UK to Upgrade Challenger 2 MBT

chally 2According to an article in Defense, the UK Ministry of Defence has initiated a program to update the British Army’s neglected Challenger 2 main battle tank fleet with at least three contractors submitting initial proposals.  BAE Systems,  General Dynamics UK and Lockheed Martin UK, have all thrown their hat into the ring regarding the upgrade program. Officially known as the Challenger 2 Life Extension Program (LEP), the update, including initial logistic support, could be worth up to US $1 billion.  The article notes that “industry executives said the update would focus mainly on updating turret subsystems and would not involve replacement of the L30 gun or the powerpack.”  The article notes that one such subsystem that may be included in the upgrade is the Thales UK’s TOGS II thermal observation and gunnery sight.

Full article here.



UK considers new MBT

Jane’s is reporting that the UK is looking for upgrade or replacement options for their current fleet of Challenger 2 MBTs.  According to the article:

BriA Challenger 2 main battle tank, of the Queens Royal Lancers, crosses an Iraqi defensive ditch by means of a General Support Bridge prepared by 39 Squadron, 32 Regiment, Royal Engineers.  Troops of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, provided a guard as the sappers breached these first obstacles, clearing the way for British troops to enter Iraq.tish 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”.

The article says that the scope of the program has yet to be determined, options ranging from a limited life extension program to upgrade the most outdated components or a wider set of improvements.  The UK currently only operates 227 Challenger 2 vehicles.  The article stated that the option to replace the Challenger 2 with a different vehicle had not been ruled out.

Full article here.

Book Alert: Challenger 2 vs Toyota Yaris

*Warning, satire ahead*

Here at Tank and AFV News, we are proud to announce that we have agreed to author the next installment in the Osprey books “Duel” series.  Based on five minutes of reading google news articles years of intensive research and archive digging, this volume will examine the 2015 conflict between German teenage auto drivers and the British Army.

Publishers description:

The Battle of the German roadway of 2015 involved the first small-scale tank-against-Toyota hatchback battle in history. The clash at Augustdorf involved at least one vehicle on each side, resulting in a total victory for British tank forces.  This book examines two of the premier opposing vehicles of the conflict, the British Challenger 2 MBT and the Toyota Yaris hatchback. With a complete history of the design, development, and deployment of these vehicles, the story of these great battles is brought to life in a highly illustrated format.

Duel 108 Challenger 2 vs Toyota Yaris final

From the Editor: Type 99 “third most powerful tank?”

99-143445_copy1As an example of how quickly bad information can spread around the internet, lets consider some recent articles that have been making the rounds which claim that the Chinese Type 99 MBT was recently declared “the world’s third most powerful tank.”  We spend a good deal of time searching for news relating to tanks and AFVs every day, two days ago we noticed an article from “Want ChinaTimes” with the headline “PLA’s Type 99 ranked world’s third most powerful tank.”  This theme was repeated in another article from Yibada with a very similar title posted yesterday.  So where does this notion come from?  The claim comes from the German magazine Focus which ran an article listing the best tanks in the world, with the Type 99 third after the Leopard 2 and the Abrams.  We found the Focus article in question, it’s in German of course but with some help from google translate we can get the gist of it.  If the authors of the Want Chinatimes and Yibada articles had bothered to do the same, they might have noticed that the tank descriptions in the Focus article are presented in no particular order.  In fact, the article plainly states that in order to see their rankings of the tanks, people have to watch a video which is embedded in the bottom of the article . In the video the Type 99 does not even make the list.  The article picks the five best MBTs in descending order as Leopard 2A7, K2 Black Panther, M1A2 SEP, Challenger 2 and Merkava Mk4.  It also notes that the new T-14 Armata may be a contender as well.

It should be noted that the article and video in Focus are really not very informative.  No information is provided as to the methodology used to rank these tanks, nor is it mentioned who is doing the ranking.  The fact that a German magazine has declared the German tank as the best should immediately raise some red flags with the reader.  Many of the technical details of modern MBTs are still classified and few have seen combat, especially any combat against other modern armor.  This lack of information makes these sorts of comparisons pretty meaningless, and most of these sorts of lists are more guesswork and nationalistic chest thumping as much as anything else.  Typically, we would not have bothered to mention articles of this poor quality here at Tank and AFV News.  However, we thought it worth pointing out this example of how quickly bad information can spread around the net.