British Army Challenger 3 MBT hits CDR milestone ahead of schedule

British Army Challenger 3 MBT hits CDR milestone ahead of schedule

The Challenger 3 teams from DE&S’ Land Equipment Operating Centre and the British Army, together with its industry partners Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), have been working to progress the CR3 programme at pace and can now announce that it has approved the Critical Design Review (CDR) ahead of schedule. This follows the Initial Design Review (IDR) held in March 2022 and is the culmination of an enormous amount of collaborative work.

788The CDR means that the design for the tanks has been agreed and that RBSL can now start building the CR3 prototypes. The work was carried out under an £800M contract which was awarded to RBSL in 2021 to deliver 148 upgraded, fully digitalised battle tanks to the British Army from 2027.

The supply-chain sub-contracts have now been awarded to UK supply chain companies, contributing to the government’s levelling up agenda. Following two key design reviews, work to modernise and expand RBSL’s production facility in Telford – which will also manufacture Boxer vehicles – is now almost complete.

The team have also conducted successful trials of a cutting-edge new armour system that will protect the tank; a UK sovereign capability based on a DSTL design and manufactured by RBSL. In parallel and following the Secretary of State for Defence’s acceleration challenge, work is ongoing to deliver Main Battle Tanks earlier.

Outside of the core contract, but a key future enabler, is the concurrent integration of the Trophy MV Active Protection System (APS). This is progressing well through the Concept and Assessment phases, with a successful demonstration being conducted in November 2022.

Challenger 3 quick look

The fully digitalised tanks will benefit from:
* a new 120mm smoothbore gun which uses the most advanced globally available ammunition
* a new suite of sights providing tank commanders with enhanced day and night targeting abilities
* a new armour solution
* an active protection system (APS)
* a turret that can be fitted to the tanks of allies and global partners
* Significantly improved mobility through an upgraded engine and new hydrogas suspension

Share This