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FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby RetroSicotte » 10 Jul 2019, 08:55

RunningStrong wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:Apparently the British Army, who own the vehicle, disagree.

The British Army don't own any yet ;)

The men of the British Army I spoke to face to face who drove the vehicle itself in, who've been working as its crew for a few months, make a pretty convincing point that yes, they do know their own vehicle. :roll:

https://defence-blog.com/army/first-two ... -army.html

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 10 Jul 2019, 09:00

Jensy wrote:Folks genuine question here, from someone who appreciates but doesn't really know armoured vehicles.

With all the talk about Challenger 2 updates or potential replacements, why is the Israeli Merkava never proposed? It's obviously a very formidable and modern MBT, with the latest active protection.

We buy a lot of Israeli equipment, why not buy the rights to build a tank that's family design is ironically descended from British origins (the Chieftain deal that was never delivered)?

Jensy

As Jim put, it's mostly because it's specialised for their role. The Merkava is advanced and potent, but designed entirely around Israel's needs, that doesn't always match up to what others need. For example, it weighs 65 tonnes, that's even heavier than the already very heavy Challenger 2.

It's also very VERY expensive as it comes from a single source line from a small country. The Israelis upgrade constantly, so the Merk as you see it in their army is far above the same price as the "baseline" one.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Jul 2019, 03:10

RetroSicotte wrote:The men of the British Army I spoke to face to face who drove the vehicle itself in, who've been working as its crew for a few months, make a pretty convincing point that yes, they do know their own vehicle. https://defence-blog.com/army/first-two ... -army.html


Were those two transporter the type we have leased to move medium and lighter platforms? Having sufficient numbers of such transporters was highlighted by RUSI as vital for the "Strike" Brigade(s) to be able to deploy as planned.

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 11 Jul 2019, 08:22

Couldn't say.

Also reminds me I forgot to get those photos. Someone ping me on PM to post em if I forget again. :D

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

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Jul 2019, 21:15

Here's another new toy from Rheinmetall that would be good for the Challenger 2. Having the Launcher above the gun it seems, is a bit novel.

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 16 Jul 2019, 09:39

It's still mounted to the sides in the video though.

Either way, ROSY has been around for a few years, but it's new on the Challenger .

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

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Jul 2019, 17:31

Ok, spotted that after I posted, and then found other videos showing off the system, mainly on Leo2s.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Sep 2019, 16:53

IF the expanded Challenger 2 overhaul does actually include the Rheinmetall L55 120mm, perhaps we should look at the new American AMP round from the secondary load for the vehicle?
https://www.janes.com/article/90965/hig ... y-dsei19d1

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Sep 2019, 19:12

RetroSicotte wrote:As Jim put, it's mostly because it's specialised for their role. The Merkava is advanced and potent, but designed entirely around Israel's needs,

Funnily enough, Merkava arose from the void that was the "secret" UK/ Israeli project to come up with the nxt-gen after the great success of the long-range, accurate shooting in the 1967 war
- the project ran for two decades... and the other side got bored by the "null" input from us

We did sell tanks to the Shah... that got delivered either to Jordan, or: to the British Army :lol:

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

Postby Lord Jim » 12 Sep 2019, 19:39

It is being quoted now that the Challenger 2 CEP will only cover a maximum of 150 vehicles, 2 Regiments plus BATUS and attrition reserves.

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

Postby whitelancer » 12 Sep 2019, 22:44

Lord Jim wrote:It is being quoted now that the Challenger 2 CEP will only cover a maximum of 150 vehicles, 2 Regiments plus BATUS and attrition reserves.


With 3 Sqns of 18 tanks plus two in RHQ, that makes 56 per Regiment. Two Regiments would require 112. Assuming BATUS requires a Sqns worth plus 2 for RHQ that would be 20. A total so far of 132. If 150 is the true number then that leaves just 18 for research & development, training and those going through overhaul. So where is any attrition reserve coming from? BATUS would seem to be the only option. In truth it would be very difficult to actually equip both Regiments fully, which is why they won't instead we have the nonsense that is Whole Fleet Management.
The question is whether the cost of maintaining just two Armoured Regiments is worth it!

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

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Sep 2019, 01:55

Without the Armoured Regiments the reason for being of the two Armoured Infantry Brigades is in doubt and so you might as well move to a medium weigh force, increasing the number of "Strike" Brigades to three or four.

As for having only two regiments, well it might be worse. This two Armoured Infantry Brigades only one would be available for operations at any one time as the other would be going through the training/refit/stand down cycle or whatever it is called these days and so would be extremely difficult to make operational as a whole though some sub units may be able to do so.

So with the available "Strike" Brigades and possible 16 Air Assault the UK will have a "Division" on paper but one that will never train as such except for Staff Exercises, and would only be deployed in the most dire of circumstances.

Mind you aspiring to have the capability to deploy a Division is more than many NATO countries now do. However the Army is now a one shot organisation in the same boat as the Royal Navy (no pun intended) with it having all its eggs in the Carrier Strike basket. The Royal Air Force is in a similar situation with the ability to surge far fewer aircraft that many realise, especially if the F-35B force is focused on carrier operations.

