of the Franco-German new tank project. Now officially known as the E-MBT. European Main Battle Tank. The other alternative… Read more »

James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

That sounds like a pile of rumours/hearsay if ever I read any.

Simon
Simon
6 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

All that does is give details about the new developments.I don’t see any confirmation of any secret deals ?

Last edited 6 days ago by Simon
Darren hall
Darren hall
6 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

Indeed…
But then, historically we have always had a bigger navy and smaller army.
The benefits of being on a island…

DJ
DJ
4 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

Both Korea & Japan also make quality tanks. If the Korean K9 SPH gets the win, is a modified K2 a possibility? The Japanese Type 10 is also an interesting take on the current overweight Western MBT. There are other options out there.

Stuart Dangerfield
Stuart Dangerfield
17 hours ago
Reply to  DJ

Yeah but they can afford to be lightweight their soldiers and tankers are around half a foot shorter on average and I don’t know about the South Korean Tank but I do know the Japanese tank takes advantage of the smaller size of Japanese tankers…

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
2 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

The key word here is “secretly”.

George Parker
George Parker
2 days ago
Reply to  WillDbeest

Indeed it is. The big EU decisions are all made that way. Far from the taxpayers and the rank and file. It’s unlikely that anyone in a British uniform had anything to do with it.

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
14 minutes ago
Reply to  George Parker

I was referring to the decision made secretly by the British politicians you mentioned

Jonno
Jonno
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Has any one a grasp of what could happen if Russia reverse engineers some of the stuff we have sent Ukraine?
That’s yesterdays battle isn’t it! The scale of our tank losses in WW2 are bewildering and yet it seems we have forgotten why we developed to best protected tanks in the world.
An extra 79 or 72 tanks is not insignificant and could mean all the difference to a overstretched Army.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Indeed, people do forget that tanks get knocked out and need replacement. There are lots of accounts of tanks crews in WW2 who went through multi machines..in WW2 the limiting factor was always the number of trained crews as tank production was so high….now we are stupidly turning that around as we will have no reserve tank capacity and no ability to build replacements, that’s just stupid. A few bad days could see the removal of the British army as an effective modern combined arms army. The sad think is we have the tanks as you say and it’s a… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

All they need to do is learn from the lessons being handed to them & wisely adjust accordingly. If they do(Or the Chinese), we could get some hard lessons while busy still patting ourselves on the back.

Frank62
Frank62
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The slash & burn of UK assets has to stop. It’s a false economy that just makes (mostly Tory backing) ultra rich even richer.

Andy P
Andy P
7 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

While I’m no expert, there will have been a lot of ‘lessons learned’ coming out of Ukraine on the role of tanks. While Russia might have been a bit ‘careless’, we’ve seen how easy it can be for infantry with relatively short range anti tank missiles to take out armour. We have stuff with longer ranges that would still be useful even if Russia learn and use more infantry with their armour.

Would guess there will be a fair bit of head scratching at the moment.

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

The conflict in Ukraine is not representative of a near future WWIII battlefield. Although it is closer than any conflict since Korea. Hardened and very heavily protected fighting vehicles with devastating firepower, will still have a central role to play. Be it well integrated into a mixed force of land, air sea and space assets. Russia is unlikely to be the enemy of her own. The CCP Chicoms, Iran and Russia being the enemies I would be gearing up to fight simultaneously. Additionally, some of their smaller allies such as Venezuela and Cuba standing with them. With any luck, the… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by George Parker
Andy P
Andy P
7 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

Well given your ‘goodies and baddies’ scenario where we fall into 2 camps and just ‘have at it’ then aye, defo, those extra Mk 3’s will swing the difference…

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Falling into two camps and “have at it.” Could be an accurate précis of human history. In which case a few more Mk3’s would be a good place to start turning things around. Until a better MBT can be designed and built in greater numbers. I’m a firm believer in a strong deterrent and peace by superior firepower. Always plan for the worst but hope for the best.

Paul42
Paul42
7 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Abject stupidity as usual from Brain dead politicians….

