Jump to content

The new Challenger


M3talpig
 Share

Recommended Posts

I hope they keep some of the spare CR2 in case they decide to increase the force in future. And why does it take six years to get it into service? They put a man on the moon in eight.

 

Also I noticed the mix of roadwheels, some perforated, some not. I assume it's just a case of whatever wheels were available when it was in the shop.

 

60MPH? do they mean KPH?

 

Well; if someone wants to bring out a kit I'll build one. 

 

Stuart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a fleet this small we should have bought Leopard 2 or not bothered. All that will happen is that they will slowly lapse into obsolesce just as CR2 did as upgrades will be too expensive.

 

I am curious to see the tactical doctrine that will apply.

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Scimitar F1 said:

For a fleet this small we should have bought Leopard 2 or not bothered. All that will happen is that they will slowly lapse into obsolesce just as CR2 did as upgrades will be too expensive.

 

I am curious to see the tactical doctrine that will apply.

Because its a proven winner, no Challenger has been lost to the enemy to date, (despite one being hit by loads of RPGs and ATGM).

Google destroyed M1 Abrams or Leopard 2, plenty of pictures.

Why did we buy into the overpriced F-35? we just spent millions on the Typhoon, Why did we make 2 new aircraft carriers? navy had no jets for it. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surviving RPGs is not the point. I would love for the Army to have a well funded high intensity/peer on peer capability but that is not going to happen sadly.

 

The future is networked warfare, active defence and new technologies like drones. It is better to have up to date kit - how comfortable would you be with a 20 year old TV or phone if your life depended on it?

 

 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Madmusky: We were in the US Navy's VSTOL programme before the F-35, initially with McDonnell Douglas.  We built the carriers because the life of a carrier extends longer than that of the aircraft being carried - historically at least.  Aircraft are getting longer lived nowadays, which is just as well given what they cost.  Throw in the time taken to work a ship up to operational capability before a single aircraft could land on it, the time difference wasn't that important.

 

Scimitar F1: Personally, I wouldn't give a toss about how old it was as long as it worked.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Scimitar F1 said:

Surviving RPGs is not the point. I would love for the Army to have a well funded high intensity/peer on peer capability but that is not going to happen sadly.

 

The future is networked warfare, active defence and new technologies like drones. It is better to have up to date kit - how comfortable would you be with a 20 year old TV or phone if your life depended on it?

 

 

hahaha Surviving RPGs not the point? Ridiculous an MBT needs to survive being hit from all sorts of threats where possible. 

I don't waste too much time on TV, so if it was 20 yrs old it wouldn't bother me and i don't own a mobile phone.

37 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Madmusky: We were in the US Navy's VSTOL programme before the F-35, initially with McDonnell Douglas.  We built the carriers because the life of a carrier extends longer than that of the aircraft being carried - historically at least.  Aircraft are getting longer lived nowadays, which is just as well given what they cost.  Throw in the time taken to work a ship up to operational capability before a single aircraft could land on it, the time difference wasn't that important.

 

Scimitar F1: Personally, I wouldn't give a toss about how old it was as long as it worked.

And why?

we were the masters of VSTOL with the Harrier, so much so the US bought from us and are still using them. Going by our last carrier the new carrier will need replaced in 25 years.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

You are missing the point. RPGs are the least of your problems. You have to stay current with the threat. Multiple RPG-7 hits on a immobile CR2 18 years ago is no guarantee of success today against more capable systems. If you are so close that you are taking RPG hits then you are ata serious disadvantage.
 

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

 

Scimitar F1: Personally, I wouldn't give a toss about how old it was as long as it worked.

A sword works as well as it did in the 16th century - not that much use on the battlefield today however.

Edited by Scimitar F1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently, the only Challenger 2 to be destroyed during combat operations was the result of "friendly fire" (from Wikipedia):

 

"25 March 2003:  A friendly fire ("blue-on-blue") incident in Basra in which one Challenger 2 of the Black Watch Battlegroup (2nd Royal Tank Regiment) mistakenly engaged another Challenger 2 of the Queen's Royal Lancers after detecting what was believed to be an enemy flanking manoeuvre on thermal equipment. The attacking tank's second HESH round hit the open commander's hatch lid of the QRL tank sending hot fragments into the turret, killing two crew members. The hit caused a fire that eventually led to an explosion of the stowed ammunition, destroying the tank. It remains the only Challenger 2 to be destroyed on operations."

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Scimitar F1 said:

A sword works as well as it did in the 16th century - not that much use on the battlefield today however.

Cheap debating trick sir, a sword is not a phone.  Works = does the job required.  

