The Military Army Blog

British Army considers new MBT in response to …

Senior British Army officers and procurement officials are examining the future of the BAE Systems Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT), including possibly buying a new vehicle. The effort is a continuation of a project launched more than a decade ago to upgrade the British Army s tank fleet, but earlier this year army chiefs ordered a wider effort to look at radical solutions to the increasing obsolescence of the service s 227 Challenger 2s. Speaking at DSEI in London on 16 September, the head of the British Army, General Sir Nick Carter, confirmed that the future of the Challenger 2 was being considered at the army s highest levels.

Asked if the army was looking to buy a new tank to counter the recently unveiled Russian T-14 Armata, Gen Carter said, We have got issues with the tanks we ve got and if we don t do something about it we will have issues what we will do is in discussion. A senior army procurement officer told IHS Jane s that a new MBT was one option being considered, alongside a limited life extension programme (LEP) to replace obsolete parts or a wider upgrade. We have not decided on the scope of the programme, he said. Industry sources told IHS Jane s that executives of several armoured vehicle providers had talked to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) about the future of the Challenger 2, including options for a new MBT.

British Army officers have become increasingly worried about the Challenger 2 s effectiveness, particularly the lethality of its L30A1 120mm rifled main gun and its suite of ammunition. One officer told IHS Jane s that the appearance of the T-14 Armata has had a significant impact and assessments of the new Russian tank s armour and self-defence systems [have] suggested that the Challenger 2 s 120mm main armament no longer cuts it .[1]


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