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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 Ron5 » 17 Oct 2019, 17:52


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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Oct 2019, 18:14

Ron5 wrote:rheinmetall-to-show-next_gen-130mm-

Why have they been trucking ... err, on a train, the old 140 mm prototype [tank] around the country,
has it been to try this one out (and now to be outed)?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Oct 2019, 23:06

Most likely outcome is the 130mm L/51 being pencilled in for the Challenger/Leopard 2/ Leclerc successor, whenever that appears. IF the US adopted it for say a M1A4 that might push the Germans to upgrade some of their Leo 2s, but everyone has too many programmes with not enough resources.

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

Postby Ron5 » 16 Dec 2019, 15:02

Dear MoD, please put this in the C2 LEP for Xmas, you can reuse them for C3:

https://www.janes.com/article/93163/rheinmetall-advances-next-generation-130-mm-tank-gun

You know it makes sense.

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

Postby mr.fred » 16 Dec 2019, 15:49

I’m fairly confident that putting the 130mm into CR2 LEP would be foolish at best.

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

Postby RunningStrong » 16 Dec 2019, 17:37

Looking at the length of that 130mm APFSDS round makes me think you're going to need a S-Tank to be able to handle them!

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

Postby Ron5 » 16 Dec 2019, 21:38

God forbid the BA ever aspiring to have the best tank. That would never do.

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

Postby mr.fred » 16 Dec 2019, 23:13

Ron5 wrote:God forbid the BA ever aspiring to have the best tank. That would never do.

A CR2 LEP with a 130mm gun would only be the best tank in a top trump deck.
In real life the rate of fire would tend to zero over any period of time, unless you also scope to include an auto loader. Scope creep being the death of any project, I would be very much against it.
Top of the line 120mm for CR2 and get it done ASAP rather that wait for maybe better. Keep a weather eye on the 130mm. If that is likely to be the next NATO gun then let someone else develop it then buy in once the kinks are ironed out. Use CR2 LEP to cover while you work on its successor.

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

Postby Ron5 » 17 Dec 2019, 01:07

mr.fred wrote:
Ron5 wrote:God forbid the BA ever aspiring to have the best tank. That would never do.

A CR2 LEP with a 130mm gun would only be the best tank in a top trump deck.
In real life the rate of fire would tend to zero over any period of time, unless you also scope to include an auto loader. Scope creep being the death of any project, I would be very much against it.
Top of the line 120mm for CR2 and get it done ASAP rather that wait for maybe better. Keep a weather eye on the 130mm. If that is likely to be the next NATO gun then let someone else develop it then buy in once the kinks are ironed out. Use CR2 LEP to cover while you work on its successor.


OK that makes sense.

Drummond says the MOD is waiting for CR2 and Warrior to get sorted and then onto a turreted Boxer (presumably with a variant of the LM 40mm Ajax/Warrior) for an all wheeled strike force with presumably Ajaxes all redeployed to tracked formations. In favor?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Dec 2019, 01:37

We need the current upgrades for the Warrior and CR2 in service yesterday so stick to a 120mm l55 for the latter. As pointed out the 120mm should be left for the Anglo/French/German next generation MBT or whatever AFV emerges in the mid 2030s.

If we do , fingers crossed, go for a manned or unmanned turret for the Boxer with the CTA40 then we need to increase our order to cover the numbers required if the Strike Brigades are to be made up of four units equipped with the platform.

Yes give the Ajax to the Armoured Infantry Brigades, but we will need to reorganise the number of each variant orders and probably reduce the overall order to cover just two Recce Regiments plus support vehicles for the Armoured Regiments to replace the CVR(T) variants still in service like the Sultan.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Dec 2019, 06:41

RunningStrong wrote:you're going to need a S-Tank to be able to handle them!
Or a v big autoloader... so big, that you'll need oil drums filled with concrete as counterweights
- ohh, we are starting from 70+ t? Nevermind :)
Ron5 wrote:waiting for CR2 and Warrior to get sorted and then onto a turreted Boxer (presumably with a variant of the LM 40mm Ajax/Warrior) for an all wheeled strike force with presumably Ajaxes all redeployed to tracked formations. In favor?
Sounds good
Lord Jim wrote:just two Recce Regiments
The order was for 5, but they were all to be mixed Ajax/ lighter platforms

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 17 Dec 2019, 13:57

Worth reminding that the gun in the Rheinmetall Challenger 2 Mk2 is not the standard L55. It's the Rhm120 L55A1, which is a newer version of the one on Leopard 2A6 onwards. It has a 20% increase in its potential "power" (generic term, not yet explained in which manner this is gained).

Challenger 2 is the only tank that has been shown mounting this so far. So it already has a new variant on a gun that is not just sitting still to current day. Challenger 2 with the L55A1 would be quite handsomely the most powerful firepower on any tank in the world as is.

