Should the UK Remove the Challenger 2 From Service?

The Challenger 2 has been around without a major Re-modification since 1998 and well lets be honest its aging quite a bit.

Seems like a smart m0ve does it not? Billions are spent on new projects bringing life to MBT’s but is it worth it? And will the leopard be a better choice?

The Challenger 2 has been around without a major Re-modification since 1998 and well lets be honest its aging quite a bit.

With its original introduction in 1993 and equipping the British forces in 1994 the design premise is 26 years old, and that’s not its main issue. what is the main issue is nothing has changed since, while the abrams is of similar age it has had its fair share of packages received (SEPv2/SEP) Giving it better “Hunter killer” Operations, allowing the commander control of the gun to ID numerous targets. and many other things alone the way.

The inside shot of a SEP Modification M1A2 Abrams gunners seat

It is clear that the Challenger 2 needs a upgrade then is it not? but obviously governments and contract all are a kafuffle these days and takes too long to choose and develop these packages. So that’s when we move over to the next topic, What there available other than buying a Leopard 2 of the Germans?

Where Previous tank upgrade programs not good enough?

There have been a numerous upgrade packages set in place to POSSIBLY be added to the British champ, but do you know of them? Most recently next to the obvious Rheinmetall weapon upgrade is the “Black knight” Program.

The Black Knight Challenger 2 from BAE

So what are the upgrades?

BAE systems unveiled this not to long ago the Black knight program, a Modernisation package for the tank, and along with a slick jet black paint job came with these upgrades, Definitely better than the original stock.

  1. Active Protection System – Systems allow the tank to detect incoming anti-tank missiles and automatically launches a Explosive/Shrapnel shot against it.
  2. Laser Warning System – Any Guided targeted projectiles that are locked on will be projected onto the warning system inside the tank for the crew to easily identify major threats like TOWs and alike.
  3. Regenerative braking – It is more energy efficient by using less energy hungry kit and installing a system that reuses power when turret traverse braking.
  4. Thermal Imaging – Front and rear infrared cameras providing apparently extremely detailed images, Allowing better visibility on targets at night.
  5. Better All Round – New equipment controlling tank’s weaponry are better developed and friendly to users allowing it to fight more effectively by all

Sounds good but what else is there other than the black knight? as that cant be just it.

Rheinmetall’s 130mm Turret Idea, Useful or just too expensive? Or yet a waste?

Snippet image of the video shown of the prototype.

As the Germans always have done over the years, exporting Leopards across the world to various nations, it wasn’t long before they came to the prideful brits with a challenger 2 upgrade, the new Rheinmetall 130mm equipped turret made just for the vehicle.

Lets just say this or well my opinion, this is a massive waste of time, the new 130mm will be on a new Leopard very soon you can be assured of it or on the leopard 2A5/6 variant. and as the Germans do they will happily no doubt sell the UK a number needed for a pretty penny (Around 200/300 Vehicles) and would be easier to maintain than having a challenger 2 in 40 years with rusted and unreplaceable parts developed time ago, as lets be honest 2035 is just around the corner and the challenger 2s part production will of no doubt in my mind be stopped entirely. Not to say the British government cant afford to buy such vehicles especially as financial cuts have hit the military hard, But Boris Johnson has vowed 16 billion to the UK Military and may be creating change soon saying that the UK should be using high tech expensive arms for a change.

So, Do you think we should upgrade the Challenger 2 or buy a Chunk of Foreign Military Exports?

Leopard 2A5s in questions.

Either way we will see a big change in the tank world, whether it will be the Challenger 2 is decommissioned, continued use, or sold on to other countries (that will be a weird day to see challenger 2s used in the middle east once again)

The challenger 2 is a symbol of pride for many British tank lovers, and that’s not to say its not a incredible vehicle, it is, but is it up to bar with modern designs and upgrade packages? close but not close enough and without a mass redesign the UK will lose the top 5 tank spot globally, next to the M1A2 SEPV2/Leopard 2a6s/T-90s/Leclerc’s and so on.

Vulnerability of German Tank Armor (Pz III)



It seems that if there are two topics that AFV aficionados (or as my wife calls them “tank nerds”) like to argue about, it’s gun penetration stats and comparative armor quality.  Earlier today I was looking through Tactical and Technical trends, nos. 1-20.   I found this reference to a British test of Allied tank guns versus the armor of a Panzer III.  Despite the fact that the penetration values of the guns in this report are well known, as are the armor values of the Panzer III, I figured this might still be of interest to people.

vulnerability of German Tank armor 2.pngvulnerability of German Tank armor 1

Would the Maus even be useful?


What if the Pzkpfw VIII ‘Maus’ entered mass production?

The Maus, a monster invention by Nazi Germany in 1945 and the two prototypes where never completed, Although if they where able to get it in mass production what would be the impact?

What if Nazi Germany managed to replace all their Heavy tanks with the Maus?

There was 1,839 of the Tiger I and Tiger II’s manufactured that is not much in comparison to

(Tanks listed are what can possibly pose a threat, Hence no T-34’s ECT)
3,854 IS-2’s (most likely with the 122mm)
207 IS-1’s (Doubtful)
2,212 Pershing’s (Doubtful)

Though the Tanks listed may struggle to penetrate the Maus from the front, they may from the side, and neither of any tank at the time can survive the Maus’s 128mm.

AT-Guns and Tanks of the time would be rendered useless as neither AT gun’s had the penetration to go through 250mm of armour and its would be rare for General’s to order the tanks further to be exposed to the rear the reveal a small 50mm thick plate.

So what would be needed to destroy the Maus?

Missile fighter’s, and lots of them, the fate of the PzVIII would be down to the air, or German commander’s mistakes of possibly sending them too close to troops for capture or to be surrounded.

The Maus was terribly slow and was very vulnerable to capture, and with the likely fact that like most German rushed Tanks, they are over-complicated and are unreliable as the Panther and Tiger I showed.

What would the effect of the Maus do to other tank production by other nations?

Other countries would develop much greater Tanks than the ones used as of 1945, like the IS-3, Super Pershing (Was close to production and would of most likely entered production) or even more powerful Tanks would be made to replicate the Maus’s Spec sheet?


So that’s my thought’s, but what the fuck do I know.

Jake Higson

‘Tanksalot’ Editor