After languishing for years last-in-line for upgrades the Brits' MBT is finally set to get the attention it needs:
LONDON — The UK Ministry of Defence has kick-started a program to update the British Army’s neglected Challenger 2 main battle tank fleet with at least three contractors submitting initial proposals to undertake the work.
Challenger 2 builder BAE Systems, along with rivals General Dynamics UK and Lockheed Martin UK, have all confirmed they responded by the Jan. 14 closing date to a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) issued in December by the MoD’s procurement arm, the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organization.
Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the builder of the Leopard 2 tank, was previously reported to be interested in the update program but it’s not known if the company has filed a PQQ now that buying new or secondhand tanks has been ruled out by the Army.
Company officials could not be contacted ahead of going to press.
Officially known as the Challenger 2 Life Extension Program (LEP), the update, including initial logistic support, could be worth up to £700 million (US $1 billion), said the MoD’s Contract Bulletin. The update program could also be applied to Challenger 2s operated by the Oman government, said the Contracts Bulletin.
The contractors are vying for two competitive assessment phase contracts expected to run for two years.
So, what do folks here think the Challenger 2 needs most? Adoption of a smoothbore 120mm cannon is an obvious item the article mentions, but the wish list is going to be long and there won't be enough money for all of it. So what should the British look to improve on their main battle tank?