 

Madmusky: the US Marines does not use British Harriers any more but the McD replacement of them, as did we.  (PS I did work for Hawkers at Dunsfold and Kingston at the time of the first deliveries to the USMC and the earliest studies for the AV-8B.  I later did a very limited amount of work of the SSF at Warton.)  We were involved in the US programme because it was obviously going to be a far larger programme than anything the UK could contemplate and thus very good business.  We were welcomed because of our expertise, as indeed we still are on the F-35 if in largely different areas now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Scimitar F1 said:

For a fleet this small we should have bought Leopard 2 or not bothered. All that will happen is that they will slowly lapse into obsolesce just as CR2 did as upgrades will be too expensive.

 

I am curious to see the tactical doctrine that will apply.

To buy a small number of Leopards and change the whole support structure for them would have been hideously expensive for that amount!

The Germans are actively looking at a replacement for Leopard so why would we want to buy a tank that is in reality  older in design than Challenger albeit with at the moment better upgrades.
These ‘ new’ Challengers will be a step way above what we have now and still all these years later still have better armour than anything else out there.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What has been done has been done.  What has not been done has not been done.  We can all sit in our armchairs and pontificate and it will be interesting, possibly venomous, and entirely irrelevant.  CR3 will leverage a lot of current Leopard systems and will now have the smoothbore 120mm gun.  It remains an excellent stable gun platform with very good mobility because of the Hydragas suspension.  AFAIK there will be powertrain upgrades.  It is still extrememly survivable and is one of a very small number of tanks (Type 10? K2?) designed from the ground up to incorporate "Chobham"-type armour, rather than having it scabbed on later.  The Leopard's super-hard armour incorporating tungsten has not been as successful and was a key reason for its original rejection in favour of CR2.  With the add-on "Chobham" type armour packs the Leopard turret has become huge.

 

Having spent 3 decades working in defence procurement in MOD, one should not underestimate the logistic support cost implications of a complete change.  Much of CR2 will remain compatible with CR3, especially the mechanical parts that wear out most often and need most maintenance.  The tank will remain compatible with our various transport systems, ARVs, garaging etc.  However the turret systems and armament changes will still have fundamental impacts on supportability, the industrial supply chain and crew training and re-training.  Especially since the ill-conceived and poorly-implemented contractorisation of the repair and supply chains, where changes are opportunities for those contractors to demand more money because we couldn't afford the true cost of a contractorised service fully equivalent to the former in-house service under direct command and control.  If you want to question a doctrine, question the one that says that industry can do defence support better.  Because it sure isn't working out that way and is utterly fundamental to sustaining defence capability.

 

It seems that whenever Russian tanks are upgraded we all fear them yet when Western tanks are upgraded we all laugh at them, unless they're called Leopard.  From the comfort of our armchairs with a pint and packet of nuts.  Which I fail to understand.  T90 is to T72 what CR3 is to CR2.  Same with T84 and T80.  Although these were new builds rather than re-works, but T72s and T80s have been upgraded with compatible elements of T90 and T84.  Very many progressively upgraded T54s, 55s and 62s as well as earlier T72s are still out there in front-line service, including their Chinese clones and equivalents.  These are far more likely adversaries than the likes of T90 or T84, and are not to be underestimated. 

 

And we don't really know how good CR2/3 is against the Russian 125mm gun and its clones.  Look what happened when we examined Iranian Chieftain casualties in the Iran-Iraq war and discovered that the supposedly-invulnerable Chieftain had in fact been vulnerable to the T62's 115mm gun for 20 years since the mid-60's, but we just didn't know it.  That gun could penetrate 35% more armour with HEAT than the thickest part of Chieftain.  And by then the 125mm gun was around.  Hence Stillbrew.  The blue-on-blue hit referenced above did not strike the vehicle itself, just an open hatch cover, so that isn't a valid reference point.

 

As for keeping CR2s for later upgrades, that's another armchair idea.  They would need to be kept maintained in operable condition, at considerable expense.  Too many surplus and spare vehicles have been parked up without preparation or maintenance and converted to scrap.  Elements of the CR2 supply chain will need to be retained for this.  Some CR3 upgrades may need to be incorporated in order to prevent obsolescence beyond economic redemption.  We have had this problem with other vehicles kept untouched in War Reserve.  The unit cost of a second round of conversions will inevitably be higher, noting that most of the non-recurring costs are already sunk.  However it is unlikely that these can be identical several years down the line because of parts obsolescence: CR3A.  I imagine the unconverted older higher-mileage tanks may be stripped for spares, especially powerpacks, the composite armour removed and then scrapped or expended as targets.  Donating or selling them is unlikely, especially with just a single source of ammunition supply which now has an uncertain future as we expect to purchase smoothbore ammunition overseas rather than making it in the UK.  Cheaper ammunition was sold to HM Treasury as an offset for the capital gun change cost.  And we will have taken the best ones for conversion.

 

 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some good comments on this thread but I cannot see the sense in developing    a bespoke tank when the buy is only 140. 
 

