Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
defence connect logo

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

UK orders $1.2bn battle tank upgrade

German-based prime Rheinmetall has been tasked with upgrading the British Army’s Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

German-based prime Rheinmetall has been tasked with upgrading the British Army’s Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

The British Ministry of Defence has awarded a £665 million ($1.2 billion) contract to Rheinmetall for the modernisation of the Armed Force’s Challenger 2 fleet.  

Advertisement
Advertisement

Under the contract, approximately 148 Challenger 2 main battle tanks will be upgraded with the 120mm smoothbore main armament and a new turret structure, including a digital system architecture.

The contract, which forms part of the British Army’s Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (LEP), is expected to convert the current Challenger 2 fleet into new Challenger 3 models, extending its service life.

The upgrades are scheduled for delivery from 2021-2027, with most of the work to be undertaken in the UK at the Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) plant in Telford in the West Midlands.

According to Rheinmetall, the Challenger 3 will be a “network-enabled, digital tank” with enhanced lethality and survivability.  

The modernisation project is expected to enable the fleet of tanks to fire current and future Rheinmetall 120mm kinetic energy rounds and programmable multipurpose ammunition.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“We’re proud to be taking charge of one the United Kingdom’s most important army technology program here in the cradle of the British tank industry,” Armin Papperger, chief executive of Rheinmetall AG, said.  

“In technological terms, the upgrade will put the British Challenger tank on the cutting edge of NATO’s armed forces.

“To make this happen, we’ve amalgamated the longstanding expertise of RBSL with Rheinmetall of Germany’s unsurpassed know-how in large-calibre weapon systems, digitization and advanced turret solutions.”

John Abunassar, head of Rheinmetall’s vehicle system’s division, added, “The British Army is getting a world-class capability.

“At the same time, we’re celebrating the return of top-notch tank technology to the British Isles, because the bulk of the work will take place in the UK and involve the inclusion of numerous local suppliers.

“This announcement comes after years of hard work and collaboration with our customer, especially in the recent extraordinary circumstances brought about by COVID-19.”

The program also aims to support jobs growth across Britain, by maintaining a 200-member staff, including 130 highly skilled engineers and 70 technicians.

Over the life of the contract, RBSL is expected to offer employment and training opportunities to more than 60 trainees.

[Related: Boxer MIV production hits new milestone]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

UK orders $1.2bn battle tank upgrade
British-Army_Challenger-2-battle-tanks_dc.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

Jul 1 2022
Collaboration key to Australia’s transition to nuclear powered submarines
Collaboration between government, regulators and industry partners will be key to standing up a complete nuclear submarine capabil...
Jun 30 2022
Australians embrace AUKUS but remain resistant to nuclear weapons
Most Australians have endorsed plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS deal, but continue to express strong op...
Jun 30 2022
PODCAST: Cyber security, a legal requirement? With Clyde & Co’s Reece Corbett-Wilkins and Avryl Lattin
In this crossover episode of the Defence Connect podcast, Reece Corbett-Wilkins and Avryl Lattin, partners at global law firm Clyd...