All this goes to highlight the criminal lack of mass/capacity that various UK Governments have allowed to develop, through a desire to not spend resources on defence and change the focus from capacity to capability. The lack of a credible Defence Review of over two decades just provides further evidence of this. And even the capabilities we retain are now withering through a lack of investment to maintain their edge, and then when it is realised that substantial investment is needed to sort these issues out, the current game in town is to actually "Gap" these capabilities with promises that they will be restored later. Some may point to the P-8 order as evidence the Politicians keeping their word, but the size of the order is probably the absolute minimum to restore the capability and far short of what is needed to conduct the actual mission they will be tasked with.

If w get only 150 Challenger 2 CEP we should be thankful, though without increasing the scope of the CEP to something approaching the submission form Rheinmetall, The effectiveness of the AI Brigades must be called into question. But without the Challenger there are no AI Brigades and that will be another core capability lost.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Sep 2019, 04:03

Lord Jim wrote:Some may point to the P-8 order as evidence the Politicians keeping their word, but the size of the order is probably the absolute minimum to restore the capability and far short of what is needed to conduct the actual mission they will be tasked with.
One should always ask what is threshold level from which a capability can be regenerated, and not assuming the luxury of "The Ten Year Rule" - a British government guideline adopted in 1919.
Lord Jim wrote: without the Challenger there are no AI Brigades and that will be another core capability lost.
Quite. And as capabilities are nested and mutually supporting, there would go "manoeuvre warfare" as the baby thrown out with bath water" too.

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 13 Sep 2019, 08:39

Every major country that has ditched its tanks has since regretted it and tried to undo the decision. You always need them.

But 400 to 150 in 10 years. Good grief. Far, FAR too few vehicles. There's no depth to the fleet at all to account for casualties or loss.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Sep 2019, 08:52

RetroSicotte wrote:Every major country that has ditched its tanks has since regretted it

The Dutch thought that 'flying tanks' would be good enough; now they have organised to be part of the 1st Panzer... to have real tanks in support!
- while the Finns have been smiling all the way to the bank; to deposit the cheque of e1 mln for each (and keeping the best of the older Leos as infantry BG support, and for reaching that one and a half hundred 'magical' total)

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

Postby Dahedd » 14 Sep 2019, 03:11

150 Challenger 2 with the upgrade seems too few. It might be sufficient perhaps if the direct fires version of the Ajax was purchased though. Not that I realistically expect that to happen at any stage.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 14 Sep 2019, 09:22

Dahedd wrote:150 Challenger 2 with the upgrade seems too few. It might be sufficient perhaps if the direct fires version of the Ajax was purchased though. Not that I realistically expect that to happen at any stage.


IMO I can see the army holding off on any 120mm Ajax ( even if allowed them ) until they get a minimum number of upgrades CH2s as we all know what politicians are like, if it looks like a tank has a big gun and is new they scrap the upgrades.

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

Postby Caribbean » 14 Sep 2019, 13:28

I would have thought that a wheeled 120mm like the Centauro II for the Strike Brigades would be a higher priority than 120mm Ajax
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Sep 2019, 14:29

As part of its need to find efficiencies, the MoD seems to have decided that war stocks of equipment, as well as those of ammunition and spares are an area they can work on without affecting the headline numbers. It is not just the number of Challenger 2 planned to be upgraded but also the number of Warrior. In both cases sufficient are being worked on to equip the units that will remain. At present the only platform we will have in abundance is Ajax, but even then not in the right variants. Eventually we will get to the situation where we can say we still have a certain number of Infantry Battalions, but not point out each soldier will only have one magazine of 30 rounds.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Sep 2019, 05:54

Dahedd wrote: if the direct fires version of the Ajax was purchased though. Not that I realistically expect that to happen at any stage.
Watch the US competition... stranger things have happened

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

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Sep 2019, 17:22

The Army is seriously looking at what version of both Ajax and Boxer may be needed to properly equip the Mechanised Brigades beyond those already planned. Whether funding will allow them to proceed to the actual procurement is a different issue.

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

Postby mr.fred » 27 Sep 2019, 21:06


A little bit more on Challenger LEP

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 27 Sep 2019, 21:49

Lord Jim wrote: looking at what version of[ both] Ajax

sights = Orion
... standardisation is good.

So one and a half hundred of these, and two and a half hundred of Ajax
= 400, not much.

But put in all the other frontline vehicles, and it is starting to look much better

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

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Sep 2019, 11:05

All the pieces to properly equip both the Ai and Mech Brigades are out their we just need the will and the funding to implement things.

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

Postby SKB » 09 Oct 2019, 15:30


(Forces TV) 1st October 2019
It is the British Army’s largest training base in the world and allows soldiers to be tested to their limits. UK personnel have been sent to British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada for battlefield training since 1972. We gained special access to BATUS and saw first hand the range of scenarios they face and the range of activity happening right across the base at any one time.


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