British Army Completes Live-Fire Test of ‘Most Lethal’ Challenger 3 Tank

The British Army has completed a live-fire test of its new Challenger 3 main battle tank (MBT), moving it one step closer to full-rate production and official fielding.

The trial, which took place in northern Germany, saw the Rheinmetall-made tank firing several rounds at various distances to validate its accuracy and lethality.

It also reportedly demonstrated its improved survivability and “devastating” power.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the trial adhered to NATO standards for new weapons and ammunition.

“The live firings and production progress are testament to the talent of our defense industry, helping equip our soldiers with one of the world’s most lethal tanks and creating hundreds of skilled jobs back home…” British defense procurement minister James Cartlidge said.

The Challenger 3 is expected to achieve initial operational capability by 2027 and be fully operational from 2030 to at least 2040.

‘Apex Predator of Modern Warfare’

In 2021, the UK government awarded Rheinmetall an 800-million-pound ($1 billion) contract to produce 148 Challenger 3 MBTs for the British Army.

The armored vehicle reaches speeds up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour and carries a 120-millimeter smoothbore gun.

It also features a new modular armor and an active protection system capable of detecting and destroying anti-tank missile attacks.

According to the British Army, the Challenger 3 tank will serve as the “apex predator” of modern warfare, considering its “unmatched” firepower, protection, and mobility.

The first eight prototypes will be tested under operational conditions before the company proceeds with the production of the remaining 140 tanks under contract.

“In a more dangerous world, the need for vehicles such as the Challenger 3 is imperative, as the threats facing the UK evolve,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said. “This tank will be at the heart of the British Army’s warfighting capabilities and will be integral to the UK’s deterrence.”

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