David
David
7 days ago

In a Nato context, there are lots of tanks with countries like Poland shedding Russian designed kit and buying top spec M1A2v3 .
Germany will boost spending as will other
It’s another nice to have. Upgrading the others would cost half again probably , so that’s £600m

Poland are buying Brimstone for an overwatch anti tank vehicle. Something similar would be nice.
We badly need an artillery upgrade
We need more sky sabre.
Would that £600m be better spent In thise areas?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 days ago
Reply to  David

Likely you’re right. And if there is more money left over, it would probably be wiser to buy more AH-64Es than more tanks

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
7 days ago

I am not sure attack helicopters have shown themselves to be any more resilient than tanks in the Ukraine conflict.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

That is true. I would hazard a guess that our hardware is quite considerably more effective than the junk the Russians operate however

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
7 days ago

I know from experience, you cannot rely on any air assets. They are weather dependent. A tank can drive through rain, low cloud, fog, sandstorms and high winds. Helicopters and ATG attack aircraft can’t and don’t.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
5 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Yeah well said – don’t let the navy lobby get in the way of truth! Common sense wot?? Having spent a little time on the ground in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Gulf War One and Two, oh yeah and Northern Ireland and Sierra Leon and Kazakhstan etc etc . Big gray ships generate emotion and look impressive on TV documentaries , particularly if you can get footage of the crew dressed in drag and pissing it up in exotic locations that Tomy Atkins will never get to see. In all the wars we’ve been involved in since 1982 the RN has… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
4 days ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

To lose a naval battle is usually far and away more decisive than a land battle.
Its because of this fact that although our ships are in regular contact with Russian and Chinese assets face to face, we dont see shooting.
If the present war spilled over into the wider maritime it the big stuff right away.
If our army hadn’t got away at Dunkirk it would have been WW2 1939-41 in all probability.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
7 days ago
Reply to  David

That depends on if you are sitting on a sofa saying that or in a hole on the outskirts of your objective and their tankers show up.

If they have sufficient infantry in support thats aimed at keeping your head down. You need tanks. OK, for me, it was 2003, 20 years ago. It hasn’t changed that much. Remember, NATO would, we hope, have enough air assets available to keep the other sides’ ATG aircraft neutered. That still doesn’t deal with their fixed positions that are heavily prepared or their armour.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
5 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Bravo – I refer to my comment above. If your an Infanteer out there on foot with your Rifle Coy and surrounded by bad guys there is nothing like even a single MBT. Fast jets will run out of fuel and leave you and don’t like cloud and rain , AH has very very limited endurance and range. Even one tank ( actually you usually get a pair), buddy buddy, pepper pot etc, makes a life saving war winning difference. They don’t f*CK off and leave you when it gets dark and starts to rain. They have awesome lethal firepower… Read more »

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  David

£600m is a drop in the ocean of the overseas aid budget. With the rest of the £15B per annum we could buy back those Challengers we sold; upgrade the entire Challenger fleet; carpet them all with the finest axminster and provide cushions for the crews. That’s just in the first year. An additional £4B to each of the armed forces per annum and £3B to the NHS. Such an investment would give industry and the nation a huge boost. If we only Buy British. GB could build a tank factory again and use the same hull for self propelled… Read more »

peter Wait
peter Wait
5 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

A tank is about 50 t plus and SP artillery about 30 t so universal hull may save on common supply chain but higher running costs for SP artillery !

George Parker
George Parker
5 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Hi Peter, valid points but it has been done before. I was thinking of Namer Merkava variant and the Russian Armata Universal Combat Platform in “protracted development” since 2009. The concept is in my humble opinion brilliant! Not exactly Boxer style modularity but certainly a huge commonality of parts/production lines and logistic support. They have T14 MBT, heavy APC, engineer vehicles, close air defence, multiple rocket launcher, mine clearance, NBC vehicle and other variants too. In addition to self propelled artillery, currently tested using a T90 hull but intended for Armata. If one believes the pre-2014 publicity from the designers.… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago

The government has no interest in reacting to international events and reviewing its plans in light of the change state of geopolitics.That’s a fools message. on another interesting side note it looks like what I’ve always though would happen, the long awaited showdown with the Western Members of NATO and Turkey is just about to kick or as Turkey has said it will block NATO membership of Sweden and Finland. I’ve always said Turkey was now a key weakness in NATO due to the fact it’s now on a likely irreversible move away from being a secular democracy. This is… Read more »

Rob Young
Rob Young
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I assume it would be possible for all the other NATO countries to simply duplicate NATO and all it’s provisions without Turkey, include Finland and Sweden and just run the two treaties in parallel. Or would that be too obvious?