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

Postby Cooper » 17 Dec 2019, 16:54

RetroSicotte wrote:Challenger 2 with the L55A1 would be quite handsomely the most powerful firepower on any tank in the world as is.


..It will also be overweight and underpowered with its current powerplant.

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

Postby Monty1985 » 17 Dec 2019, 18:51

Cooper wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:Challenger 2 with the L55A1 would be quite handsomely the most powerful firepower on any tank in the world as is.


..It will also be overweight and underpowered with its current powerplant.


Isn't the CR2 supposed to be getting a new a powerplant as part of a seperate upgrade?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Dec 2019, 20:06

The British Army is well used to having MBTs that are underpowered, but whatever they do to the CR2 it will still be faster than the old Chieftain. In Germany riding on a CR1 of 2RTR we overtook a Chieftain Mk5 whilst we were going in reverse!

As for Ajax, we have too many on order for what we need. We only really need around 150 of the actual Ajax and slightly less for the remaining variants and that gives us two Recce Regiments plus the close recce for both the Armoured and Armoured Infantry Regiments/Battalions and replaces the remaining CVR(T)s in those units. They placement in the "Strike" Brigades was more an effort to find a role for them that seemed relevant for todays conflicts but that could change if the Right variants in sufficient numbers of the Boxer are purchased. WE couldn't go far wrong copying the organisation of the US Army's Stryker Brigades in my opinion, especially if we based them on the enhances formations sent to Europe.

But back on subject, I know they went beyond the RFI for the CR2 CEP with their submission, but Rheinmetall's offering is just what the British Army needs. The One from BAe as it stands is the bae minimum but would require major revisions to match the capability of what the Germans are offering. Surely we can find the funds as we are only equipping two Regiments plus possibly BATUS.

Speaking of BATUS, would the Army get more use out of a Sim Net like the US army has at Fort Knox, smaller say but with cubicles for UP=graded version of the CR2, Warrior, Ajax (all variants), Boxer (all Variants), Apache Guardian (Not a full flight sim) and other support vehicles like the Starstreak HVM, JLTV and so on. Make it a Company sized Battle Group, and the troops can train to fight anywhere against anyone in any weather etc.. With the modern digital battlefield and ISTAR capabilities it would surely be an effective way to train and cheaper over time though high up front costs. The US Army loves its systems.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Dec 2019, 20:09

RetroSicotte wrote: It has a 20% increase in its potential "power" (generic term, not yet explained in which manner this is gained).

Can handle longer rounds, the earlier models difficult/ expensive to upgrade... why else would it take half a decade (or more) for Bundeswehr to get A4s turned into A7 spec; when they were already sitting in the manufacturer's backyard
Monty1985 wrote:Isn't the CR2 supposed to be getting a new a powerplant
Has been available for the export model for 10-15 years. er, except that there haven't been any exports (no idea what powers the ones that Oman has).

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 18 Dec 2019, 08:30

ArmChairCivvy wrote: (no idea what powers the ones that Oman has).

CV12, same as British Army models.

Cooper wrote:..It will also be overweight and underpowered with its current powerplant.

L55A1 doesn't change the weight that much. The engine issues are something that needs changed regardless.

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

Postby mr.fred » 20 Dec 2019, 23:02

This popped up on youtube:

Interesting details on the development and selection of the Challenger 2. Part 2 looking at the details of the tank coming up.

Odd how the export tank thing seems to have died a death - maybe the proliferation of surplus MBT fleets?

I don't recall seeing anything on the latest 120mm smoothbore being capable of taking a longer shell. How would that work anyway? A tank gun is basically a tube and if you change the chamber you can't use the same ammunition.
More likely it has improved metallurgy and can handle higher chamber pressures.

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Dec 2019, 14:31

mr.fred wrote:Odd how the export tank thing seems to have died a death - maybe the proliferation of surplus MBT fleets?

Absolutely was. Germany was selling surplus Leopard's off for dirt cheap.

I don't recall seeing anything on the latest 120mm smoothbore being capable of taking a longer shell. How would that work anyway? A tank gun is basically a tube and if you change the chamber you can't use the same ammunition.

It may be "bigger" shell. Smoothbores take a lot more longer shells than the L30A1 because it's two piece, not one piece. But dart sizes inside the shell have increased due to how much less space the propellant needs as chemistry improves, thats why they are "longer". It's not referring to the shell, but to the tungsten/DU dart inside it.

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

Postby Ron5 » 22 Dec 2019, 18:17

I thought it was the other way round, the UK's rifle has a two part ammunition with a short rod and bagged charge and the smooth bore has a one piece ammo with a long rod. Which is why it's a bugger to put the smooth bore gun into the CR2 as part of the upgrade, because there's not enough room in the existing turret for the bigger shells. Or so they thought.

