CHALLENGER 3 concluded live fire testing in Germany 09/05/2024 | Fabio Di Felice

Live firing testing of the British Army’s future tank, the CHALLENGER 3, has taken place in Germany in the last weeks, with the attendance of UK Defence Procurement Minister, James Cartlidge. According to a declaration released by the Minister, despite the UK possesses the necessary facilities to undertake the new tank trails, the live firing exercises took place in northern Germany, using Rheinmetall's proprietary ammunition which ‘would not be cost-effective to clear on UK ranges for important but limited trial use’. The remaining CHALLENGER 3 prototypes will undergo full trials in the UK, including other firing tests. The tank prototypes have already been delivered by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) under an £800 million contract for 148 MBT (more than 1 billion euros), with the full involvement of British companies and highly skilled engineers and technicians. The live qualification firings involved the first CHALLENGER 3 tank firing rounds at targets from a range of distances to ensure accuracy. They are being driven by RBSL UK and Rheinmetall and, in accordance with the UK MoD statement, are using the Rheinmetall ranges for consistency with NATO Reference Standards for the new weapon and ammunition. The British service is confident that the new tank will be cutting-edge and crucial in the Army’s warfighting ability and the UK’s contribution to NATO while acting as a deterrent to its adversaries until at least 2040. The latest version, the third, of the CHALLENGER series includes a new modern turret with a more capable smoothbore gun (120 mm L55A1), which is compatible with the most lethal NATO ammunition available, as well as improved sensors, advanced armor, and the TROPHY Active Protection System (APS) produced in collaboration with Rafael. UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, during his last visit to Berlin, also announced a joint UK-Germany endeavor to develop Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm Wheeled Artillery Systems (RCH 155), which will be fitted to BOXER vehicles.

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