Decoding Challenger 3 tank’s move to Germany—revealing the why

Recently, the company Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land [RBSL] announced a big leap in their Challenger 3 tank project. They have just transported the newest model to Germany for tests, a step that the press team says marks significant progress in the program. 

British Challenger 3 MBT to get US-made next-gen turret servo system
Photo: Reddit

The tests they will conduct on the model tank are a key part of its development process. The prototype must be tested in real working conditions to ensure it performs as expected, and to make necessary tweaks. Only after these steps will they proceed with creating and supplying 140 more of these cutting-edge tank machines to join the British Army. 

But this has led to discussions and questions in Britain, with people wondering why the first pre-production model of the main battle tank Challenger 3 was sent specifically to Germany. John Healy, the country’s shadow defense minister, even made a formal request in parliament to explain this action. 

In answer to this request, Defense Supply Secretary James Cartledge explained that the tank was sent to Germany for a set of specific tests with Rheinmetall’s own ammunition. The other prototype tanks will be tested fully, including fire tests, right here in the UK. He highlighted that most of the tests for the Challenger 3 will take place within the UK, due to our ability to handle such tests.

Not just Challenger 3

Have you ever wondered why the testing of European tanks mainly happens in Germany? One key reason is Germany’s varied landscape. From wide open spaces to hilly areas, forests, and real city settings, Germany has the perfect conditions for thorough test cases. 

Germany welcomes first prototype of future Challenger 3 tank
Photo credit: Telegram

Germany also boasts a long history of tank manufacturing, leading to the creation of advanced testing facilities. Using the latest tech, these facilities can mimic a wide range of battlefield situations, offering excellent grounds for intensive tank testing. 

Geographically, Germany’s central location in Europe is another plus point. For other European countries, it’s usually easier and less costly to take their tanks to Germany for testing, rather than send them to remote or overseas places. 

Performing tank tests in Germany also helps improve collaboration among European forces. It offers different countries a chance to adjust their military tactics, learn more about each other’s equipment, improving their overall combat skills. 

Last but not least, Germany is known worldwide for its strict rules and high standards for military equipment testing. Therefore, tanks tested in Germany are usually more reliable and high-performing. This is due to the tough standards they’re required to meet which, in turn, enhances their effectiveness in real combat situations.

Germany welcomes first prototype of future Challenger 3 tank
Photo credit: Telegram

What is Challenger 3?

BAE Systems, a UK company, has upgraded its Challenger 2 tank to the next level: the Challenger 3. This tank is designed for modern warfare and boasts innovative protection tech, improved firepower, and increased mobility. 

Leveling up in terms of firepower, the Challenger 3 uses a new 120mm L55 smoothbore gun. This weapon can launch various ammunition types, such as the innovative Armor armor-piercing fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot [APFSDS] rounds and adjustable High-Explosive Air Burst [HEAB] shells. Plus, the tank’s turret got an overhaul, reducing the crew size and increasing the rate of fire, thanks to an automated loader. 

Germany welcomes first prototype of future Challenger 3 tank
Photo credit: Telegram

As for safety, the Challenger 3 is highly trustworthy. It has a modular armor system for customizing its defense and an active protection system that can sense and neutralize coming projectiles. This tank is one of the safest out there, with a hull and turret safeguarded by advanced composite armor, extra explosive reactive armor, and a system for protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats. 

The Challenger 3 is powered by a hefty 1,500-horsepower engine, moving at an impressive speed of around 60 mph. An improved suspension system allows better off-road performance and comfort. Updates to the steering and brakes also provide improved handling. 

The Challenger 3 uses digital systems for a cutting-edge fire control system and battlefield management system. The fire control system features a thermal imaging sight and laser rangefinder for better awareness. Meanwhile, the battlefield management system allows the tank to swiftly share crucial info with other units, enhancing cooperation and overall battlefield effectiveness.


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