But, and I maybe wrong, I understand that the upgrade program (LEP) requires that there is provision for the smooth bore gun to be fitted. The last I read said that Bae managed to do this by rearranging the current turret (or at least allow for the possibility) but Rheinmetal proposal included a brand new turret which allows for the bigger shells from the get go.

Now I also think this led to press articles that said the Rheinmetal proposal included the new gun but I don't think that's quite right. I think both proposals do if the MoD wants to fork out the extra money (pause for hollow laughter).

I've not really kept up to speed with the LEP program. In particular, I'm not sure what happened after the merger of the Bae & Rheinmetal UK businesses. Did they maintain two bids with a Chinese wall between? or did they merge ideas? or what? I suspect for the good of the UK, a merged bid would be best, there's a shed load of acquired knowledge in both camps. But maybe the UK advanced armor stuff with be off limits to the Germans, I don't know.

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

Postby mr.fred » 22 Dec 2019, 23:30

RetroSicotte wrote:It may be "bigger" shell. Smoothbores take a lot more longer shells than the L30A1 because it's two piece, not one piece. But dart sizes inside the shell have increased due to how much less space the propellant needs as chemistry improves, thats why they are "longer". It's not referring to the shell, but to the tungsten/DU dart inside it.

The comparison was between the different models of 120mm smoothbore - those have the same capacity to telecope sub-calibre projectiles, so ought to have the same limitations on round length. So the only way for the "L55A1" to be more powerful than the "L55" would be chamber pressure, AIUI.

Ron5 wrote:But, and I maybe wrong, I understand that the upgrade program (LEP) requires that there is provision for the smooth bore gun to be fitted. The last I read said that Bae managed to do this by rearranging the current turret (or at least allow for the possibility) but Rheinmetal proposal included a brand new turret which allows for the bigger shells from the get go.

You are incorrect. The LEP was mandatory obsolescence management (gun control, sights) with scope to present optional extras. BAE offered a Defensive Aide Suite as an option, Rheinmetall offered the new weapon. BAE did investigate a weapon change with Challenger Lethality Improvement Programme (CLIP) but were only able to stow 6 ready rounds with the modifications they were prepared to make, but that was over a decade ago and wasn't included in their bid, as far as publicly available.

It must be said that if the Rheinmetall turret that has been presented so far is a new one, there are a surprising number of small features that are identical to the original.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Dec 2019, 00:18

I may be wrong, but I think the Rheinmetall turret is related to the existing CR2 one, but was stripped right back and basically rebuilt to allow for ammo stowage of the one piece rounds for the L55A1 together with other new equipment, but allowed for the retention of existing kit that was to be retained.

If we are retaining the CR2 out to the mid 2030s, having a new gun is almost mandatory, and that entails a LEP submission along the lines of the one from Rheinmetall. With the teaming up with BAe at the Telford site for Boxer, maybe the two companies should actually propose a joint submission, aiming for the top end of the options list, but I would be happy if Rheinmetall went it alone and were given the contract. BAe is giving control of its only remaining full assembly plant to Rheinmetall, and has little AFV foot print remaining in the UK after this, most being in the US.

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

Postby RunningStrong » 23 Dec 2019, 08:30

Lord Jim wrote:I may be wrong, but I think the Rheinmetall turret is related to the existing CR2 one, but was stripped right back and basically rebuilt to allow for ammo stowage of the one piece rounds for the L55A1 together with other new equipment, but allowed for the retention of existing kit that was to be retained.

If we are retaining the CR2 out to the mid 2030s, having a new gun is almost mandatory, and that entails a LEP submission along the lines of the one from Rheinmetall. With the teaming up with BAe at the Telford site for Boxer, maybe the two companies should actually propose a joint submission, aiming for the top end of the options list, but I would be happy if Rheinmetall went it alone and were given the contract. BAe is giving control of its only remaining full assembly plant to Rheinmetall, and has little AFV foot print remaining in the UK after this, most being in the US.

They're not two companies anymore. RLS own BAE Land Systems UK.

The whole competitive CR2 LEP has been blown out the water by it with MOD now having industry effectively holding them to ransom on it (don't forget, when the bids were separate, just about every major UK defence company was aligned to one team or another).

The end result is that you could have the best of all UK technology in one design, but it will be incredibly expensive because there's no reason to drive costs.

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

Postby mr.fred » 23 Dec 2019, 09:55

From : https://below-the-turret-ring.blogspot. ... ected.html

The British MoD choice effectively eliminated all other biding companies, which were the Belgian CMI Defence (in a team with Ricardo), the German company KMW (teamed up with Pearson Engineering), the Swiss company RUAG and Lockheed-Martin UK, which teamed with the Israeli company Elbit Systems for a last minute offer.


So there were 4 others, although it might depend on who you count as major companies.


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