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Challenger 2 now a HMV?


Caddy
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Depending on where the information comes from there is some confusion as to whether they will be brand new vehicles or major upgrades of existing Challenger 2.  Either way the budget suggests a unit cost of £5.4m and they are hoping to have them by 2030, coincidentally the year when we will all have to go electric.

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From BBC News. 

The British Army has 227 ageing Challenger 2 tanks. Only 148 of them will be modernised and they won't be entirely new. The Challenger 3 tank will use the existing chassis, but it will have a new digital turret and smoothbore gun. It will also have a more powerful engine.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-shropshire-57025266

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I read in one of the claims that it will do 60 MPH.  Yes, I am sure that is true!  Nothing about what engine is proposed. 

I would have thought by keeping the same hull, you inevitably compromise the design.  And yet the hull is not particularly expensive compared to the rest of electronic systems and the driveline.

Since the engineering effort will be spread across a very few hull, the unit cost will be very high and this will compromise the design.  There is no better example of why this is not a good idea than the Nimrod project where they took an old aircraft and tried to give it new wings, avionics and engines.  In effect, they were only keeping the fuselage.  It was doomed to failure. 

John

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1 hour ago, attleej said:

  There is no better example of why this is not a good idea than the Nimrod project where they took an old aircraft and tried to give it new wings, avionics and engines.  In effect, they were only keeping the fuselage.  It was doomed to failure. 

John

Unfortunately this was one area where the Americans beat us, the E3 Sentry AWACS was based on a Boeing 707 of similar age to the DH Comet and is still in use today.

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To  'cherry-pick' the best  148 hulls for reincarnation ,  visual & a bit of NDT  I presume ,     Challenger 2 chassis plate must have been / remains good stuff  !

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the original RR CV12 TCA has plenty of scope for more power, and as always, it was detuned to go into challenger 1. fast forward to now, and although RR engines became perkins, then CAT, I believe a beefed up version of the CR2 pack has been trialled. the MTU engine is an older design to the CV12.

Bulldogs are ok with the 6 cyl cummins, but you can't beat the noise of a supercharged 2 stroke diesel!

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I guess the biggest physical change will be with the new smoothbore and the storage of the 1 piece ammo.

wonder what they’ll do with all the extra space once the charge bins are removed? Will there be any room in the hull to store ammo?

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Evening all,

I think its fantastic news that a home grown design in whatever form has been chosen. Similar to how all war ships must be built in this country, the thought of procuring our main battle tanks from another country is inexplicable, from a security point of view,  to support home grown industry and maintain an up to date home grown knowledge base on tank design. If god forbid we ever did need to go to war and we had procured tanks from foreign shores, even if the supplying nation wasn’t the enemy, you only need them to disagree with our reasons for going to war and they could pull support, who knows in this day in age with everything being electronic, they could even shut the vehicles down remotely.

Richard

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5 minutes ago, Scammell4199 said:

Evening all,

I think its fantastic news that a home grown design in whatever form has been chosen. Similar to how all war ships must be built in this country, the thought of procuring our main battle tanks from another country is inexplicable, from a security point of view,  to support home grown industry and maintain an up to date home grown knowledge base on tank design. If god forbid we ever did need to go to war and we had procured tanks from foreign shores, even if the supplying nation wasn’t the enemy, you only need them to disagree with our reasons for going to war and they could pull support, who knows in this day in age with everything being electronic, they could even shut the vehicles down remotely.

Richard

too late-this is already happening with overseas supplied vehicles and fighters!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Scammell4199 said:

They’re being built in Telford....

But where will the one part ammunition be manufactured?  NATO standard so there will be existing suppliers, but given the UK has never used it I would be surprised if there was a manufacturer in the UK.

 

I had a vague notion that we struggle with supply of small arms bullets because we no longer make the dangerous bits in the UK.  Anyone know if this is the case?

Edited by Highland_laddie
mistake on ammo type
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On 5/10/2021 at 8:12 AM, Caddy said:

I guess the biggest physical change will be with the new smoothbore and the storage of the 1 piece ammo.

wonder what they’ll do with all the extra space once the charge bins are removed? Will there be any room in the hull to store ammo?

‘Extra space’ - believe me it wasn’t there for very long! As you say the biggest challenge with this project was finding room for the one-piece ammunition, which is a lot harder to stow in the confined spaces of the vehicle than the three-piece ammunition from the L30 gun. Particularly when you consider that the HE round weighs just short of 30kg. Plus you have to stow the stub cases that are ejected from the breech, as we’re not allowed to throw them out the hatches.

