Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) has completed another Challenger 3 main battle tank programme milestone – the Systems Integration Readiness Review. This ensures RBSL new facilities are on track to support integration of key subsystems onto the main battle tank. The company recently welcomed British Army and Defence Equipment and Support (U.K. Ministry of Defence) to take a tour. Challenger 3 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 a combination of active 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 mobilised and major recruitment and on-boarding activity is underway to grow the team of specialists who will deliver the programme. 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 programme who will assist the delivery of a career-defining contract. 450 jobs are expected be created and sustained within the UK supply chain, further contributing to UK prosperity and the levelling-up agenda.
RBSL’s upgrade solution for the Challenger 3 incorporates state-of-the-art lethality, survivability, surveillance and target acquisition capability enhancements. The latest Rheinmetall 120 mm High-Pressure L55A1 smooth bore main armament, firing world-class, temperature-independent Kinetic Energy tank rounds and the latest programmable High Explosive ammunition. Performance is optimised with the latest gun and fire control system technology. The new turret structure and armour system provides the highest standards of protection for the crew, with work underway to incorporate hard and soft kill Active Protection Systems. Improved long-range Commander and Gunner primary sights with automatic target detection / tracking, plus integrated day and thermal modes of operation.
Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) was launched in July 2019 as a new, UK-based and independent joint venture business between BAE Systems and German defence firm, Rheinmetall. RBSL has a proud heritage, having designed and delivered many of the Army’s armoured vehicle fleets under different business names. In addition to managing and growing the existing combat vehicle support business, the stated intent for the JV was to play a major role in the delivery of the British Army’s new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) and other strategic combat vehicle programmes, including the upgrade of the Challenger 2 main battle tank fleet. While initially focused on these major UK programmes, RBSL would also form an integral part of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division and participate in military vehicle contracts globally.