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Challenger 3 upgrade includes three phases but ammo requirements remain unclear

21st April 2022 - 14:00 GMT | by Christopher F Foss in London


Challenger 2 MBT demonstrator armed with latest Rheinmetall 120mm L55A1 smoothbore gun plus new Thales commanders and gunner's stabilised sights. (Photo: RBSL)

There are three distinct phases to the Challenger 3 MBT upgrade plan for the British Army, but the MoD is still considering its 120mm ammunition options.

RBSL (a JV between Rheinmetall and BAE Systems Land) has confirmed that the British Army’s Challenger 3 MBT Life Extension Programme (LEP) will comprise three phases with an expected in-service date of 2027.

The first phase, now underway, covers the building of six pre-series Challenger 3 MBTs at the RBSL facility in Telford.

This will be followed by Phase 2 LRIP of a further 18 units, with Phase 3 being full-rate production of 203 tanks.

The end result will be sufficient to equip two regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) plus vehicles for training and reserve.


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Christopher F Foss


Christopher F Foss

Christopher F Foss is an internationally recognised authority on armoured fighting vehicles, artillery and other weapon systems, …

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