Let’s hope we do not end up in the similar situation to Nimrod MRA4.

 

 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s not a bespoke tank though! It is a drop in new turret with some upgrades to the rest of hull,engine etc.

Also you have to take into account AVRE,AVLB and ARRVs are all based on the Chally hull.So IF we bought Leopard/M1 we would be running two supply chains for our heavy armour! Not really sensible is it?
Unlike Nimrod Mr4  this turret actually exists and has been proven by Rhienmetall to work saving us the R&D costs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ivan-o said:

It’s not a bespoke tank though! It is a drop in new turret with some upgrades to the rest of hull,engine etc.

 

They always say that! I do understand the fleet issues though.

 

But ask yourself what will the Army actually do with 100 tanks in service? When I went through Troop leaders on Chieftain Mk11 there were over 800 MBT and 14 armoured regiments. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Panda Commander said:

Let's not forget what happened ~35 years ago, when the UK arms industry was given a clean sheet of paper to design a "bespoke" 5.56mm service rifle...

 

Panda Commander

The only problem with that was they gave the clean sheet to engineers and not gunsmiths, the problems were fixed by experienced gunsmiths in the A2.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I like the C3 upgrades.

 

I think once you wade through the hysteria and see it for what it is, I actually think it has covered the bases quite nicely. What we were after was just enough to keep C2 capable (so the new L55 smoothbore, better thermal sights, much better battle-management system and a few other bits to help survivability, datalinking, new suspension and the new powertrain/powerpack etc) for the time it will take for us to work with <insert partner state here> on a new generation, optionally-manned MBT platform. We’re probably fifteen years away from something like that being cleared to transition into, and C2 wasn’t going to be able to last that long in her current form. The upgrades are merely to buy time whilst retaining skills and training.

 

148 isn’t enough for a Cold War style tank-centric conflict but then we don’t fight like that any more and neither will C3. The upgrades are to keep the deterrence and to keep the skills and training current, as well as introducing the Regiment-level command to working with current spec battle-management hardware, all the new toys etc and of course, the logistics support for working with common NATO ammunition. 

 

I think a lot of the reason for such a small number of them is that a lot of the jobs where we used to use MBTs for, jobs that required an MBT, we no longer have to use MBTs for. Their actual utility these days is far narrower than it was. 

 

For those jobs where we really do need an MBT, C2 is, sadly, so far behind in some important ways, that even if it could soldier on for another fifteen years, dropping the notional new optionally manned MBT drone/hybrid platform into service to replace it would be challenging. Like going from Lancaster to Vulcan, if that comparison makes sense, Upgrading C2 to C3 standard makes that transition a lot easier. I see it as a tracked training course for what is coming next. We may well see Trophy or similar tacked on later to get the British Army up to speed on fighting with APS systems in time for the C3’s replacement. I do wonder if the improved powertrain was in part down to a requirement for more electrical power than C2 could currently provide, to enable something like Trophy or whatever to be fitted. Between that and the raft of new computers, systems and what have you, the C3 will be needing a lot more electrical juice than C2 uses. 

 

The C3 regiments will no doubt get some showy deployments to the Baltic and elsewhere and once upgraded, will present a credible deterrence. Bear in mind for all the scaremongering, Russia hasn’t deployed the T14 in any numbers and is unlikely to do so in the next couple of years. A C3 would retain a meaningful fighting edge against the T-72BM3, T-80U and T-90 variants that Russia’s fighting power actually relies on. C3 would retain an enormous fighting edge against anything Iran, Syria or any of the sub-Saharan African nations like Mali or Sierra Leone etc have where we could ever envisage sending heavy armour for any reason. C3 would also (tank for tank, we'll discount the numerical imbalance) handily beat anything the Chinese have, save for perhaps latest version of the Type 99. 

 

The Armata bogeyman is just that. For now.

 

As others have said upthread, it would be good to see some of the mothballed C2s upgraded as well but in this fiscal climate that is  simply not going to happen. 

 

 

Edited by BringUpThePIAT
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We'll need a new kit of course, although from a quick glance it almost looks the same (it was a fuzzy video, sue me! :P ).

 

Let's keep it civil though folks.  There have been a few minor digs, and we could do without any drama :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Mike said:

We'll need a new kit of course, although from a quick glance it almost looks the same (it was a fuzzy video, sue me! :P ).

 

 

I thought that as well. 

 

Although those huge Union Jacks on the turret bustle look like fun decals. Not. hahaha

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great post @BringUpThePIAT


I am interested to see how they will be employed. While the Cold War IGB situation has gone I am not sure that the post 9/11 wars of choice situ will hold going forward.


Bottom line is that you need a protected, highly mobile platform to be able to operate on the battlefield to be able to project force. If an MBT cannot survive then how can any other vehicle!
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...