BERLIN, (BM) – The network has a video of a new version of the British main tank Challenger 2, learned BulgarianMilitary.com according the YouTube channel of the German concern Rheinmetall Defense.
The command of the ground forces of the UK plans to use the Challenger 2 at least until 2035. In this regard, back in 2013, work began on its modernization. The assignment was received by the British branch of BAE Systems and the land sector of the German concern Rheinmetall, writes Military Review.
BAE Systems introduced its version of the tank, dubbed Black Night, in the fall of 2018. The company decided to limit itself to minor alterations, making the main emphasis on replacing the fire control system and communications equipment. The hull, turret and power plant of the tank remained the same.
The German concern went the other way: in this project it is proposed to use a completely new tower, which houses modern fire control devices and other weapons. Which of the options the British command ultimately chooses is still unknown.
Challenger 2 – the main battle tank of the ground forces of Great Britain. It is also in service with the CWS of the Netherlands. Tanks of this model were used in combat operations in Kosovo and Iraq. In the spring of 2009, BAE Systems announced that it would cease production of the Challenger due to a lack of defense orders from the British government.
Work on the Challenger 2 tank began in October 2018
On 3 October, the British multinational company, BAE Systems, specializing in the areas of defense, security, and aerospace, has revealed the first working upgraded prototype of its idea for Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT) – Black Nigh.
Team Challenger 2 is a strategic partnership of major defense companies, lead by BAE Systems and established to submit offer for the MBT Life Extension Project (LEP).
The assigned by the UK Ministry of Defense consortium, for the project, consists of BAE Systems Land (UK), General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, Leonardo, Safran Electronics & Defense, Moog, QinetiQ and General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada.
Black Night is a modified and upgraded main battle tank, equipped with improved night-fighting capability, which is capable to provide two independent night vision systems for improved target focus to Challenger 2. This will enable the gunner on the vehicle and the commander to operate simultaneously.
The other Black Night cutting-edge improvements that Team Challenger 2 offer includes are active protection system, laser and missile-based warning system, regenerative power sourcing, thermal imaging technology and accelerated fightability.
The work for the MBT development and modernization, BAE Systems has performed at the company’s combat vehicles facility in the West Midlands, UK.
“The UK is home to some of the world’s finest engineering companies, who have pushed the boundaries of combat vehicle design with Black Night.We are providing the bulk of this upgrade from home soil, however, we have chosen the best defence companies from around the world to collaborate with also, including names from Canada, France and Germany who bring unique skills and proven technology. The British Army has our commitment that we will deliver the most capable upgrade possible, and the best value for money,” Simon Jackson, BAE Systems Team Challenger 2 campaign leader, commented on the background.
The UK allocated an additional 66 million pounds to the United Kingdom Ground Forces Initiative Autonomous Warrior
As we reported on June 15, the government allocated an additional 66 million pounds to the United Kingdom Ground Forces Initiative Autonomous Warrior, so it will have to bear fruit this year; among them are mini-drones and other radio-controlled reconnaissance vehicles, as well as the so-called “Theseus Project” – autonomous supply vehicles that will deliver ammunition and equipment to the troops at the forefront.
Most of the innovative projects of the British armed forces are auxiliary or defense means, since Great Britain and other democracies have to overcome a whole “ethical minefield” before lethal autonomous weapons are introduced, the material DE emphasizes.
The UK defense ministry will have to start discussing ethical boundaries next month, however, the current innovation concepts still have a tough rule: the decision to open fire must ultimately be made by a person, not a machine, the tabloid writes.
Meanwhile, Mr. Barrons warns that choosing this approach, the British authorities turn a blind eye to the fact that China, Russia and Iran will not be guided by such restrictions, writes DE.
“In no case do I advocate robotic weapons of mass destruction – we won’t have any wars in the style of the movie Terminator,” the publication quotes the general. “It’s about a combination of platforms, some of which are remotely controlled by people, and some are autonomous. If this becomes possible – and for now it is impossible – the ground forces will be able to replace four Challenger 2 tanks with a crew with one tank with a crew and three autonomous ones in a tank platoon. AI and robotics will revolutionize the armed forces and change their appearance, both in terms of intelligence, logistics and operational management, and in terms of mortality, although difficult discussions await us about it. But no matter what thoughts we have about this, rest assured that Russia and China will not have the same remorse.”
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