Wednesday, December 7, 2022

British Army expressed their genuine interest in advanced version of Challenger 2

BAE Systems took the opportunity at this year’s DVD 2018 exhibition in Millbrook to showcase its latest advanced version of Challenger 2.

During the DVD 2018 was unveiled the first demonstrator of the BAE’s upgraded Challenger 2 tank which referred to as the Black Night.  Other world-leading defense companies are also participating in the modernization programme, such as General Dynamics UK, QinetiQ, Leonardo, Moog,  IMI Systems and Safran.

BAE Systems designed and built Black Night demonstrator that fitted with modern active protection system (APS) and thermal imaging system. The upgraded tank is equipped with of the Iron Fist system developed by Israeli supplier IMI Systems. Iron Fist is an automated system that uses a radar to detect and track threats and then takes action to eliminate the threat. In addition, softkill active protection system developed to protect military vehicles against guided anti-tank missiles also was integrated onto the Challenger 2 Black Night.


Upgraded packaged also included additional sensors and modern electronic systems provide day and night surveillance and target engagement. The technology, developed by Leonardo in the UK, forms part of the BAE Systems led bid to upgrade the Challenger 2 tank and would for the first time bring independent night vision for both the gunner and the commander.

Also known as ‘electro-optic technology’, the thermal imaging system will help British troops identify potential threats and move undetected in hostile situations, while also shaving valuable seconds off reaction times, which can make the difference between mission success and failure.

Interesting that the new prototype was demonstrated without any type significant armour upgrade.

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. British Army already expressed their genuine interest in the Challenger 2 Black Night. The new advanced tank version has integrated the most technologically advanced and proven systems available.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.