Ollie
Ollie
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

And call it NOTU (I e. No Turkey) 😂😂😂

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

There was a very old saying popular in the military of the 19th and early 20th centuries. “Never trust a Turk.” Nothing has changed.

Jonno
Jonno
4 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

Dont forget Eire either. Still a defence desert.

peter fernch
peter fernch
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Oh dear boy we wont change we know eveything nobody can teach us anything we dont know. our 132 upgraded tanks will frighten the life out of the rRussians and Chinese. we can allocate a dozen to each area of threat That will be enough so lets talk about something else

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well, this is a problem with almost all international organisations, including the UN and the EU. All countries are treated equally and have equal votes, from the very large to the very small, from the undemocratic to the uber democracies. Clearly, this is nonsense, but although the original intent, when these organisations were set up was probably sound, they no longer make sense in the modern world of powerful autocracies and populist neo-dictators.

Last edited 7 days ago by OkamsRazor
Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The big problem for NATO is it was set up for participation by secular, free democratic nations, part of its charter is very much that. Turkey no longer comes close ( and would never tick all the checks for requesting entry to NATO now) but there is no clause for removal of a nation. Which unfortunately shows the hubris of the West around the appeal and inevitably of democracy ( why would a nation move from a secular democracy to something else). Without a removal clause NATO is destined to collapse at some key point….

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

When the USSR and Warsaw Pact had a navy to speak of, closing the Black Sea Fleet was the reason Turkey was included. It also provided a southern base from which to launch air attacks. With the new members of NATO Turkey is not so important. I honestly thought NATO would dissolve when the USSR disintegrated and lost the Cold War. With a new alliance rising with some or all of the Warsaw Pact nations joining, including Russia. Alas for numerous reasons not worth listing, AGAIN! It didn’t happen. Any new alliance should be a global one based on merit… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

Can’t disagree with you, the NATO we have is all we have got but I do think there should be a discussion around a new alliance based around liberal democracies no matter the geography. The big risk to the West is the rise of China and its potential client states ( that are now many). We need both a western liberal free trade block, defence collaboration organisation and finally a socio economic expansion organisation. Effectively the west needs to throw its hat in the ring as a geopolitical grouping and counter China in every domain.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yeah – NATO , s good. Very good.

Phil C
Phil C
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This problem has been brewing for some time now. Turkey has been running with the hare and hunting with hounds and getting increasingly cosy with Putin. Not sure where we’re at with the F-35 – S-400 trouble and now blocking Finland and Sweden joining NATO. I guess though that chucking Turkey out isn’t an option as Putin would love that and we need to keep our enemies close where possible.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Phil C

The big problem with Turkey being in NATO is the implication, which at the worst case is we have to go war because of an action by Turkey. Turkey plays its NATO cars very hard indeed and one day someone may call it.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Turkey has a point about radical Islamists in western countries – especially in Sweden

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

They are not talking about Islamists ( Erdogan, would not see that as an issue for him) he is taking about the Kurdish freedom fighters who want a separate state from both Turkey and Iraq as they have been treated like second class citizens in both countries.

Last edited 7 days ago by Jonathan
AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

What you talking about? Turkey supports radical Islamists all over. Hamas, Heezbollah and have support also from Turkey not only Iran, and where ISIS had support and which made much trade?

Steve R
Steve R
7 days ago

Does anyone know if we are still retaining the Chally 2s that won’t be upgraded, or will they be scrapped?

We should at the very least keep them as a backup force.

Ian M
Ian M
7 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Says in the article: “to be retired”.

