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FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Lord Jim » 01 May 2020, 11:12

Not so sure about this. I can see 1st (UK) Division being the support force for 3rd Division, considering it already contains most of the Medical services and the engineering and logistical units that would support a persistent deployment, but it is the stated aspiration for the Army to maintain a "Fighting" Division and splitting the units currently assigned to 3rd Division with 1st Division complicates matters. Yes we need 1st (UK) Division headquarters to be fully manned and to be reconfigured in the same manner as our other two Divisional Headquarters intend to be.

At present the Infantry Brigades currently assigned to 1st (UK) Division are of little practical use, and unless even more resources are made available beyond those required to bring 3rd Division up to scratch, they will remain so. Trying to do anything with 1st (UK) Division with the existing inadequate resources is only going to spread these thinner and make the bad situation that already exists worse.

As for 6th Division, here we may see additional resources aimed at improving both its ability to conduct and counter "Hybrid" warfare as well as provide support to 3rd Division. I also see this as becoming the home of the UK's Special Forces, both regular and Reserve as well as their support assets and also 16 Air Assault and possibly the new 1st Air combat Brigade, whatever that turns out to be.

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby J. Tattersall » 02 May 2020, 07:02

Just think one needs to be a bit careful on this point. Yes 1 Div's infantry brigades cannot carry out manoeuvre warfare to the same tempo and threat level as either a current Armoured Infantry brigade or a future Strike brigade. However in my view they're far from impracticable. They're light infantry and can be used in roles ranging from fighting Division/ ARRC rear area security through to a standalone light brigade (one might postulate here African or NATO periphery security missions). Remember that although not organic to 1 Div the army has 2 regiments of light guns within 1 Arty bde (administratively currently under 3 Div) that can be 'attributed' to an infantry brigade in a light brigade role, and similarly although not part of these infantry brigades it has the other combat support, combat service support and light cavalry elements to allow a light brigade to be formed (from an infantry brigade) for a specific purpose.

To me the interesting thing will be army organising post the next SDSR. Does it go with current plans, does it split heavy, medium and light resources between 1 and 3 Divs, or does it rebalance resources in favour of 1 Div to effectively make it the centre of gravity for light forces within the army?

I'll stop here since I'm way off topic as regards Challenger 2 MBT.

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 May 2020, 09:06

J. Tattersall wrote: elements to allow a light brigade to be formed (from an infantry brigade) for a specific purpose.
Not off the topic as the utility of properly heavy (enough of MBTs in them to make the formation fit for purpose, wile understanding what that purpose usefully could be) bdes - looks like I am assuming at least two as otherwise the readiness cycle drops to rgmnt/ bn level, which is not even small change in int'l conflicts - is in having also other (effective) formations as an available alternative for other purposes.
- a long sentence to say that 'enough' is c. 150, which makes for 2+1 rgmnts (Batus vehicles being drawn from the Yeomanry establishment strength
- the refurb better work well as the above allows for the 48 strength, and none :) at the maintenance depot (at the time of mobilisation)

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby J. Tattersall » 02 May 2020, 13:08

I just wouldn't be surprised if one ended up with only one brigades worth of Challenger 2 (or 3?) and Warriors, with more emphasis (& resources) going to medium weight formations. The question then would be how are they best organised? As a specialised singleton heavy brigade or combined with the strike brigades to form 2 or 3 combined heavy/ medium brigades? Perhaps even as combined arms battalion sized units?

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Caribbean » 02 May 2020, 16:45

ArmChairCivvy wrote: 'enough' is c. 150, which makes for 2+1 rgmnts

ArmChairCivvy wrote:allows for the 48 strength,

It did occur to me that 3 Type 44 C3 (i.e. 14-vehicle Sabre Squadrons) Regiments, each with an additional 12 Ajax (organised as a recce troop within each squadron to bring them up to 18 vehicles ) might be a reasonable outcome. It would leave around 18 C3 for training, maintenance etc. (maybe with a number of C2 also retained for some training tasks).

