British Army engineers, along with their colleagues at Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (a joint venture between Britain’s BAE Systems and Germany’s Rheinmetall AG), have finalised the design for a new version of the Challenger 3 main battle tank ahead of schedule.
As a result, the tank design has been agreed and the RBSL plant in Telford can now begin prototyping.
The work was carried out under an £800m (over $1bn) contract which was awarded to RBSL in 2021 to supply the British Army with 148 upgraded, fully “digitised” Challenger 3s from 2027.
There has also been a “successful” test of the new advanced armour system, the military has said.
In addition to the main contract, a parallel integration of the Trophy MV Active Protection System (APS) is under development, with a successful demonstration in November 2022.
Challenger 3 will have:
→ a new 120mm smoothbore gun to use “state-of-the-art ammunition”;
→A new set of sights, providing tank commanders with improved targeting capabilities by day and night;
→A new armour solution;
→ an active defence system;
→ A turret that can be mounted on allied and global partner tanks;
→A significantly improved mobility thanks to an upgraded engine and new hydrogas suspension.