DSEI 2021: RBSL displays new British Army tank Challenger 3 fitted wit Rafael Trophy APS

Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) displays the next generation of Challenger 3 main battle tank for the British army fitted with the Israeli-made Rafael Trophy APS (Active Protection System) at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
Next generation of main battle tank Challenger 3 fitted with Rafael Trophy at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Challenger 3 main battle tank will be a network-enabled, digital Main Battle Tank (MBT) with state-of-the-art lethality, upgraded survivability, plus world-class surveillance and target acquisition capabilities. The demonstrator is also equipped with the Israeli-made Rafael Trophy Active Protection System (APS) and passive protection elements as a demonstration of how critical future capabilities could look on the Challenger 3.

Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) announced their UK MOD contract to upgrade 148 British Army Challenger 2 vehicles in May 2021, and significant progress has been made since the announcement.

The RBSL Challenger 3 team has mobilized and major recruitment and on-boarding activity is underway to grow the team of specialists who will deliver the program. 200 jobs will be created and sustained within RBSL, including 130 engineers and 70 technicians. RBSL will also grow its existing apprentice community into an ambitious early careers program that will assist the delivery of a career-defining contract.

In parallel, supplier mobilization is ramping up with supply chain negotiations in progress for key components on the Challenger 3 program. 450 jobs are expected to be created and sustained within the UK supply chain, further contributing to UK prosperity and the leveling-up agenda.

RBSL is working closely with the British Army and the UK MOD procurement arm, Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S), to deliver the program. All customer milestones, such as the initial requirements and project baseline reviews, have successfully taken place, with contract deliverables submitted and accepted.

RBSL’s upgrade solution for the Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank (MBT) incorporates state-of-the-art lethality, survivability, surveillance and target acquisition capability enhancements including:

Lethality: The latest Rheinmetall 120 mm High-Pressure L55A1 smoothbore main gun, firing world-class, temperature-independent Kinetic Energy tank rounds and the latest programmable High Explosive ammunition. Performance is optimized with the latest gun and fire control system technology.

Survivability: The new turret structure and armor system provide the highest standards of protection for the crew, with work underway to incorporate hard and soft kill Active Protection Systems.

Surveillance & Target Acquisition: Improved long-range Commander and Gunner primary sights with automatic target detection/tracking, plus integrated day and thermal modes of operation.

The solution also provides significant growth potential in all key capability areas with new physical, electronic and electrical architectures ready to support upgrades over the decades to come.