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Uk Surges Ahead With Challenger 2 Upgrade


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#981 Chris Werb

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 1330 PM

Why not bin the whole thing and get 200 K2 piggy-backed off the Polish order?

 

Exactly.


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#982 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 1357 PM

Then you end up with a tank completely different from the AVLB and the ARRVs. So then you have to buy those too. Then you have to setup a new training package because you have an entirely new tank. And you suddenly find when you forked out for all that, you can only afford 100 tanks, so the RAC shrinks, again.

It smacks of a cheap solution so beloved of chancellors, that turn out not to be. So undoubtedly it's what we will do.
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#983 Chris Werb

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 1255 PM

Then you end up with a tank completely different from the AVLB and the ARRVs. So then you have to buy those too. Then you have to setup a new training package because you have an entirely new tank. And you suddenly find when you forked out for all that, you can only afford 100 tanks, so the RAC shrinks, again.

It smacks of a cheap solution so beloved of chancellors, that turn out not to be. So undoubtedly it's what we will do.

 

So we're continually stuck with the same old thing because the next generation of tank or AVLB/ARRV has to be on the same platform as its opposite number?


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#984 Mighty_Zuk

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 1259 PM

Then you end up with a tank completely different from the AVLB and the ARRVs. So then you have to buy those too. Then you have to setup a new training package because you have an entirely new tank. And you suddenly find when you forked out for all that, you can only afford 100 tanks, so the RAC shrinks, again.

It smacks of a cheap solution so beloved of chancellors, that turn out not to be. So undoubtedly it's what we will do.

You do know that the Challenger 2's LEP that will change its gun, turret, engine, and what not, will substantially reduce the commonality with the CRARRV and AVLB, right? Then you spend a lot of money upgrading them as well.

But there's an alternative. Regardless of whether you upgrade the CR2 or buy another tank, the old CR2's parts can be used to sustain the ARRV and AVLB for quite a while.


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#985 Panzermann

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 1423 PM

 

Then you end up with a tank completely different from the AVLB and the ARRVs. So then you have to buy those too. Then you have to setup a new training package because you have an entirely new tank. And you suddenly find when you forked out for all that, you can only afford 100 tanks, so the RAC shrinks, again.

It smacks of a cheap solution so beloved of chancellors, that turn out not to be. So undoubtedly it's what we will do.

You do know that the Challenger 2's LEP that will change its gun, turret, engine, and what not, will substantially reduce the commonality with the CRARRV and AVLB, right? Then you spend a lot of money upgrading them as well.

But there's an alternative. Regardless of whether you upgrade the CR2 or buy another tank, the old CR2's parts can be used to sustain the ARRV and AVLB for quite a while.

 

 

A sensible planning would do that, but history has shown, that Whitehall happily throws away perfectly good equipment in a moment's notice instead of storing it for later. See e.g. the scrapping of part of the Challenger 2 fleet.


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#986 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 1438 PM

Yes, I'm still savage about that. We are going to do it again with the Apache fleet.

From what I've seen, the new c2 upgrades will make it in no way inferior to the rest of Europe's tank park. The only threat it needs worry about is the traditional one. Politicians.
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#987 Mighty_Zuk

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 1708 PM

Yeah, the new CR2, if all upgrade programs are implemented, is a solid one. But it's not quite significant with such a small fleet, and comparing them to European tanks is not a good metric, because most of Europe are not really doing a good job upgrading their tanks either.

Currently the only countries operating top notch tanks (even if in limited quantities) are the US, Russia, Israel, France, South Korea, Japan, China, and just maybe Germany. Everyone else are really neglecting their tank fleets.
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#988 GJK

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 1828 PM


 


Then you end up with a tank completely different from the AVLB and the ARRVs. So then you have to buy those too. Then you have to setup a new training package because you have an entirely new tank. And you suddenly find when you forked out for all that, you can only afford 100 tanks, so the RAC shrinks, again.

It smacks of a cheap solution so beloved of chancellors, that turn out not to be. So undoubtedly it's what we will do.

You do know that the Challenger 2's LEP that will change its gun, turret, engine, and what not, will substantially reduce the commonality with the CRARRV and AVLB, right? Then you spend a lot of money upgrading them as well.
But there's an alternative. Regardless of whether you upgrade the CR2 or buy another tank, the old CR2's parts can be used to sustain the ARRV and AVLB for quite a while.
 
