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The future of Challenger or its replacement

Is there something that is factually incorrect in those 6 links?

The Future Protected Vehicle Capability Vision was a study undertaken by the MoD on the future of its armoured vehicles.

You said the MoD had looked at everything but the MBT, it has looked, just not done a great deal about it :)

We are looking for highly innovative ways of delivering the same capability as our current Main Battle Tanks, but in a significantly lighter package that is more easily transportable, fuel efficient and less reliant on the supporting military infrastructure. A potential solution is the use of Hybrid Electric Drive Technologies that can significantly enhance mobility over demanding terrain with the benefits of good fuel efficiency and high reliability. Creative ideas that will provide the overall systems architecture that will host all military vehicle functions should also be included. We will award a number of contracts to demonstrate proof of principle of innovative technologies and applications of technology that will improve the mobility and overall effectiveness of the Future Protected Vehicle.

and

An Electric 30 tonne Armoured Fighting Vehicle with the ‘punch’of a current Main Battle Tank

An electric 30 tonne vehicle which will embody the effectiveness and survivability currently associated with a Main Battle Tank but with high tactical mobility, reduced logistic footprint and strategic mobility of a rapidly deployable, air portable system

It will employ a modular, open architecture approach to underpin a future generation of mission configurable platform

A ‘Troop Carrier’ variant capable of carrying a fully equipped eight man section is to be the main demonstration focus

  • An electric 30 tonne vehicle which will embody the effectiveness and survivability currently associated with a Main Battle Tank (MBT) but with high tactical mobility, reduced logistic footprint and strategic mobility of a rapidly deployable, air portable system.
  • It will employ a modular, open architecture approach to underpin a future generation of mission configurable platforms
  • A ‘Troop Carrier’ variant capable of carrying a fully equipped eight man section is to be the main demonstration focus
  • Enhance survivability and other performance aspects, through adjustable ride height (2 meters of suspension travel is the target)
  • Test Bed Demonstrator within 4 years
  • Experimental Operational Capability: ~2013
 
Perhaps you should forward that to the head of army procurement, as for the last oh I'll be generous 12 years the army has looked at just about everything apart from the MBT.

Skill fade? Getting Tankies to drive around afghan in a variety of other non tank vehicles for 6 months probably didn't help with that.

The fact that it's been known for some time that the CHARM round was coming to its glass ceiling was looked at half arsed.

Your point about the RAF Airsuperiority and the dig if they can get out of their hotel beds in time etc and Usual bullshit, you forgot to mention the fact that the RAF took a massive amount of pain in getting the Typhoon to be the second best AIr Defende.

Next year it will have brimstone and meteor, combined with its world beating swing role capability means it would be smashing armour on the ground that CR2 can't whilst still carrying a full AA capability.

I'm not one to usually defend Teenie Weenie airlines but have a quick google at what fast jet pilots think about engaging attack helicopters low and slow, added to the fact that the WAH64 and in the future AH64E have and will have significant DASS and in a non permissive environment would have self defence weapons.

Lighter smaller armour? Ajax anyone?

View attachment 218240



Lastly the majority of posts on this thread have been how the RN and RAF saw the fact they had a significant obsolescence problem looming in the horizon that's why they bent over and took the medicine and the result will be in the next 5 years both services will have or are about to get new modern up to date fleets.

The army not so sure.

I think you've missed my point about different tools for different jobs. My dig at the RAF is in good spirits, I know they fulfil an important role and they do it well, however jets simply are not the sole solution to winning campaigns. Your comment about "destroying armour that CR2 can't" is just the biggest load of twoddle I've read in a while. What exactly are the RAF currently engaging that Challenger 2 would struggle with? Most of the videos I've seen consist mainly of the likes of T72M, T55A and BMP1 or BMP2s.

To reiterate, part of the issue with the Air Force is that they must linger and then return. A tank can switch off, wait and watch. AH64s can't do this, and I don't care if you mount an AA missile on each one of it's stubby little wings because the fact is that in a big, proper war, the kind where tanks are supposedly sitting ducks, the AH64 is still going to lose out to enemy air and enemy SAMs in the long run. No one is safe. It is beyond idiotic to throw all of your eggs into a basket like that and expect results.

Flexibility means maintaining a wide spectrum capability. This means ground forces and ground forces means armour in one guise or another. I await AJAX keenly as I may well end up working with it, depending on how soon it comes and whether or not Armoured Regiments take them up for use in Recce Squadrons as well as Medium Armour regiments utilising their capabilities to expand their own scope. AJAX however, will not be a sole solution in itself. Like most other bits of equipment, it too has an operation envelope and this means it will be constrained if you attempt to deploy it like you would an MBT. Therefore what we need is a new MBT, in smaller numbers than before certainly, but we need them none the less if we're to have all bases covered. With the development and outfitting of systems from the likes of Shtora, Trophy and Goal Keeper to BAE's "ADAPTIV" camouflage system, there is no reason why armour cannot continue to operate effectively as another tool in the proverbial toolbox.

