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Challenger 3 to be upgraded with modular armour system

Posted on 22 Jan 2024 and read 1058 times
Challenger 3 to be upgraded with modular armour systemA contract has now been signed for Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to provide a new modular armour system for the Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank (MBT), marking an important milestone for the Challenger 3 programme. Designed by world-leading armour experts at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), and jointly developed with RBSL, the new modular armour provides a step change in survivability for the tank. With initial integration trials conducted in 2023, RBSL will now test, manufacture and integrate the new armour onto the Challenger 3 tanks.

The enhanced survivability will provide better protection for soldiers and the investment in this critical capability will deliver for the British Army now and into the future. Challenger 3 will be a key component of the British Army’s Future Armoured Brigade Combat Teams and the UK’s contribution to NATO deterrence.

The contract is a key part of the Land Industry Strategy which is generating British intellectual property, maintaining the national supply chain and securing skills in the UK. It will support up to 58 jobs in Newcastle and Telford during the initial manufacturing and beyond if export orders are also secured.

World-class sovereign capability

Colonel Will Waugh, senior responsible owner for the British Army’s Armour (MBT) Programme, said: “This contract signature is great news and another step forward in the delivery of the British Army’s next MBT capability. The conflict in Ukraine has provided a timely reminder of the threat posed by Russia’s MBTs and other weapon systems. This armour is a world-class sovereign capability that will provide a step change in protecting our soldiers and the survivability of the tank.”

RBSL managing director Colin McClean said: “The industrial investment that will be realised as part of this contract will see Telford at the forefront of armour development and manufacture — the investment in this critical capability will deliver for the British Army now and into the future, driving the delivery of the Land Industry Strategy generating British IP, British supply chain and British skills.”

Major General Darren Crook, director of Land Equipment, concluded: “The contract award for next-generation modular armour on the Challenger 3 MBT is yet another significant step forward for the programme. Not only does it secure a battle-winning armour solution for the British Army, but it is also great news for British industry. It illustrates our collective commitment to developing and securing skills in the defence sector for future generations, showing the Land Industrial Strategy in action.”