Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme – is it worth it? via UK LANDPOWER...

Note.  UK Landpower is one those "European Blogs" that serve as my go to's when it comes to how they actually view things on that continent.  Unfortunately it seems that the number of blogs over there is way down and military blogs are practically non-existent.  Having said that UK Landpower touches all the right spots...especially when it comes to armor.  One other awesome thing UK Landpower does (much like Think Defense did when it was running) is that while longform its broken down into sections.  The portion below covers alternatives.  Read the whole thing, it puts the Challenger 2 Life Extension program into perspective and lists all the considerations that must be taken into account.

via UK Landpower.
The US Army has approximately 4,000 M1A1 Abrams sitting in a Californian desert. It should be possible to acquire 230 of these for around $1.5-$2.0 million each and upgrade them to the latest build standard. Adding a new fire control system is likely to cost $1 million per tank, so we could acquire a substitute MBT at a cost of $2.5-$3.0 million each (or £460-£500 million in total).

Buying the US Army’s M1 Abrams tank would have two disadvantages. One is the cost and complexity of bringing a major new vehicle platform into UK service with all of the related DLOD requirements; the other is that it has a gas turbine engine. Although the engine is very thirsty, it can use a variety of fuels. US Army M1A2 SEP V3s are now fitted with an auxiliary power unit which reduces fuel consumption when the tank is stationary. As an alternative, General Dynamics has already looked at integrating the MTU EuroPowerPack fitted to Leopard 2, so this could be an option, but would increase unit price. Again, the choice boils down down to cost. One important benefit of acquiring the Abrams is that it would give us improved interoperability with the US Army. Above all, Abrams is an excellent tank that has performed extremely well during recent deployments. Its basic design has stood the test of time better than Challenger 2 and it may well be the least expensive means of acquiring an MBT with a 120mm smoothbore. It is something we need to look at again. 
Story here. 

That's just a small portion of the story and I repeat you have to read it all.

My solution?

Just get up with Nexter, add the LeClerc turret to the thing or maybe do the same with Rheinmetall and add the Leopard 2 turret or even General Dynamics and do the same with the Abrams.

The hull isn't the weakness here.

It's the gun.

Modding the turret to handle the NATO standard gun appears to be too difficult and expensive to make sense. 

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