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Challenger 3 CDR Green-Lighted: The British Army’s Next-Gen Main Battle Tank Takes a Step Forward

Originally shared on MoD DE&S, the Challenger 3 Delivery Team has achieved another critical milestone, staying within budget and ahead of schedule. This moves us one step closer to providing one of the most potent and effective tanks in Europe.

The DE&S’ Land Equipment Operating Centre, together with the British Army and industry partners Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), have worked tirelessly to accelerate the CR3 programme. We are excited to announce that the Critical Design Review (CDR) has been approved ahead of schedule, building on the Initial Design Review (IDR) held in March 2022. This marks the culmination of months of productive collaboration.

This CDR approval means that RBSL can now begin constructing the CR3 prototypes, and we have already awarded supply-chain sub-contracts to UK-based companies. This aligns with the government’s levelling up agenda, ensuring the British Army can benefit from the CR3’s cutting-edge technology.

Under the £800M contract awarded to RBSL in 2021, we aim to deliver 148 fully digitalised battle tanks to the British Army. We have also successfully trialled a state-of-the-art armour system, a UK sovereign capability based on a DSTL design and manufactured by RBSL.

The CR3 programme aims to modernise and expand RBSL’s production facility in Telford, which will also manufacture Boxer vehicles. We are continuously working to improve the CR3’s capabilities and have already integrated the Trophy MV Active Protection System (APS), with a successful demonstration in November 2022.

The fully digitalised tanks will feature a new 120mm smoothbore gun, advanced sights for day and night targeting, upgraded armour and suspension, and an active protection system. Additionally, the turret can be attached to the tanks of our allies and global partners, providing a significant boost to our collective military capabilities.

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