Finally, as far as skill fade is concerned, you're quite right, having Armoured Regiments re-role as 2nd class infantrymen or re-rolling them to serve on the likes of Mastiff or Jackal has certainly led to skill fade, however it's not killed the capability off completely so we are currently at a point where we can come back from the brink. Axing armour totally would be much, much worse in that it would totally kill off all skill in the area and leave us at a point where re-acquiring such a capability would be a mountain of a task.
 
T

Tinman74

Guest
I think you've missed my point about different tools for different jobs. My dig at the RAF is in good spirits, I know they fulfil an important role and they do it well, however jets simply are not the sole solution to winning campaigns. Your comment about "destroying armour that CR2 can't" is just the biggest load of twoddle I've read in a while. What exactly are the RAF currently engaging that Challenger 2 would struggle with? Most of the videos I've seen consist mainly of the likes of T72M, T55A and BMP1 or BMP2s.

To reiterate, part of the issue with the Air Force is that they must linger and then return. A tank can switch off, wait and watch. AH64s can't do this, and I don't care if you mount an AA missile on each one of it's stubby little wings because the fact is that in a big, proper war, the kind where tanks are supposedly sitting ducks, the AH64 is still going to lose out to enemy air and enemy SAMs in the long run. No one is safe. It is beyond idiotic to throw all of your eggs into a basket like that and expect results.

Flexibility means maintaining a wide spectrum capability. This means ground forces and ground forces means armour in one guise or another. I await AJAX keenly as I may well end up working with it, depending on how soon it comes and whether or not Armoured Regiments take them up for use in Recce Squadrons as well as Medium Armour regiments utilising their capabilities to expand their own scope. AJAX however, will not be a sole solution in itself. Like most other bits of equipment, it too has an operation envelope and this means it will be constrained if you attempt to deploy it like you would an MBT. Therefore what we need is a new MBT, in smaller numbers than before certainly, but we need them none the less if we're to have all bases covered. With the development and outfitting of systems from the likes of Shtora, Trophy and Goal Keeper to BAE's "ADAPTIV" camouflage system, there is no reason why armour cannot continue to operate effectively as another tool in the proverbial toolbox.

Finally, as far as skill fade is concerned, you're quite right, having Armoured Regiments re-role as 2nd class infantrymen or re-rolling them to serve on the likes of Mastiff or Jackal has certainly led to skill fade, however it's not killed the capability off completely so we are currently at a point where we can come back from the brink. Axing armour totally would be much, much worse in that it would totally kill off all skill in the area and leave us at a point where re-acquiring such a capability would be a mountain of a task.

Towddle? CR2 is becoming obsolete fast, it's gun has passed its maturity in terms of ammunition, which is well documented.

If what your saying about the RAF only bombing T72m et al, surely the CR2 is fit for purpose.

GR4 can smash all armour out there simples, CR2 can not.

There is a lot of support for keeping armour but it is up to the army to fund it, having repeatedly asked for money for various trials mentioned in earlier posts.
 
Towddle? CR2 is becoming obsolete fast, it's gun has passed its maturity in terms of ammunition, which is well documented.

If what your saying about the RAF only bombing T72m et al, surely the CR2 is fit for purpose.

GR4 can smash all armour out there simples, CR2 can not.

There is a lot of support for keeping armour but it is up to the army to fund it, having repeatedly asked for money for various trials mentioned in earlier posts.

Challenger 2 is indeed becoming old in the tooth, this is why it needs replacing. The ammunition is still very effective against the most likely threats it will face but due to our 3 piece ammunition, we can no longer increase the length of the penetrator. The L30 is still a fantastic main armament though, although any new platform would benefit from a smoothbore, now that smoothbore ammunition has improved.

Yes, aircraft can destroy anything out there as far as armoured platforms are concerned, I'm not saying that the munitions aren't capable and that's what's frustrating me when I come back and read your replies. What I am saying is that aircraft cannot be relied upon to be our sole anti-armour weapons outside of man-portable systems. There isn't enough of them, they cost too much to purchase, maintain and operate as do their munitions. Simply, they're not cost effective. They cannot operate around the clock, they cannot stay in an AO indefinitely and the majority of what you're basing your spiel off of is experiences we've had in conflicts where total air supremacy has been guaranteed with no fly zones easily maintained. In short, aircraft have been more effective in recent conflicts because there's been little in the way of AA defences on the other side. If we were to be embroiled in a conflict where this was not the case, the dynamics of the conflict would change drastically. As I've said time and time again, they are different tools in the toolbox. They are very good at dropping expensive munitions on targets that often don't need expensive munitions dropped on them.

