As announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, Challenger 2 will form a key part of the British Army’s capability through to 2035. In order to achieve this, several key systems will need to be replaced.
With BAE Systems, ‘Team Challenger 2’ is made up of seven key players in the defence industry: General Dynamics Land Systems-UK; General Dynamics Mission Systems-International; Leonardo-Finmeccanica (formerly Selex ES Ltd); Moog, QinetiQ and Safran Electronics (formerly Sagem).
BAE Systems designed and built the original Challenger 2 with a mission to give the British Army the best tank in the world. Since Challenger 2 came into service in 1998, BAE Systems has continued to support the vehicle to ensure it always remains at optimal readiness. It has also delivered many Urgent Operational Requirements and upgrades in that time to respond to emerging threats and changing battle scenarios.
Jennifer Osbaldestin, Managing Director of BAE Systems Land (UK), said “We have taken an innovative approach in teaming for this bid to enable the best and most experienced partners to develop and deliver a winning solution. This approach gives us access to capabilities and facilities that will sustain Challenger 2 through life and offer a value for money solution for British taxpayers.
“BAE Systems designed and built Challenger 2, we are now excited about the opportunity to use our expertise with the rest of Team Challenger 2 to update and integrate new technology to further extend the capability for the British Army.”
The work to convert the tanks to the new Challenger 2 Mark 2 standard would be carried out at General Dynamics’ factory in South Wales, where the British Army’s new AJAX vehicle will start production in 2017.
General Dynamics Land Systems-UK is currently designing and manufacturing the new AJAX vehicle for the British Army, the largest vehicle production programme in the UK. General Dynamics Mission Systems-International supplied systems for the original Challenger 2 and is a major provider to the US Army.
As a key strategic partner on the bid team, Vice President of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, Kevin Connell, added: “This is a great opportunity to leverage the capabilities of AJAX. We would deliver the Challenger 2 Mark 2 vehicles from our new manufacturing facility in Merthyr Tydfil, helping to sustain and create new jobs at the site. With the skills we have developed designing and producing AJAX, we are well positioned to be part of Team Challenger 2.”
David Ibbetson, Vice President, General Dynamics Mission Systems-International added: “As a supplier to the original Challenger 2 tank, I am delighted that General Dynamics Mission Systems is a member of Team Challenger 2. With our skills and expertise, we can offer the UK MOD value for money, whilst providing the most technologically advanced and proven systems available.”
Key capabilities of Team Challenger 2 are:
Design Authority – BAE Systems
Systems Integration and Engineering:
- BAE Systems
- General Dynamics Land Systems-UK
- General Dynamics Mission Systems-International
- Leonardo-Finmeccanica (formerly Selex ES Ltd)
- Safran Electronics (formerly Sagem)