I think something similar is already happening within the current "Type 56" regiments, with some C2 being replaced with CVR(T) at squadron level
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby jonas » 22 May 2020, 08:24


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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby abc123 » 22 May 2020, 10:39



What's that- a Challenger 2 modernisation or?
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 May 2020, 12:41

Design Review and Main Gate still ahead, but to be completed by Oct... which makes the prgrm abt a yr late from general expectation. Even though we don't have the foggiest (except guessing) of what is to be delivered, a Snr Resp. Owner would not be nominated w/o the expectation of this going ahead.

"It is important to be clear that your accountability relates only to implementation: it will remain for the Minister to account for the relevant policy decisions and development. As the Armour Main Battle Tank 2025 Programme is in the assessment phase, in your case this means that from the date of signature of this letter you will be held personally accountable for delivery and could be called by Select Committees."

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Gabriele » 22 May 2020, 15:25

What's that- a Challenger 2 modernisation or?


What we know as CR2 LEP. Same thing; the programme has had the name Armour MBT 2025 for years to go along with "Armoured Cavalry 2025" (AJAX) and "Armoured Infantry 2026" (WCSP and, in happier days, ABSV before the latter quietly vanished yet once more).
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 May 2020, 15:31

Gabriele wrote:Armour MBT 2025 for years to go along with "Armoured Cavalry 2025" (AJAX) and "Armoured Infantry 2026" (WCSP and, in happier days, ABSV


Those even have budget lines... not that I have see the one for armour
- should appear by Oct as Main Gate has been set to be before that

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Gabriele » 22 May 2020, 15:39

In theory they all have funding lines. They used to be a single mega-programme until... 2014, i think...? I wrote about it in the past, but it's been a while.
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 May 2020, 16:07

Gabriele wrote:used to be a single mega-programme until... 2014


Like in the song: 3000 vehicles; may be more?

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Ron5 » 22 May 2020, 18:34



Thanks for showing us this.

But what a load of absolute bullshit. No wonder nothing useful ever gets done in procurement with this kind of crap. I though the services were models for clear, concise instructions. Something this ain't.

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Ron5 » 22 May 2020, 18:39

By the way, we really do have a lot more than a "foggiest" idea of what the program will deliver.

There's some mystery about numbers but the tank will get a new turret, new gun, new sensors, new combat system and new armor. Plus some engine & transmission tune up to be delivered by a different program. Basically, a refresh that will deliver the best tank in the world.

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby RunningStrong » 23 May 2020, 00:17

Ron5 wrote:
There's some mystery about numbers but the tank will get a new turret, new gun, new sensors, new combat system and new armor. .

When was any of that confirmed?

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Ron5 » 23 May 2020, 00:53

RunningStrong wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
There's some mystery about numbers but the tank will get a new turret, new gun, new sensors, new combat system and new armor. .

When was any of that confirmed?


Seriously?

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby RunningStrong » 23 May 2020, 08:00

Ron5 wrote:
RunningStrong wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
There's some mystery about numbers but the tank will get a new turret, new gun, new sensors, new combat system and new armor. .

When was any of that confirmed?


Seriously?

Please fill in the gaps for me.

The competitive bid request was for an obsolescence upgrade, addressing several LRU within the platform with only small scope for increased capabilities.

The RLS bid went beyond this and decided to pitch a gucci new turret, new gun solution that made the troopers delighted, but there's obviously an increased price to all this.

So where has the programme been realigned from a Life Extension Programme to a Capability Improvement Programme?

I'm genuinely interested if I've missed something.

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 May 2020, 10:07

Both the
Design Review and Main Gate still ahead, but to be completed by Oct
will be delighted to find that at least tracks are not new... and when replaced, coming out of the support and maintenance budget - thus no one will notice

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 May 2020, 10:13

More seriously, I do hope that as we will have two thirds of a decade to remanufacture one and a half hundred tanks, as for
RunningStrong wrote:from a Life Extension Programme to a Capability Improvement Programme?
,
A. that will provide enough thanks 'in the line' ie. in the garage at all times, and
B. the reduction in number perhaps(?) opens the way to a true capability improvement

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Ron5 » 23 May 2020, 15:47

RunningStrong wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
RunningStrong wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
There's some mystery about numbers but the tank will get a new turret, new gun, new sensors, new combat system and new armor. .

