Friday, September 21, 2018

UK: BAE Challenger tank concept to be fitted with Israeli Iron Fist APS

(London)  Last January the British government handed 24-month Assessment Phase (AP) contracts to BAE and Rhinemetal for them to come up with Life Extension Programmes for the  British Challenger 2 Main Battle tank in which to address mission system obsolescence and ensure that the vehicle remains supportable until 2035.

Well this week BAE  revealed their Black Night, Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (LEP) technology demonstrator.

In a nutshell, they have kept the main gun , armour and engine, but replaced everything else , with the internal electronics being ported over from the the new Ajax armoured vehicle which has a 20 Gbit/s Ethernet intelligent open architecture, which enables it to capture, process and store six TBs of information gathered by the sensors. It can then share this data, be it images or other information with other vehicles. The enhancements are designed to provide a 24-hour hunter-killer capability with the provision of thermal imagers for the gunner, commander, and driver.

For defence they have fitted the Challenger with the Israeli Iron fist active protection system, (as a costed option) which funny enough BAE has been contracted to fit to the Dutch armys APCs.

My opinion:
This is an upgrade on the cheap by the British government which would rather hand over £14 billion a year to third world countries which hate us, rather than spend that money on our own. Yes the Challenger 2 is still an effective tank, but to keep it in service until 2035 is a pound foolish, penny shy attempt to say, look we are spending money on the military. Don't even get me started on the standard infantry weapon the British army uses (A weapon I have been familiar with since the early 90s)