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United Kingdom’s Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank Moves Closer to Full Production

United Kingdom's Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank Moves Closer to Full Production

The United Kingdom’s Challenger 3 armored vehicle is almost ready for battle.

According to an update from the Ministry of Defence, the latest of the eight Challenger 3 main battle tank prototypes have rolled off from the Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land factory production line.

“This tank will be at the heart of the British Army’s warfighting capabilities and will be integral to the U.K.’s deterrence,” British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said during a visit to RBSL factory in Telford, England.

Challenger 3 is a more lethal and survivable version of the U.K.’s aging fleet of Challenger 2 main battle tank, which has been in service since 1998. 

In 2021, the MoD awarded RBSL a $995.9 million contract to upgrade 148 Challenger 3 tanks for the British Army.

The first Challenger 3 prototype was unveiled in January. While the MoD shared that the tank is already showing its advanced capabilities during trials, the U.K. will continue validating the performance of the new MBT before RBSL proceeds with the full production of 140 Challenger 3 vehicles for the British Army.

“Delivery of the first pre-production Challenger 3 and the commencement of trials marks a critical milestone in our delivery of this impressive capability to the British Army and will provide our soldiers with a world-class main battle tank made here in the U.K.,” said Will Gibby, managing director of RBSL.

Once operational, the Challenger 3 battle tanks will remain in service until at least 2040.

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