 
A sensible planning would do that, but history has shown, that Whitehall happily throws away perfectly good equipment in a moment's notice instead of storing it for later. See e.g. the scrapping of part of the Challenger 2 fleet.
Sounds like the late 80s, with Challenger and Chieftain tanks, Chieftain ARRV, Chieftain AVLB and Centurion AVRE. I appreciate each type was at a different stage of its development, but we have a depressingly consist habit of procuring military equipment peacemeal. More expensive in the long run, harder to support, more complex training requirements. Challenger 1 regiments were supported by Chieftain ARRVs for some years, requiring units to hold both Challenger and Chieftain spares and tools. We won't learn.

Greg.

Edited by GJK, 14 February 2020 - 1831 PM.

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#989 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 0313 AM

Yeah, the new CR2, if all upgrade programs are implemented, is a solid one. But it's not quite significant with such a small fleet, and comparing them to European tanks is not a good metric, because most of Europe are not really doing a good job upgrading their tanks either.

Currently the only countries operating top notch tanks (even if in limited quantities) are the US, Russia, Israel, France, South Korea, Japan, China, and just maybe Germany. Everyone else are really neglecting their tank fleets.

Fair. Its disturbing how little interest there is in fitting APS to most European tanks. Well at least we have a tech demonstrator that fits it, the only question is when (if) the MOD will fund it.


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#990 JW Collins

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 0529 AM

Considering the budgetary reality I'm sure switching out the Challengers 2's engine is out of the picture but has there ever been consideration of replacing the 1,200hp engine with a 1,500hp model?

 

Zuk you listed the US as one of the countries as operating one of the top notch tanks but much as I admire qualities of the design it seems to me that many components of the M1 Abrams are getting long in the tooth. In particular the L/44 120mm gun probably won't be enough going forward. Among other things I think a whole new turret would be ideal. A layout that would incorporate all of the sensors, active protection system components, and independent weaponry for the commander in a more streamlined package. The M1A2 SEP v3 ought to be an interim step pending an overhauled M1A3.

 

I don't know what Germany and France may come up with for their future MBT requirements but I can't say I'm very optimistic about the future of Western MBT development, at least until reality gives us a rude slap in the face.


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#991 Mighty_Zuk

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 0803 AM

Zuk you listed the US as one of the countries as operating one of the top notch tanks but much as I admire qualities of the design it seems to me that many components of the M1 Abrams are getting long in the tooth. In particular the L/44 120mm gun probably won't be enough going forward. Among other things I think a whole new turret would be ideal. A layout that would incorporate all of the sensors, active protection system components, and independent weaponry for the commander in a more streamlined package. The M1A2 SEP v3 ought to be an interim step pending an overhauled M1A3.

 

I don't know what Germany and France may come up with for their future MBT requirements but I can't say I'm very optimistic about the future of Western MBT development, at least until reality gives us a rude slap in the face.

The L/44 is currently just as viable as the L/55, because many environments an MBT is expected to fight in, are limiting factors in the gun's design, particularly its length.

One way to go is to make a study and see what the maximum length can be, and what diameter is best for that, and focus on increasing chamber volume and maximum pressure. But there are new factors that must be taken into account in such a study:

1)The next generation of tanks has an innate capability of substantially increasing crew-relevant armor protection (i.e protection of the crew rather than the tank's systems).

2)Anti-KE APS already in service may shift all ground assets into the saturation mindset already adopted by navies and air forces elsewhere. Except this time the targets are not soft targets.

3)Doctrinal changes can affect the reference environments the tank's design team will take into account. For example, doctrine dictates that MBTs will no longer take part in urban combat, and IFVs and other assets (UGVs?) will be fully equipped for the task.

 

Unless the gun is being changed, I don't think designing a new turret right now is desired. It is a very expensive path, and such an ECP that will necessarily include a different powertrain as well (higher energy demands), may prove to be even more expensive than making brand new tanks (M1A3). Even less ambitious projects, like the conversion of Merkava 2 tanks to Namer HAPCs, back in 2006, was proven to be more expensive than building all-new ones. 

 

You are not optimistic, but I am. Germany, France, Israel, and the US share a similar vision for the next generation, and a lot of work has already been done to show that it is possible. Not surprising as all these countries are basically sharing experiences and strategies with each other. The technology is at a stage where it has to mature a bit more, but some of it is already being marketed as ready, and some is already being implemented on operational vehicles.

The next generation of vehicles will not be backwards compatible with current gen. That is, you cannot upgrade existing vehicles to that standard, because it requires a lot of structural changes.


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