George Parker
George Parker
7 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Sold off to second users such as Jordan etc. A huge mistake without a ready replacement. When we need tanks there will be no way to build them in a timely manner. We will be at the mercy of those countries that still have a tank manufacturing capability. If they consider us a worthy cause or in war time, have tanks to spare.

johan
johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

The NAO States of the 300 chally 2s in MBT format 227 are in service, and the 150 will be selected from these 227 for the best condition. and the remaining usable chassis are to go to deep store, for a period of time. and thats the unclear part how long??? trouble is crew numbers and service personnel is dropping

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 days ago

It depends on if the C3 upgrade goes smoothly. If it does, I would want to up the numbers to 200. The alternative is to buy more Boxer variants. The cockerill 105mm turret makes it a medium tank, sort of. The Brimstone module for Boxer makes it a precision stand off, anti armour platform.
The main point, is that future British Army formations need to be heavily armed. Exactly how you do it, is open to debate, but it does not matter, as long as the firepower is there.

David
David
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

105mm seems an unexessaty logistics burden.
The US is arming strikers with a turret that combines an auto cannon, stinger and Javelin .
Boxer could have something similar using Brimstone, Starstreak and Martlett with sensor package to defeat drones etc.
200 boxer with 8 Brimstone plus 8 reloads inside would give a powerful anti armour punch
Boxer with a 120 mm mortar and autoloader firing GPS or laser guided rounds would be another option.( but adds logistics and a new weapon)
Adding another challenger regiment adds a large logistic footprint.
There are only 90 or so HET transporters anyway?

Last edited 7 days ago by David
John Hartley
John Hartley
7 days ago
Reply to  David

Well we need something more than just machineguns on the roof of our Boxers. Logistics is a convenient excuse for bone idleness. They don’t worry about logistics when they introduce something new & shiny, that they want

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Well Italians were able to put a 120mm gun in their 8×8 Centauros II. so they have commonality with their Ariete tank.

Paul H
Paul H
7 days ago

Standard.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
7 days ago

Politicians make my blood boil. “The drop from 227 to 148 is because the British Army is only planning on upgrading a limited number of its main battle tanks to ‘Challenger III’ standard, the rest will be retired.” More like the Treasury… Granted the British Army have spaffed billions away on bodged projects, but for meagre £500-£750 million the full 227 could be upgraded. It is not a lot for the extra depth it would provide. When CR3’s replacement is eventually planned you can bet your bottom dollar that only 100 or so units will be acquired as they will… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
7 days ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

this

Jon
Jon
7 days ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Couldn’t agree more. What a fatuous argument! The drop is because that’s what’s been planned. As though MoD plans were holy writ accompanied by a chorus of angels for all eternity. The assumptions have changed and it’s time to review plans. Despite being given tens of billions of pounds extra by the government last year, the MoD still wouldn’t do the obvious things for the surface fleet, like speeding up the Type 26s and buying some ship to ship/surface missiles. They actually put the money where it will have the least effect on their precious plans, and the least benefit… Read more »

Tim
Tim
7 days ago
Reply to  Jon

What did they do with the extra money they got?

johan
johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Good Point but are you aware of this item. THERE ARE CURRENTLY more Ex -forces taking a pension than active, and that comes out of the defence budget. same as the NHS more ex workers than active, budgets are strained and face it Money is wasted at a large rate,

Robert
Robert
7 days ago

I think the decision to only have 148 tanks has something to do with where the tanks are going to get used and how they are going to get there. IIRC the type of scenario that the UK Govt think the Army would be engaged in is deterrent/preventative rather than full-on/cure. If the former scenario is correct then the ability to move and sustain 148 tanks becomes the governing factor – we could have more tanks but could we get them there to have any impact (think of GW2 and the logistics lift/time to deliver and sustain the approx 150… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert

@Robert; “UK Govt think the Army would be engaged in is deterrent/preventative rather than full-on/cure.”

Yes, we thought that in 1938, 1981 and so on.

Jon
Jon
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Maths 101

1/ If Johnny has 148 tanks because that’s all he can use, and Billy destroys 84 of them, how many tanks can Johnny use now?

2/ How many could Johnny have used if he’d thought to have a 100 in reserve?

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert

CH2 should not have been upgraded and UK should buy M1 or Leo.

