FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

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

Post by Lord Jim »

Do we have any idea of the size of Armoured Regiment we are keeping, Type 56 or Type 44? In theory we could stand up three of the latter but would have to use unmodified Ch2s for BATUS, and would only have eighteen or so upgraded tanks for a reserve. It would allow us to form three Mechanised Brigades though if each Armoured Regiment was accompanied by three Mechanised Infantry Battalions in Boxer IFV. This would allow one Tank Squadron to be attached to each Battalion and therefore one Tank Troop to each Company.

Just trying to keep my brain occupied until the release next week.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Another warm-up; namely, what could be the rationale for keeping the existing gun for some while upgrading the others?

We have 22 Streetfighter kits, and if any/some of these enhancements will be carried through
https://www.army-technology.com/feature ... llenger-2/
then the role of the gun would be (mainly) to put HE on target.
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Lord Jim
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

Have we been able to source any new HESH rounds to compensate for nearly all remaining stocks have past their shelf live? One issue with the "Streetfighter" though is the length of the L30 gun. Not the best for fighting in an urban area, maybe a "Sawn off" version could be devised in house? :D

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Tempest414
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Tempest414 »

For me step one all 150 Challengers should get the 120 mm smooth bore gun as part of the 750 million upgrade contract.

Then step two the Army hand over 3 more Challengers to be upgraded to step 1 level complete with the 120mm gun and then have the 130mm gun fitted plus any other kit it wants to see how it works with a view to a possible 2030's upgrade as we can't allow another 20 year gap between upgrades

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

Post by mr.fred »

Lord Jim wrote:Have we been able to source any new HESH rounds to compensate for nearly all remaining stocks have past their shelf live? One issue with the "Streetfighter" though is the length of the L30 gun. Not the best for fighting in an urban area, maybe a "Sawn off" version could be devised in house? :D
I don’t really understand the fascination with gelding an MBT on the basis of an outlier case (narrow streets) for a niche role.
If you wanted to optimise for urban combat you’d add high elevation weapons and better sensors before lopping the end of the barrel. possibly more crew and more weapons (in the manner of the BMP-T)
The BMP-T holds value in other scenarios much more than a stumpy MBT, as the autocannon, missiles and GMGs complement the tank firepower. A sawn-off MBT just does the same as a regular MBT, but worse.

If you want HE delivered precisely, we have that capability with guided weapons that we did not when such demolition guns were viable. As the weight of shell from the vastly more numerous and useful MBT increased and guided munitions, either ground or air launched, proliferated, the need for a dedicated HE thrower has evaporated.

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Tempest414
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Tempest414 »

Maybe a Boxer fitted with 120mm Nemo would be a better option nice and compact 360 degree traverse can fire flat or ellevate to 70+ degrees

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

Post by Ron5 »

Lord Jim wrote:I suppose if the tanks that receive the 120mm smoothbore are also capable of taking the 130mm
My understanding is that it's far from a drop in replacement. The 4th crewman has to go due to lack of space, and an autoloader installed. So decidedly non trivial.

By the way, the idea of a split purchase is just daft. Apart from anything else, the 130mm gun & its ammo is many, many years away from being qualified.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

PS Anyone who took my £2.50 investment tip must now be disappointed (myself included) as The Telegraph carried no more news than what was said in the company update session (as required by the Frankfurt SE).
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by mr.fred »

Ron5 wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:I suppose if the tanks that receive the 120mm smoothbore are also capable of taking the 130mm
My understanding is that it's far from a drop in replacement. The 4th crewman has to go due to lack of space, and an autoloader installed. So decidedly non trivial.
I thought it was less the size of the gun and more the size of the ammunition. It’s too big to be manually loaded within a turret so you need a an autoloader. You could probably keep the forth man, especially as he need less space if he isn’t reaching for stowed ammunition and the breech.

Still, you’d need to rejig the turret for an autoloader and associated ammunition stowage.
By the way, the idea of a split purchase is just daft. Apart from anything else, the 130mm gun & its ammo is many, many years away from being qualified.
Certainly the army could do with a little less reaching for the stars and a little more getting some actual hardware.

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

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mr.fred wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:I suppose if the tanks that receive the 120mm smoothbore are also capable of taking the 130mm
My understanding is that it's far from a drop in replacement. The 4th crewman has to go due to lack of space, and an autoloader installed. So decidedly non trivial.
I thought it was less the size of the gun and more the size of the ammunition. It’s too big to be manually loaded within a turret so you need a an autoloader. You could probably keep the forth man, especially as he need less space if he isn’t reaching for stowed ammunition and the breech.

