RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 40ISSUE 10members only

Assessing the Options for Modernising the UK’s Heavy Armour


Main Image Credit A Challenger 2 main battle tank of the Royal Welsh Battle Group on Exercise Prairie Storm at the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada. Courtesy of Mark Webster/Defence Imagery.


The UK has two options for modernising its armour: developing a Challenger 3 or procuring Leopard 2. The latter is an assured capability that will likely prove cheaper over the life of the programme. The former is risky but offers the UK an opportunity to develop valuable intellectual property.

If the UK is to maintain a deployable heavy armour capability through the 2030s then it must modernise its main battle tanks (MBTs). There has been much debate as to whether the UK should continue to field MBTs. This article does not address that question, as it has been amply covered in this publication and elsewhere. Instead, this article assesses the options if the UK decides to proceed with modernisation. It considers why the Challenger 2 (CR2) currently in service i

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WRITTEN BY

Dr Jack Watling

Research Fellow, Land Warfare

Military Sciences

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Nick Reynolds

Research Analyst, Land Warfare

Military Sciences

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