First pre-production of Challenger 3 goes into trials

The trials of first pre-production of the British Army’s next Main Battle Tank Challenger 3 will start in the coming weeks.

The company states this as ‘a major milestone’ for the Army and the culmination of hard work by RBSL’s team. This prototype, along with further prototypes to follow close behind, will soon show their capabilities on trials. During the trials the prototypes will be tested under operational conditions to validate their performance and make refinements before another 140 are built and delivered to the British Army.

The Challenger 3 platform will be fitted with a new 120mm L55A1 smoothbore gun built by Rheinmetall, enabling the use of the most advanced ammunition available. Next Generation UK-sovereign modular armor, a fully digitized turret and integration of Trophy Medium Variant APS onto the platform will protect against rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles.

Challenger 3 Deputy Project Manager at RBSL, Nick Berchem said:
“Designed with the crew’s safety, operational effectiveness, and comfort at its heart, and with the users’ advice at every stage, I am sure it will prove to be a very potent and popular addition to the British army’s inventory. It is hugely exciting and very satisfying to be part of the team bringing this immensely capable tank to life.”

Colonel Will Waugh, Senior Responsible Owner of the Army’s Armour (Main Battle Tank) Programme, said:
"Delivery of the first pre-production Challenger 3 and the commencement of trials marks a critical milestone on the journey to the Army’s modernised Main Battle Tank capability. Challenger 3 will be at the heart of the Army’s Armoured Brigade Combat Teams, alongside Ajax and Boxer, under Future Soldier. Events in Ukraine have underscored the need for credible warfighting capabilities. The Army’s Armoured Brigade Combat Teams, with Challenger 3 at their centre, are key to the UK’s contribution to NATO’s deterrence."

Major General Darren Crook, Director Land Equipment for Defence, Equipment & Support said:
“In an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world, our priority is to deliver to the Army the capability it needs to deliver Future Soldier and be more lethal on the Battlefield. I am immensely proud of the work the whole team has undertaken: the Army, DE&S and RBSL working together to deliver the first pre-production Challenger 3. This marks a critical milestone in our delivery of this impressive capability to the British Army and will provide our soldiers with a world-class Main Battle Tank made here in the UK. It also demonstrates the centrality of the Land Industrial Strategy, with the UK increasingly developing a highly-skilled industrial base and maintaining strategic advantage through our Industry partners such as RBSL.”

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