U.K. MoD Inks Deal for Challenger 3 MBT’s New Armour

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U.K. MoD Inks Deal for Challenger 3 MBT’s New Armour
A deal was signed between the U.K. MoD and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land to equip the new Challenger 3 MBTs with modular armour.

The armour will offer protection against a new generation of threats for the Challenger 3 tanks. In the next phases, the armour will be tested, refined and finally integrated into the platform according to the roadmap.

The current generation of Challenger MBTs, Challenger 2, uses a heavy armour package, raising the weight to 75 tonnes. The new armour will significantly lower the weight to around 66 tonnes.

Challenger 3 is an evolution of Challenger 2, the current MBT of the British Army. The tank features a diverse range of improvements, such as:

  • New armour package
  • 120 mm L55A1 smoothbore gun in place of L30 120 mm rifled gun
  • New powerpack
  • Active protection systems
  • New electronics
  • New optical systems

The upgrades should be seen as capability upgrades and a move to keep the next generation of British MBTs better in line with NATO countries’ logistic systems for MBTs. The incompatibility of a 120 mm rifled gun with NATO-standard ammunition is one of the most well-known examples of Challenger 2’s deviations.

With a goal for Initial Operational Capability in 2027, 148 Challenger 3 MBTs are planned to be in service by the end of 2030.

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