Still, you’d need to rejig the turret for an autoloader and associated ammunition stowage.
By the way, the idea of a split purchase is just daft. Apart from anything else, the 130mm gun & its ammo is many, many years away from being qualified.
Certainly the army could do with a little less reaching for the stars and a little more getting some actual hardware.
As I understand it, the 4th man goes to give room for sufficient number of reloads carried in the autoloader. In fact, RM believes the 130mm gun is best suited for an unmanned turret.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Looks like Jordan snatched the gold medal, Russia took the silver
https://i2.wp.com/www.offiziere.ch/wp-c ... =360%2C140
and the Germans (wait a minute, if we order quick!) the bronze
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Ron5 »

For those interested in the 130mm gun. Here's a photo that I've not seen before that highlights the difference very nicely ..

Image

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

... and is a very strong case for getting the "extra" crew member out of the autoloader's (workings) way

What becomes v interesting is the stowed-away rounds, not in the autoloader. How many, if any... and how will they be handled?

Still thinking in terms of a manned turret; crew in a hull 'citadel' would create a lot of space.
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Defiance »

British and German officials have agreed to expand scope of military cooperation including the 'Eurotank' as one potential area of exploration. Apparently the Germans are happy to have us more involved but the French are expected to be resistant to it

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... operation/

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

Post by Ron5 »

Defiance wrote:British and German officials have agreed to expand scope of military cooperation including the 'Eurotank' as one area of exploration. Apparently the Germans are happy to have us more involved but the French are expected to be resistant to it

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... operation/
I would think the UK has a lot to offer in the areas of armor, vehicle electronic architecture, and sensors. An Anglo-german program would actually make more sense than the current link up.

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

Post by mr.fred »

Defiance wrote:Apparently the Germans are happy to have us more involved but the French are expected
to be resistant to it
Ron5 wrote:I would think the UK has a lot to offer in the areas of armor, vehicle electronic architecture, and sensors. An Anglo-german program would actually make more sense than the current link up.
Yes, there’s probably a few bits on info left that the Germans could take.
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Still thinking in terms of a manned turret; crew in a hull 'citadel' would create a lot of space.
Have you seen the size of vehicles with unmanned turrets vs their manned turret equivalent?
The turret may get smaller but the hull always gets bigger.

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

Post by whitelancer »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Still thinking in terms of a manned turret; crew in a hull 'citadel' would create a lot of space.
As far as MBTs are concerned an unmanned turret saves very little space within the hull. This comes down to the swept area of the gun including recoil, which also has an effect on the size of the turret ring. With a manned turret the crew being either side of the gun, take up space in the hull that needs to be their anyway. Of course an unmanned turret can be narrower, though you still need to access the turret for servicing. Then the problem is fitting the crew in the hull, which generally means a longer and/or higher hull.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

If you take the two tanks (perhaps Merkava comes into the same league) where protection has been prioritised in the 'design triangle', then
Ch2 comes in with 8.3 x 3.5 m,
and Armata with 8.7 x 3.5 m

Is that a notable difference? Height (as in 'being a target') should be considered too.

Now, put them on the weighing scales :D Shaving off tens of tons...

But back to where we started from. If the use of autoloader has advantages, how do you best handle other than the 'ready rounds' in it?
Building on Ron's photo, the speculation about the awkward looking turret of the Armata was (at the time the design being revealed) that it had been 'prepped' for going up from the 125mm to 140mm.
- should that be a realistic option... then the handling of rounds will have to remain practical

Have our German friends prepped the turret (changed once in a life time) for a smooth change of the gun, should that be required. We know how the testing with the previous (current) turret went
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Re: FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

Next tank will probably be with a fully automated turret with a 130mm, with a crew of two in the hull with dual controls and full VR visibility outside the tank combining the data from various EO and Radar systems and assisted by AI for increased situational awareness, linked into both a Theatre ISTAR network and the battlefield intranet. :D

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

Post by RunningStrong »

If we're going for an unmanned turret we may as well throw our lot fully into the digital video situational awareness and remove any direct vision requirement on the driver.

That means the crew can all sit in the rear of the hull, engine in the front.

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

Post by andrew98 »

Thought engine at rear also helped thermals and maintenance?

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

Post by whitelancer »

Lord Jim wrote:with a crew of two
A 2 man crew would be a bad idea,
It was a bad idea in the past, its a bad idea today and I cant see it being anything but a bad idea in the future.

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

Post by Lord Jim »

Don't forget they would have an AI "R2-D2", as the third crew member! :D

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

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andrew98 wrote:Thought engine at rear also helped thermals and maintenance?
Exhaust to rear certainly helps thermals, cooling matrix can be an issue too. Maintenance, well that depends on turret overhangs.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Lord Jim wrote:a fully automated turret with a 130mm, with a crew of two in the hull with dual controls and full VR visibility outside the tank combining the data from various EO and Radar systems and assisted by AI for increased situational awareness
Did you copy :D that from the Carmel concept, except with a typo: adding 1 in front of the likely caliber of 30?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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