Jankel, a leader in advanced protection systems for military vehicles and their occupants, has won a contract from Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) worth over £2m for the design, development and delivery of 148 vehicle crew seating sets (444 seats) as part of the UK’s Challenger 3 programme. The contract awarded by RBSL – the prime contractor for the Challenger 3 programme – ensures that the British Army will receive world-class seating designed with high-levels of protection for the Commander, Gunner and Loader.
The seating systems will be designed and manufactured at Jankel’s UK production facility in Rustington, West Sussex, which currently employs c.150 members of staff including skilled technicians, engineering specialists, plus a team of apprentices, graduates and industry placement students.Jankel estimates that this contract will help to create and/or sustain over 50 jobs. This programme will also help sustain and further develop a variety of skills across the workforce through specialist design, manufacture and fabrication tasks.
Nick Long, RBSL Project Director for Challenger 3, said: “Having announced the overall Challenger 3 contract award in May 2021, we have mobilised and are making great progress in developing the Challenger 3 solution. This will be a real team effort, with a critical contribution coming from partners like Jankel. It is therefore a pleasure to be announcing this contract award, which helps protect UK skills and manufacturing, as well as prioritises the safety and protection of Challenger 3’s crews.”
Andrew Jankel, Chairman at Jankel, said:“We at Jankel are very proud to have been awarded this contract to support the Challenger 3 programme. Jankel has a long history in innovation and complex problem solving, combined with a deep understanding of how to integrate protection and occupant survivability systems into specialist military platforms. As a global group of companies founded and headquartered in UK, we are extremely pleased that we can bring all that experience and expertise to designing and delivering the best possible seating protection for our British Army’s tank crews of the future.”
The contract will be split into development and manufacturing phases. During the development phase, Jankel will undertake the design, development and integration of the new suite of seats into the Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank, followed by verification through design reviews and rigorous testing. Once the new seating has been fully tested, certified and signed off, the manufacture phase is scheduled to commence in 2025.
The Jankel group of companies has been continually trading since its incorporation by founder Robert Jankel in 1955. In its early years, Jankel provided specialist design and manufacturing services to improve the performance of rally and racing cars. Jankel then diversified into coachwork for the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz, specialising in armoured, Head of State vehicles. The current portfolio of products and services is wholly defence and security focused and covers the design, development, prototyping and production of armoured vehicles, light tactical vehicles, counter terrorism vehicles and equipment, and customised occupant survivability solutions for military,