Ammo is stored in a purpose built bunker in the turret bustle, as well as racks on both sides of the hull. All the ammo is from Rheinmetall and made in Germany, I don’t think there are any plans to make it in the U.K. One of the biggest benefits of the smoothbore is that it’s used across NATO so the cost of developing new ammunition is spread across all the NATO users and not born by one single nation, unlike the L30, which means the ammunition is under constant development and new ammunition is not cost prohibitive.

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14 hours ago, Tom M said:

‘Extra space’ - believe me it wasn’t there for very long! As you say the biggest challenge with this project was finding room for the one-piece ammunition, which is a lot harder to stow in the confined spaces of the vehicle than the three-piece ammunition from the L30 gun. Particularly when you consider that the HE round weighs just short of 30kg. Plus you have to stow the stub cases that are ejected from the breech, as we’re not allowed to throw them out the hatches.

Ammo is stored in a purpose built bunker in the turret bustle, as well as racks on both sides of the hull. All the ammo is from Rheinmetall and made in Germany, I don’t think there are any plans to make it in the U.K. One of the biggest benefits of the smoothbore is that it’s used across NATO so the cost of developing new ammunition is spread across all the NATO users and not born by one single nation, unlike the L30, which means the ammunition is under constant development and new ammunition is not cost prohibitive.

Why are you not allowed to throw the empty cases out of the hatches ?

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52 minutes ago, Bob Grundy said:

Why are you not allowed to throw the empty cases out of the hatches ?

It's simply not PC and against current health and safety regulations.  Apart from littering the countryside there is the possibility of striking a bystander known as brass on blue.

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no combat is PC, or complies with HSE, as for a bystander loitering close enough to a firing CR2/3 to be struck by a falling stub, I think he would be more concerned with his perforated ear drums........

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Sorry Gents, it’s been a long day. In answer to Mr Grundy’s question, we have to stow the stub cases for 2 reasons; firstly the MoD don’t want stub cases littering the ranges and training areas, so it’s principally an environmental issue. They can also be reworked I believe. Secondly we have to account for fighting the vehicle in CBRN conditions, when you can’t open the hatches, so we have to allow stowage space for the same number of stub cases as there are complete rounds.

Hope this answers the question.

 

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13 hours ago, Scammell4199 said:

Presumably that means its the same as the ammunition used by the Abrams? I'm guessing the americans don't buy it in?

The US use NATO compatible ammunition, but it’s all US derived and manufactured, if they buy ammunition in they tend to manufacture it in country under licence.

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Tom it sounds like you either are or have been serving C2 crew. What is your opinion of C2 compared to other MBTs from around the world? I was always under the impression it was up there with the best of them. 

Thanks. Richard

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14 hours ago, terryb said:

no combat is PC, or complies with HSE, as for a bystander loitering close enough to a firing CR2/3 to be struck by a falling stub, I think he would be more concerned with his perforated ear drums........

You may laugh, but one project I was involved with a while ago was the "environmentally friendly torpedo".

Andy

  • Haha 2
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8 hours ago, Scammell4199 said:

Tom it sounds like you either are or have been serving C2 crew. What is your opinion of C2 compared to other MBTs from around the world? I was always under the impression it was up there with the best of them. 

Thanks. Richard

Hi Richard,

I’ve not crewed a CR2, but have worked on it during my time in REME. My knowledge comes from working on CR3.

CR2 is certainly up there in terms of overall performance, and even more so now with the new upgrades, but as with all MBTs, performance is a balance between protection, firepower and mobility. You might manage 2 of them, but will be hard pressed to achieve the maximum performance in all 3 areas. Excelling in one area almost certainly compromises another area, so it’s a case of working out what the right compromise is for the vehicle’s proposed use. Hence why we had so many different tank types in WW2; heavy and well armoured tanks to support infantry (mobile pillboxes), but lighter and faster cruiser tanks for fighting mobile tank battles in open country. I think it took until the Comet until we managed to get a satisfactory balance between firepower, protection and mobility. 

Even now, if you compare Challenger, Abrams and Leopard, each of them have pros and cons. Which is better depends on which battle you’re fighting! Not forgetting that one of those battles is logistics, tanks are little use without ammunition, fuel or spare parts!

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