Curtiss-Wright to Provide Stabilization Tech for UK’s Challenger 3 Tank

American aviation firm Curtiss-Wright has been awarded a $25 million contract to provide turret drive stabilization technology to support the British Army’s Challenger 3 main battle tank upgrade.

As part of the agreement, the company will produce “cost-effective, scalable” Turret Drive Servo System (TDSS) and other related components to be mounted on the armored vehicle’s weapon system.

The TDSS could reportedly allow the Challenger 3 to maintain target location accuracy and precise turret stabilization while moving at full speed.

It also enables system designers to upgrade and add more stabilization options to meet future mission requirements.

The aiming and stabilization system will be delivered to Challenger 3 official developer Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) for integration.

A ‘Fundamental’ Component

RBSL managing director Marco Noeding explained that Curtis-Wright’s TDSS will serve as a “fundamental” component for all future operations of the main battle tank.

“We are very pleased to achieve this latest milestone and look forward to commencing the next phase of our relationship through the demonstration, manufacture, and through-life,” Noeding stressed.

Meanwhile, Curtiss-Wright chief executive officer Lynn M. Bamford stated that the selection of the American firm for the Challenger 3 upgrade program highlights the trust in TDSS technology, exemplifying its position as a leader in stabilization solutions.

Challenger 3
The UK’s Challenger 3 tank will have improved capabilities to meet future requirements. Photo: Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land

Challenger 3 Tank Upgrade

Designed to handle multi-domain warfare, the British Army’s Challenger 3 tank features a powerful engine and a third-generation hydro-gas suspension system for 24-hour, all-weather performance.

RBSL is upgrading the armored vehicle under an 800-million-euro ($848-million) contract.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the upgrade would include the integration of modern technologies, including:

  • High-velocity ammunition with faster speeds and increased range;
  • Digitally programmed ammunition in a 120-millimeter smoothbore gun;
  • A versatile turret;
  • A new engine cooling system;
  • A suspension system for improved accuracy;
  • A new automatic target detection and tracking system; and,
  • Better thermal long-range cameras.

“Challenger 3 tanks will be at the forefront of the British Army’s ground force deterrent against our adversaries,” UK Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said. “They will be equipped with the latest digital enhancements and weaponry, providing support and reassurance to our allies.”

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