sol wrote: ↑22 Jan 2023, 20:00
TheLoneRanger wrote: ↑22 Jan 2023, 18:45
Challenger 3 is a vanity project for the UK MOD that will not bring in the capability levels we need - we should look to work with the Americans and build a solution that scale into units of hundreds with the associated economies of scale and long term support.
But thing is you still need CR3 to bridge the gap. US planned to make decision in 2023 if and how to replace Abrams. But this study started in 2020 and could be delayed as new knowledge could be gained from the the War in Ukraine. So far it is unknown in which direction US tank force will go. Abrams X is not a proposal for new tank but technical demonstrator made by GD to show what could be done. If US Army decide to go with new tank or drastic upgrade similar to one presented by Abrams X, it will still took years to finalise requirements, build prototype and proper testing. And in every part of that project are possible delays due various reasons, like government changes or whatever outcome of the war might be.
UK can not just wait for US, or anyone else for that matter, to decide, and going with any temporary solution would be just wasting the money. Nothing currently available on market is significantly better than CR3, nothing is ahead of curve, or mature enough to be considered worth wasting money. With CR3, UK will have a decent if not a good enough tank to bridge the gap while still putting UK in good position to later decide what will come after it. It will have less impediments to join either some US, or European or any other project of future tank as it would not have legacy fleet that could push it toward less optimal solution. Or, considering current state of MGCS, it could decide to actually build its own tank in cooperation with countries like France, Italy, Sweden or someone else.
I would have to agree, CH3 keeps us in the game, but with only148 conversions, we are barely in the game!
148 represents a force so far below critical mass it's almost ineffectual and religates us to the sidelines of any potential NATO armoured response.
You 'might' conclude that a total force of just 148 is simply not worth bothering with and we should just abandon heavy Armour, perhaps replacing it with a deployable light capability like the 105mm turreted Boxer variant for example.
Perhaps we are better off, as the Army continues to shrink into the 70,000's, to concentrate on deployable formations, with increased air mobility and firepower?
Maybe trying to do everything with a shrinking Army is just not a good idea?
Food for thought chaps....