When was any of that confirmed?


Seriously?

Please fill in the gaps for me.

The competitive bid request was for an obsolescence upgrade, addressing several LRU within the platform with only small scope for increased capabilities.

The RLS bid went beyond this and decided to pitch a gucci new turret, new gun solution that made the troopers delighted, but there's obviously an increased price to all this.

So where has the programme been realigned from a Life Extension Programme to a Capability Improvement Programme?

I'm genuinely interested if I've missed something.


Of course nothing is certain until the last nut and bolt have been paid for and delivered. It's perfectly possible that the program will end up as a new coat of paint and nothing more. Possible but unlikely.

But the recent NAO report (available online someplace) stated that the program had been upgraded from pure obsolescence management to become a capability upgrade. In other words the cute RM demonstrator which won the competition, has also won some hearts and minds. The NAO also stated that the extra cost would be addressed by fewer vehicles being converted and unspecified anti-tank missile program being delayed or cancelled (can't remember which).

Also I think the announcement of Brigadier Stuart's task of bring this to main gate later this year conforms the importance that the Army assigns to this program.

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 May 2020, 17:19

Ron5 wrote:to main gate later this year conforms the importance that the Army assigns to this program.
Yes, they would not nominate someone that high up for nothing.
Ron5 wrote: The NAO also stated that the extra cost would be addressed by fewer vehicles being converted
Oh, when I stated that upthread it was pure speculation on my part... have to see if I can find the NAO bit as the EP doc itself only says " enhance the lethality and protection of the UK’s main battle tank as well as treating critical obsolescence and extending the life of the platform from 2025 to at least 2035."
- putting the word "lethality" in that
- together with the change of prgrm name to LEP+
would suggest a new gun (as new round for the old one has not been mentioned).

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby J. Tattersall » 24 May 2020, 07:54

Well let's see what comes out of the programme. Pretty inevitable that if a capability enhancement is asked for (rather than just life extension) then the money will need to be redirected from another programme or result in reduced numbers.

If an enhanced capability (in smaller numbers) it will be interesting to see how this is organised and deployed?

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 24 May 2020, 10:08

J. Tattersall wrote:be interesting to see how this is organised and deployed


I am afraid that we already have the answer: simply drop one regiment.

In the light of an informed article on anther forum: https://uklandpower.com/2020/05/23/the- ... ment-41302 also the wrong answer. Two thoughts that will enhance our overall capability:
1. the almost 1/3 of the current number of MBTs that will not (??) be upgraded will be held by a Yeomanry Rgmnt, and will be available to be - unorthodox-ity follows - penny-packeted outside the "warfighting division, capable of manoeuvre warfare". Will simply be upgraded for comms and coordination with the infantry they support... as I have written here about the USMC tank upgrades, which have been applied to the M1 'originals'
2. if the drop in numbers will be as substantial as rumoured that will help to keep the two (remaining) regular tank rgmnts fully operational during the remanufacturing of a significant proportion of the current fleet, then
... reiterate ;) back to 1. above

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby J. Tattersall » 24 May 2020, 13:34

ArmChairCivvy wrote:I am afraid that we already have the answer: simply drop one regiment.
.
The armoured regiment in the third armoured infantry brigade is to be reroled as medium armour leaving two regular armoured regiments. But.my point is what happens if when the costs come in it's found that there's not enough money for even two regiments (when one takes into account vehicles in deep maintenance, BATUS etc.). What would be done then? How would they be organised?

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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby whitelancer » 24 May 2020, 13:41

If we go down to just 1 Armoured Regiment its frankly not worth having, in fact its debatable whether the cost of maintaining 2 is worth it.


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