Sunday 16 June, 2024
HomeArmy & Land ForcesLand PlatformsSteel cut for Challenger 3 turret

Steel cut for Challenger 3 turret

In a major milestone as part of the upgrade from the Challenger 2 to the Challenger 3 main battle tank, the first steel has been cut for the British Army’s Challenger 3 new turret.

The Challenger 3 tanks are being upgraded by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) which will deliver 148 Challenger 3 tanks to the British Army with Initial Operating Capability for the Challenger 3 expected in 2027.

Officially announcing this milestone at Pearson Engineering, which was awarded a £25m sub-contract for the new turret, Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Challenger 3 tanks will be at the forefront of the British Army’s ground force deterrent against our adversaries. They will be equipped with the latest digital enhancements and weaponry, providing support and reassurance to our allies. This steel cut represents progress on delivering on our ongoing upgrade to British Army capabilities and on investment in skills and manufacturing in the North East and across the U.K.”

Challenger 3 tank upgrades include:

  • High velocity ammunition with faster speeds and increased range
  • Digitally programmed ammunition in a 120-millimetre smoothbore gun
  • A versatile turret that can be fitted to the tanks of allies and global partners
  • A new engine cooling system and suspension to increase accuracy for firing in transit
  • A new automatic target detection and tracking system to identify threats
  • New thermal long-range cameras, modernising the day/night image system

Commenting on today’s announcement, Brigadier Nick Cowey said: “I’m really excited at this key milestone in the Challenger 3 programme being achieved on schedule. The turret fabrication being conducted here by Pearson Engineering is crucial for the delivery of a fully digitised turret, ensuring that our modernised Main Battle Tank is the most lethal in Europe.”

Challanger 3 main battle tank

Main battle tankRheinmetall BAE Systems Land
Manufacturer:Country of origin:
Rheinmetall BAE Systems LandUnited Kingdom
British Army2027–2030
Number built:Crew:
64 tonnesLength: 8.3 m; Width: 3.5 m; Height: 2.49 m
Main armament:Secondary armament:
Rheinmetall Rh-120 120 mm smoothboreCoaxial 7.62 mm L94A1 chain gun; 7.62 mm L37A2 Operator/Loader’s hatch machine gun
Perkins CV12 TCA diesel500 km road; 250 km cross country
On-board systems:Speed:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) filtration system; chemical and radiation detector systems; thermal and night vision; laser range finder; fire control system59 km/h (37 mph) and 40 km/h (25 mph) cross country
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