WATCH: Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks in action

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Watch as Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks conduct live firing exercises.

Last week, German company Rheinmetall submitted a comprehensive offer to extend the life and substantially upgrade the capabilities of the Challenger 2 tank fleet in response to the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project.

According to a press release from the company, Rheinmetall provides a wide range of cutting edge systems that are integrated in tank fleets around the world and is currently actively engaged in the upgrade and delivery of Leopard 2 MBTs for two major international customers. Through continual investment in research and development Rheinmetall has remained at the cutting edge of tank technology.

“Rheinmetall has leveraged its extensive knowledge of MBTs to develop an innovative solution for the Challenger 2 that will not only extend the life of the tank but allow it to be brought in-line with the latest generation of MBT capabilities using proven high technology readiness systems. Rheinmetall’s solution will replace major obsolete components in the Challenger 2 while at the same time introducing new capabilities that will substantially improve the combat power of the British Army.”

Ben Hudson, Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, said:

“Our team has put together an innovative proposal to solve not only the obsolescence issues of the Challenger 2 but to also cost effectively enhance the capabilities of the MBT. One example of this is that our solution can integrate either the existing 120mm L30 rifled gun or our proven 120mm L55 smooth bore system that is in service with the German Army and can fire the latest generation kinetic energy rounds and our unique 120mm air-burst ammunition. When combined with the new optronics, situational awareness and fire control systems our solution will allow the Challenger 2 to fight, survive and win on the battlefields of today and tomorrow.”

The release adds that Rheinmetall is committed to, and has the expertise to, undertake all aspects of the Challenger 2 LEP Design Authority and will fully incorporate UK suppliers into the Program conducting both the fleet upgrade and Through Life Support in the UK, while also establishing a long term UK presence linked to this and other projects.

Peter Hardisty, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence UK and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles UK, said:

“Incorporating UK suppliers into our team is fundamental to the long term supportability of the UK fleet and we have had fantastic support already from a number of UK partners who are members of our team, including Supacat, Thales UK and BMT. The Company is committed to transferring substantial MBT technology into the UK and generating an enduring UK capability to support not only the MBT fleet but also the fleet of over 7,000 trucks we have delivered to the British Army.”

BAE Systems and others in the industry have expressed interest in the Challenger tank upgrade project.

As announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, Challenger 2 will form a key part of the British Army’s capability through to 2035. In order to achieve this, several key systems will need to be replaced.

Jennifer Osbaldestin, Managing Director of BAE Systems Land (UK), said:

“We have taken an innovative approach in teaming for this bid to enable the best and most experienced partners to develop and deliver a winning solution. This approach gives us access to capabilities and facilities that will sustain Challenger 2 through life and offer a value for money solution for British taxpayers.

BAE Systems designed and built Challenger 2, we are now excited about the opportunity to use our expertise with the rest of Team Challenger 2 to update and integrate new technology to further extend the capability for the British Army.”

The MoD is to name the winning teams around October and select a winning submission in 2019.

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