Otherwise in a serious conflict after Challenger 3 are damage/destroyed crew will have to learn a new tank that will be M1 or Leo either way.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
7 days ago

I also think we should retain the whole lot.

However, given budget constraints it is understandable. There are so many programs that need sorting right now.

Long range fires/UAVs/loitering munitions are top priority.

Also anti air/UAV are a huge priority too.

Currently there is just not enough money to go around.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
5 days ago
Reply to  Luke Jones

Agreed ! Keep the 227. There’s a reason that we went for that number. UK use a type 56 Regt. 56 tanks. One tank Regt per Brigade gave us 168 . Enough for three proper Armd Bde’s in our one ‘ war fighting Div declared to NATO and we observed the rule of threes’. Two up front plus a reserve. 227 also allowed for a training Regt plus a Squadron in reserve. Now we are down to two Bde’s only – a two Bde Div? Nonsense! Makes no sense, no depth, no reserve.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 days ago

I really wish that there could be a compromise. If we have to have fewer tanks, can we use Rheinmetall’s 130mm gun? At least then our tanks could split mountains apart

Quentin D63!
Quentin D63!
7 days ago

Lol! Love the imagery there!

peter Wait
peter Wait
7 days ago

Rheinmetall say it is half ton heavier and associated larger parts would require a turret redesign, this might delay the project at this stage .

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago

I think we could afford to upgrade all 227 in my opinion. We just need an uplift to the defence budget to enable that to happen. We just think short term all the time in the UK.

peter Wait
peter Wait
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Think it would need more power packs in the system to support 227 tanks which is an expense they want to avoid .

grizzler
grizzler
7 days ago

We could go on an on and round and round in circles arguing but surely this is what we all expected. We may have hoped for something more constructive , considered and strategic to come out of this but we all know that its merely about the money. They can piss billions up the wall on AJAX but cant then spend the money to augment the forces required to ensure that items deliverables are fully utilised. We must surely all know this wont be enough to provide any real force projection, but the politicians will wring their hands squirm lie… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Any further news on the Ajax debacle? Anyones head roll or bum’s been kicked yet?

Ian M
Ian M
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The programme rolls onward. Trials are trialling, rounds being fired and miles clocked up.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
7 days ago

I hope against hope that they have the common sense to store the ones that are not to be upgraded, rather than scrapping them.

nonsense
nonsense
7 days ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

I agree

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

Totally agree, keep the remaining tanks for maybe another upgrade later! Or just as safety or buffer stock! It’s another no bloody brainer! Will be money well spent! Go for a fleet of 200! You never know when or where we might need it in a hurry!
And some decent armament on the Boxers please especially if Ajax will still remain a mess.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago

The 148 or 227 number should primarily be about how many regiments can we deploy? At the moment plans are it will be 2, I’d like to see that revert to our current 3, even a 4th if it means reducing from T56 size. This gives more options and a reserve. The 148 is okay, it’s a shame they won’t update the rest, but the priority must be the RA, precision firepower, drones, intelligence/EW, and the CS and CSS supports we lack. And the whole fleet should have APS fitted as standard. Whether we have 148 or 200 plus we… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 days ago

As always mate, nicely put.

I would like to see Brimstone added at Brigade or Battle Group level as mentioned above by it could be fitted to Boxer. That would give the tactical commander a stand off smart AT weapon with at least a 5km range (when surface launched) and as such provide a highly reactive and powerful AT capability to support the MBT force.

Cheers CR

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

It’s a no brainer for me and replaces the lost Striker Swingfire capability.

The Spike / Exactor capability is limited I believe to 2 or 3 batteries.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago

Why not run 2 Regiments of Challenger III in the Armoured Infantry and one of Challenger 2 in the Deep Strike 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

As you suggested before ala the US armoured cavalry.
It would help flesh out the DRSB wouldn’t it.
DRSBCT or 7 LMBCT, either could do with a regiment. Thinking about it your idea for DRSBCT is probably a better place for that 3rd Regiment considering 7 may end up on flanks with Foxhound and the DRSB has tracked SPs, MLRS, and, hopefully in time, Ajax.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago

Or give Challenger 2 to the Wessex Yeomanry, turn it into an actual fighting formation instead of just crew replacements.

