A new 120mm smoothbore gun, created by German defense company Rheinmetall, has entered production at the company’s Unterluss facility.
According to a Sep. 21 news release from the British Army, two Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore L55A1 weapons for testing and trialing, have entered production ahead of schedule.
The new smoothbore will use to upgrade to transform 148 Challenger 2 (CR2) Main Battle Tanks (MBT) into the new Challenger 3 (CR3) configuration.
Following production, the smoothbore guns will be integrated, tested and validated before delivery to Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) in the UK, for integration with the new digital turret.
Along with the development of the new smoothbore barrel, upgrades to the Challenger’s armour, improvements to the long-range primary sights and the use of state-of the-art tank rounds will ensure that future soldiers will continue to have the most accurate and devastating firepower available to them, and maintain the Challenger as the UK and NATOs most capable battle tank.
Colonel Will Waugh, Armour Main Battle Tank Programme Director, said:
“This is another and early step forward on the path to delivering a genuinely world-class MBT for the British Army. Pairing the tried and tested L55A1 smoothbore gun with the latest kinetic energy ammunition and programmable secondary natures will give CR3 a step change in the lethality over CR2.
“The move to a smoothbore gun brings the UK in line with its principal NATO allies increasing our interoperability and ensuring access to the latest ammunition natures. This will future-proof CR3’s lethality against the full range of threats until its OSD.”