Britain’s Challenger 3 Upgrade Programme: First Smoothbore Weapons Enter Production

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:34 AM, September 16, 2021
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Britain’s Challenger 3 Upgrade Programme: First Smoothbore Weapons Enter Production
Challenger 3 tank @RBSL

Two Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore L55A1 weapons for testing and trialling have now entered production at Unterluess facility, which would later be integrated onto the British Army’s modernized Challenger tanks.

As announced in May 2021, RBSL will be transforming 148 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) into the new Challenger 3 configuration for the British Army.

Following production, the smoothbore guns will be integrated, tested and validated before delivery to Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) in the UK for integration with the new digital turret, the company said in a statement earlier this week.

The latest Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore is a key capability upgrade. The gun is firing Kinetic Energy tank rounds and the latest programmable High Explosive multipurpose ammunition. Performance is also optimised with the latest gun and fire control system technology.

The smoothbore gun fires the most advanced, high-performance penetrators, bringing assured lethality to the UK. This element of the Challenger 3 upgrade also ensures UK interoperability with other NATO users.

Challenger 3’s upgraded lethality sits alongside a new armour system that provides the highest standards of protection for the crew, with work underway to incorporate Active Protection Systems.

Challenger 3 will also receive improved long-range Commander and Gunner primary sights with automatic detection and tracking, plus integrated day and night thermal modes of operation.

Britain’s Challenger 3 Upgrade Programme: First Smoothbore Weapons Enter Production
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