Monday, 10 December 2018

British Army demos new Challenger 2 urban operation tank concept

10th December 2018 - 12:08 GMT | by Beth Maundrill in London

The British Army’s Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) has developed a new Challenger 2 MBT demonstrator to highlight modifications that could be made to the platform for urban operations.

The RTR will be demonstrating the vehicle during the Army Warfighting Experiment held in December 2018. 

Speaking to Shephard, 2nd Lt Nicholas Warren-Miller, 3 Tp Ldr RTR, said that the team has worked over the past two months to add ‘low-level...low-cost modifications that can be done very quickly’ on the tank. 

One of the key areas of modification was to enhance situational awareness in urban environments which Warren-Miller said was particularly limited in the Challenger 2 during urban operations when in close-down and inside the tank. 

Infantry-tank cooperation is another key area of focus for the RTR, which will make the Challenger 2 'more effective' in the urban environment, according to Warren-Miller. 

‘We’ve essentially increased the firepower of the tank and we have created a local area network into the tank which streams camera feeds. So in theory the infantry can use an Android tablet or phone and actually view what we are seeing and what our cameras are seeing,’ Warren-Miller explained. 

This has been achieved through the use of fixed cameras and panoramic 360˚ thermal imagers, barrel cameras to see left and right at junctions without exposing the platform and camera feeds streamed to dismounted soldier systems. 

The RTR has worked with an industry team, led by Ultra Precision Control System (PCS), to carry out the improvements. Warren-Miller emphasised that this project has been completed completely outside of the Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme which is currently being competed between BAE Systems and Rheinmetall. 

‘It comes from the Hobart committee…when everyone in the regiment gets to make recommendations for Challenger 2. And we’ve been given as a squadron the urban environment to adapt our vehicle to,’ Warren-Miller explained.

Through the Hobart committee the team has been given funding to carry out the work. Ultra PCS lead a team that includes FN Herstal UK, Mildef, Esterline, Istec and Ultra Lynx.

Other modifications include external storage for breaching tools and dismounted equipment; turret mounted mortar; commanders GPMG and loaders HMG. 

Warren-Miller suggested that this will be an ongoing project as the RTR has more ideas for long-lasting modifications. For now though these technologies will only be demonstrated on the one experimental platform.

Source: shephardmediacom 

Challenger 2: Details

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