Future of British main battle tanks

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by JDKR, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    E794F155-54AC-4B54-A804-D92324BE034C.png Anyone see the article in today’s Times on the possibly grim future for British MBTs and armoured combat vehicles generally. Apparently the fleet of 227 Challengers could be mothballed in favour of drones, cyberwarfare geeks etc. This has interesting implications for the Royal Armoured Corps, Bovington, the Tank Museum etc etc. Included in the article was a neat little diagram (attached) showing the current range of British armoured combat vehicles and a development line from the Mk IV to the Chally 2. Curiously the line shows the Churchill instead of the Comet as the antecedent to the Centurion.
    SDP likes this.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    We'll be ahead of the curve for the Fourth World War seeing as we'll be fighting the Third with sticks and stones at this rate...
  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Mark Urban, ex-Tanker and BBC Reporter, has tweeted his response:
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    They made for great road blocks at VCP's in downtown Basra.
  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I think the Churchill is just there as a tank representative of those used during WW2.

    As to the issues today, I am definitely not qualified to comment.
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The MoD spent too much on those 2 aircraft carriers to afford any new tanks .
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Apparently one option is to actually buy abroad - including from China. Here's a quick insiders preview:

    JDKR likes this.
  8. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    The problem as I see it is not just a question of £££ - although that is probably huge - but our capacity to get our armour in quantity to where it is needed. This was not a problem when we were in Germany as we were only a few miles from where the action was likely to be. The suggestion that we could mothball the fleet for future use is barking as the training requirement for fighting as combined arms is huge and the skill fade would be extremely rapid once the vehicles are removed. Don't envy anyone in defence planning.
    Chris C, SDP and Shiny 9th like this.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  10. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Most of them are already mothballed!
  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    In Holland the last tank battalion (60 upgraded Leopard 2 tanks) was disbanded a long time ago; the tanks were all sold. Later the decision was regretted ... we now lease 17 Leopards from the German Army (a tank Coy) in order to keep some of the expertise.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
    JimHerriot and Roy Martin like this.
  12. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Realistically the UK will never find itself in a position to be able to challenge a large continental power without US help.
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    It's that pre SDR/ISDR thing, isn't

    Every time the process bubbles up:

    Etc. Etc. Etc.
    Like clockwork, you can watch the assorted PR departments & fellow travellers swing into action.

    Sadly, in the process; actual serious discussion of 'Defence shit' often gets discarded beneath the rush for headlines.

    Think Defence always interesting on this stuff (And on Twatter a surprisingly reasonable/attempting-to-be-neutral linker to other serious viewpoints & ideas... among the continued obsession with bridges & pallets.)
    Towards the Integrated Review - Think Defence

    Some 'Politics' allowed here, chaps.
    It's integral to the subject so I don't think you can discuss it without some reference thereof. (And I suspect in many ways that modern defence chat can inform/be informed by WW2/prewar connections.)
    Please, though - that is not an invitation to go wider on politicking. DEFENCE stuff - thread bans will follow for bringing in other poisons.

    Personally, I think any fleshy lump on a modern battlefield is quite soon going to be comprehensively fecked by the rate of technological change.
    Though I suppose people have been saying that since Ballistas...
    What's that old soviet maxim? 'The best form of air defence is tanks parked on the runway' or similar?
    Whether those tanks will have crewed guns/driving seems to be the future, rather than if an armoured lump that can hold ground is needed...

    Serious point - I believe we no longer have the capacity to manufacture large armoured castings.
    Challenger 2 is old now.
    Where is new armour coming from?
    Sure I read something recently about significant Abrams parts (Hulls? Turrets?) now being manufactured in Greece?
    JimHerriot likes this.
  14. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    It is, as ever, stating the obvious but it's always about the money. Unfortunately, what is most often overlooked by the press is the outstandingly awful record of defence procurement contracts. Any ever come in to specification and on budget? Not in my recent memory. And, it's invariably caused by the "afters", the "tweaks" (Nimrod = Nightmare)

    There should be no shifting of goalposts after a contract has been set to at least give things a chance of providing what was originally asked for. No more money, no bottem-less pits, no feignagling (ooooh cider spelling!) after the event.

    Why? Because it ultimately costs folks lives. The boots-on-the-ground always carry the can for the political/mandarin cock-ups.

    Until politicians grasp/realise/understand this it will, shamefully, forever be so.

    Rant over, and apologies folks. I'm in my cupps. And having lost too many good colleagues as a result of the implications and effects of this nonsense it does get my goat somewhat.

    Always remember, never forget,

    stolpi, TTH, Chris C and 3 others like this.
  15. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Having once spent time attached to the British CS at Senior Principal level which included giving independent postmortems on some MoD large scale computer procurements and then later being on the other side of the fence with bids into the MoD my view is that the big problem is an inability to specify clearly what is wanted from an operational viewpoint rather than how it is to be achieved from a technical viewpoint. In other words the tender spec concentrates on the technical solution without first clarifying the problem. It's always been the problem. If one looks at the development of the first tanks nobody was clear what the problem was in the first place. Churchill thought they needed a machine to carry lots of men through machine gun fire into the enemy front line, others thought they needed machines to destroy machine gun nests, some thought that barbed wire flatteners were needed and so on - everyone was concentrating on the solution before the exact problem was clear. And so it goes on.
    SDP likes this.

Share This Page