Either way, just because we aren’t upgrading every Challenger doesn’t mean we should bin all of them.

Rob Young
Rob Young
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

May be that the ones being retired are needed for spares.It’s quite likely some parts are no longer available. But the idea of using the ones that haven’t been upgraded to second line formations would seem to be a good option if practicle.

Something Different
Something Different
7 days ago

Tanks are not obsolete, this is not the same scenario as when the move occurred from the battleship to carrier, there is no other platform that can one for one replace a MBT and all of its capabilities. However, with balance seemingly tipped in favour of the ATGM, losses are to be expected therefore surely it is prudent to retain sufficient mass to make up for battlefield losses. I wonder if we should actually move to Abrams or Leopard so we have access to a conman pool of platforms.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
7 days ago

Tanks take territory! Speaking as a former RMO, I know from Basra, we needed armour to dominate areas. Without the Chally’s from RSD, we would have been stuffed. It was ok bringing in light armour (we were running around in soft-skinned landy’s) after, but you need enough punch when you come up against dug-in resistance and the oppositions armour. Yes I know there are always ATM’s to look out for, but when you are stuck in a hole or on a roof and there’s no air assets available, you are bloody grateful when a Chally rolls up. 148 isn’t enough,… Read more »

jason
jason
7 days ago

148 tanks is truly pathetic. What is the British army planning to use instead what is our strategy?

RobW
RobW
7 days ago
Reply to  jason

Mainly to use someone else’s army I’d imagine and just be there for support. Which is a fair tactic given our geography, but we don’t quite have enough of anything to achieve. The RA is especially poor.

RobW
RobW
7 days ago

Given there has been no budget increase then it is hardly surprising that this was the answer to the question. We can’t increase numbers without more money or by cutting something else.

grizzler
grizzler
7 days ago
Reply to  RobW

increase budget then …or make someone accountable for the budget they piss up the wall on vainity project

James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Second point I am fully behind, in the private sector making the financial mistakes that are very often made in the MOD (no doubt also in the NHS etc) you would be fully accountable and out of a job. In the private sector make those mistakes and its very different, it needs to change.

The first point isnt going to happen, we dont have the money. Cost of borrowing is going up and the cost of living crisis is quite simply only going to get worse, alot worse.

johan
johan
6 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

From where, you make it sound like something the Labour party would say, like with the fuel suppliers and putting a windfall tax in place. on a company that international based and pays its tax in a foreign land.

its why all these politicians promise the worlds to get into power and then find out, we are repaying a debt this country agreed to 300 years ago.

Jonny
7 days ago

Bunch of clowns

Donald maclennan
Donald maclennan
7 days ago

Buy 150 new German apc with new 120 gun on it,half the weight fast modern,can go on c17 no problem.

Andrew
Andrew
7 days ago

Fail to prepare; prepare to fail.

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Excellent, that was my Grandad’s line. True though.

David_s
David_s
7 days ago

In the 1920s the planning assumption of the UK Government was that we were 10 years away from the next big war – and that assumption was held right up until 1939; right through the rise of Hitler, and the Sudetenland crisis. We have now had a series of governments who are quite confident that we are 25 years away from the next big war, even with what is going on now, they are perfectly happy to see the big gaps in UK armed forces capabilities, and even to let them grow, or in this case create new ones. The… Read more »

Steve H
Steve H
7 days ago

I suppose if push came to shove we could quickly borrow some M1 Abrams from our friends.

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 days ago

hhm – not much left to cut to start with.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
7 days ago

Has any justifications ever been given for the lesser amount?
Is it not considered a change in capability, or has there been a change in requirement?
Or is there no big picture for it to fit into?

Deter Putton
Deter Putton
6 days ago

Idiots. Why don’t they just give them to Ukraine instead of scrapping them?

johan
johan
6 days ago
Reply to  Deter Putton

as per previous items the Ukrainians would sell them to Russia, or reverse engineer them and then sell them to China and Russia. dont forget who supplied Russia with 65% of its ammunition. Return to sender.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
4 days ago

Clueless fools.

Frank62
Frank62
3 days ago

Head firmly in the MOD sand!