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Uk Surges Ahead With Challenger 2 Upgrade

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On 8/30/2020 at 10:47 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:



Did I read that the factory making BMP 3 was on the verge of bankruptcy because they were not getting enough orders?

BMP-3 orders stopped after 2009/2010, but started again in 2015. Substantial numbers too, nearly 600 since then.

Also, Iraqis have been ordering the vehicle in recent years.


Kurganmash produces BMP-3, BMD-4, BTR-MDM, they are not on the verge of bankrupcy. I believe that was a matter of some old outstanding debt, back when part of the enterprise was owned by by Traktor Plants Concern.

Especially considering Kurganets, there was little actual risk of the factory going under.


As for why the BMP-3 has the weird entry layout, mostly has to do with desire to combine improved frontal armor + good mobility and amphibious characteristics. The armor was fine for the time, and up-armor kits have been available for a long time regardless- from applique armor (50cal from 100 meters I think? all around) to some more exotic ERA packages.

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One thing I did run across last month was this article about India developing a guided missile for its Arjun MBT, which also uses a rifled 120mm gun. could this be adapted to Challenger 2, if a new gun is not adopted?


India's DRDO successfully test-fires indigenous laser-guided anti-tank missile

India’s government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired a locally developed laser-guided anti-tank missile from an Arjun main battle tank (MBT) on 22 September.

The weapon, which was fired from the Arjun’s 120 mm rifled gun at one of the firing ranges belonging to the Armoured Corps Centre and School (ACCS) in Ahmednagar, western India, destroyed its intended target located at a distance of 3 km after locking onto it with its laser designator, the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) said in a 23 September statement.

An Arjun MBT is seen here test-firing a locally developed laser-guided anti-tank missile at a firing range in Ahmednagar, western India. (DRDO)

An Arjun MBT is seen here test-firing a locally developed laser-guided anti-tank missile at a firing range in Ahmednagar, western India. (DRDO)

The PIB stated that the newly developed missile, which is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials, is armed with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that can penetrate armoured vehicles, including those fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA).

It also noted that the missile has been developed for use with multiple Indian Army (IA) platforms, but provided no further details as to whether these platforms would be other tanks capable of firing the weapon from their main guns, or whether the platforms will be equipped with specifically designed launchers.


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3 hours ago, AlexW said:

Completely wrong. The entire vehicle family is fully supported. I'd love to know where people get these out of support ideas from.

You are correct. I learned this from someone I trust and didn't double check. I now checked and apparently Caterpillar offer remanufacture services for the CV12 engine.

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23 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

We arent reducing integration with our neighbours. We actually are procuring Boxer, we are using a 40mm autocannon we developed with the French in our IFV's and Recce vehicles. Our primary recce vehicle is a development of an Spanish/Austrian design. The Polish are even building SPA that utilizes an AS90 Turret. I think we even designed their 120mm Turret Mortar systems. We are buying more European military vehicles now than we ever had in the past, even if we are building many of them here. Even Challenger 2 had significant amount of European equipment, mainly optics, in it. 

Yes, the narrative at the top levels is Brexit, but as far as the Army, as far as the equipment it is getting, its far from it. Dont let Bojo's bullshit narrative convince you otherwise.

You have to ask the question why Rheinmetall is so interested in the UK even post Brexit. The answer I heard would surprise you.


NATO membership is definitely not in question (well, unless Trump manages to wreck the whole thing in the next four years), but when it comes to deep integration like the Dutch-German, you have to ask with which partners it would be - particular when the aim is retaining insular systems like Challenger, regardless of possible future ammo commonality.

The UK has the advantage that it could be the bigger party to various smaller countries and lease part of its tank fleet to them for use in joint formations like in the GER-NL model, but that requires someone with no or seriously outdated tanks to take up that offer. Belgium would be a candidate and is even kinda next door. Ireland would be a wild card in that no language and little cultural barriers exist, but despite the military cooperation that's already taking place, irritations over Brexit are going to put a severe strain on such ideas when they're not even a NATO member in large part because the UK is. That's before we come to the question whether any of the potential candidates sees enough value for the expense such a scheme would bring, cost-effective as it might be.

When the aim is simply saving the RAC as an MBT force regardless of the system it uses, the options become wider, depending upon procurement of a new type - and the UK possibly becoming the junior partner in the integration scheme. Realistically, the choice would be between sharing the M1 with the US similar to the Trident agreement, getting in on the French-German MGCS project, or buying used/upgraded Leopard 2 as they become available again by replacement through MGCS. IOW, it depends upon whether you would rather have more shrill screams of "American poodle!" or "Euroarmy!" from the domestic peanut galery. 😁

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I think our integration is progressing more on the maritime level. We seem to want to sell our Frigate designs to the entire planet, and there has been some cooperating in Amphibious warfare with the French. We are also creating a NATO stockpile for Sonarboys in Scotland to support US, Norwegian and British P8 operations. Our Air Defence Destroyers, and in fact manyof our maritime weapons, are French. So thus far, no real issues.

On land, yes, you do clearly have a point, we could do more to integrate in the manner you describe. But then you start running into national soverignty issues which all NATO nations face one way or another. The Dutch/German tieup is a good one, but its unsusual even in NATO. A British/Estonian tie up would make a lot of sense, but try selling that one to two proud nations.

That the British contribution to Eastern Europe is split between Estonia and Poland is just one more example of how little thinking has gone into this. It would not be a problem, if we were all using the same equipment. Its not just a British problem, the French are even less NATO compatible than we are I would think. And with the rest of NATO adopting a 40mm of one sort or another, the Americans go with a 30mm.

If we dont upgrade Challenger (which I think we should) I predict we will buy Japanese, just to annoy everyone else. :)

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