Mon. May 20th, 2024

“The deadliest tank in the world” of the British army passed the first combat tests

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May15,2024

The British Army's "Deadliest tank in the world" passed its first combat tests

As reported by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), the new main battle tank of the British Army Challenger 3 has successfully completed its first combat tests in Germany .


These trials, designed to test the accuracy and effectiveness of the new 120mm smoothbore gun, mark an important milestone in the tank's development. The tests conducted by RBSL and Rheinmetall followed NATO reference standards to test the tank's performance at various distances.

The first pre-production Challenger 3 tank, which rolled off the assembly line at Telford in January 2024, was sent to Germany for these rigorous tests. This new tank is part of the army's wider modernization program, which includes equipping the force with advanced armor, active protection systems, increased firepower and advanced technology. These modernization efforts aim to make the Challenger 3 one of the most lethal and survivable tanks in Europe.

The Challenger 3 is set to become a key component of the Army's Armored Brigade Combat Teams, working alongside vehicles such as the Ajax and Boxer. This new tank is critical to the Army's combat capability and the UK's contribution to NATO's deterrence strategy. Developed by RBSL, a joint venture between BAE Systems and Rheinmetall, the Challenger 3 is an upgrade of the Challenger 2, which has been in service since 1998. The new tank includes the latest digital enhancements and weaponry.

Equipped with a new digital crew station, Challenger 3 provides interoperability with other combat vehicles and supports multi-domain integration for data exchange. Its design includes a new turret design and improved armor that provides superior protection. The tank is also equipped with a laser warning system and an active defense system to identify and neutralize incoming threats. Complex electromagnetic tests confirmed the survivability of the tank on battlefields saturated with sensors.

The tank's armament includes a 120mm Rheinmetall L55A1 smoothbore gun, capable of firing projectiles with enhanced kinetic energy and programmable multi-purpose ammunition. This high-pressure gun increases the tank's firepower and accuracy, putting it on par with other NATO tanks.

In May 2021, the UK MoD awarded RBSL an £800 million contract to convert 148 Challenger 2 tanks. into the Challenger 3 configuration. Testing of the first prototype began in January 2024, and the eighth prototype was unveiled in April 2024. These prototypes will undergo intensive operational testing to verify their effectiveness and make necessary improvements.

Challenger 3 is expected to reach initial combat capability by 2027, and full combat capability – until 2030. The tank is expected to remain in service until at least 2040, modernizing the UK's ground forces with its advanced lethality and technological capabilities.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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