In a proper conflict, whilst aircraft will certainly play their very important role, they are not as effective and cost effective when it comes to supporting ground forces around the clock. For this, we need a powerful land based weapons platform and that comes in the package of a tank. Why do you think the US maintains it's tank fleet? Why is Germany increasing theirs again after initially cutting it down a decade ago? Why are the likes of China, South Korea, Israel and India all increasing the numbers of tanks held in their armoury? Could it possibly be because tanks are still a useful and relevant tool in warfare? Yes, of course it is. And the UK needs to do the same, or at least in proportion to the size of our armed forces. We could get away fighting most armoured fleets with Challenger 2, especially if the LEP hurries up and gets here for us, but the fact is that the platforms themselves are old and their components tired. This is a result of neglect because we weren't using them in operations and were re-rolling its crews onto vehicles more suitable to our mission in Afghanistan. Like many machines, tanks can't just be left to sit for years and be expected to run and there are plenty of new systems that have reduced the risks to tanks that Challenger simply isn't compatible with. Therefore what we need in the long term is a new platform which can incorporate these systems and give Britain's armoured fleet the edge. This is what the Army believes and the only reason it hasn't happened so far is because of the cost and the fact that the army isn't currently able to juggle that cost with all the other projects it's struggling to keep alive after all the massive cuts that have happened. I agree it's a difficult task, really I do, however the logic behind making the move is there. What we need is the government to stop prioritising everything over us so that we can have the money to go forward with it. Whilst they're at it, perhaps they could sling us some more money for better food too as personally, I'm tired of eating the sh1t produced by Sodexo and Aramark as are most of the other serving personnel in the British Armed Forces.
 
T

Tinman74

Guest
Challenger 2 is indeed becoming old in the tooth, this is why it needs replacing. The ammunition is still very effective against the most likely threats it will face but due to our 3 piece ammunition, we can no longer increase the length of the penetrator. The L30 is still a fantastic main armament though, although any new platform would benefit from a smoothbore, now that smoothbore ammunition has improved.

Yes, aircraft can destroy anything out there as far as armoured platforms are concerned, I'm not saying that the munitions aren't capable and that's what's frustrating me when I come back and read your replies. What I am saying is that aircraft cannot be relied upon to be our sole anti-armour weapons outside of man-portable systems. There isn't enough of them, they cost too much to purchase, maintain and operate as do their munitions. Simply, they're not cost effective. They cannot operate around the clock, they cannot stay in an AO indefinitely and the majority of what you're basing your spiel off of is experiences we've had in conflicts where total air supremacy has been guaranteed with no fly zones easily maintained. In short, aircraft have been more effective in recent conflicts because there's been little in the way of AA defences on the other side. If we were to be embroiled in a conflict where this was not the case, the dynamics of the conflict would change drastically. As I've said time and time again, they are different tools in the toolbox. They are very good at dropping expensive munitions on targets that often don't need expensive munitions dropped on them.

In a proper conflict, whilst aircraft will certainly play their very important role, they are not as effective and cost effective when it comes to supporting ground forces around the clock. For this, we need a powerful land based weapons platform and that comes in the package of a tank. Why do you think the US maintains it's tank fleet? Why is Germany increasing theirs again after initially cutting it down a decade ago? Why are the likes of China, South Korea, Israel and India all increasing the numbers of tanks held in their armoury? Could it possibly be because tanks are still a useful and relevant tool in warfare? Yes, of course it is. And the UK needs to do the same, or at least in proportion to the size of our armed forces. We could get away fighting most armoured fleets with Challenger 2, especially if the LEP hurries up and gets here for us, but the fact is that the platforms themselves are old and their components tired. This is a result of neglect because we weren't using them in operations and were re-rolling its crews onto vehicles more suitable to our mission in Afghanistan. Like many machines, tanks can't just be left to sit for years and be expected to run and there are plenty of new systems that have reduced the risks to tanks that Challenger simply isn't compatible with. Therefore what we need in the long term is a new platform which can incorporate these systems and give Britain's armoured fleet the edge. This is what the Army believes and the only reason it hasn't happened so far is because of the cost and the fact that the army isn't currently able to juggle that cost with all the other projects it's struggling to keep alive after all the massive cuts that have happened. I agree it's a difficult task, really I do, however the logic behind making the move is there. What we need is the government to stop prioritising everything over us so that we can have the money to go forward with it. Whilst they're at it, perhaps they could sling us some more money for better food too as personally, I'm tired of eating the sh1t produced by Sodexo and Aramark as are most of the other serving personnel in the British Armed Forces.

In not disagreeing with the need of MBT, I cheekily smile at the wonder of the army.

They have had plenty of opportunity to upgrade, CR2.

Plus add in the money spent for Ajax development, trials, requirement shifts, instead of trying to deploy 10% of its strength which was back lifted by 3 CO.


Army needs MBT but who owns the coins?
 
Army needs MBT but who owns the coins?

Well, in theory, the Army owns the money...

However, the reality is that most of it was committed years ago with ministerial approval, then subsequently salami-sliced piecemeal in PR11.

The Army has therefore inherited an incoherent Armoured Vehicle Portfolio, which - if we're honest - it doesn't really understand. All it knows is that it has to keep frantically cheerleading anything it hasn't lost yet, else the nasty men at HMT might give the money to the other two kids!
 
GR4 can smash all armour out there simples, CR2 can not.

If it can see said armour

Remind me, how many GR.4's are actually available for tasking at any one time, how many Brimstone do we have, and what if said enemy armour has one of those nice S.400, Buk or Pantsirs covering it, how long could we sustain GR4 operations for?

Questions, Simples

Just having a laugh Tinman but yours is is rather a simplistic way of seeing it :)
 

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