Challenger 3

We are just looking over the berm at what is directly in front of us we should be looking further forward on the battle field and evaluate the reasons the tank is being relegated to a different role. Has the role of tanks in the foreseeable future changed in new war fighting dogma so that it is no longer a primary role player on the modern battlefield? Are there weapons and tactics being designed and improved to the point the tank will be the horse cavalry of the next war? The Marine Corps is betting on it and maybe the Brits.

Brian, have you seen Australia’s quotient of MBT? 59 for a country of almost 7.7m km2. To us, 148 tanks for the UK, at nearly 243,000 km2, is overcrowding!


I take your point Greg and our last Chief of the General Staff was almost obsessed with the future of warfare emphasising cyber, and asymmetric conflict; he may well be right. Unfortunately, he’s now our Chief of the Defence Staff (ie the CGS’s boss and I suspect still dominates the doctrine and a lot else; not much to do with modelling I agree).I’m no expert, or strategist but to me, abandoning the sheer dominance of the battlefield that some heavy metal can provide seems a bit fraught. There is nothing quite like the presence of a tank - with Infantry of course; nothing else it seems to me can hold ground in quite the same way. Sure, in high tech environments a 60ton tank could well be very vulnerable - there’s a preponderance of threats, but just supposing you’re up against an enemy which also has high tech stuff yet still retains the tank. Nothing else is really capable of shock action such as an MBT can provide. Something like an Apache can be a battlefield scourge and achieve much but it can’t hold ground.

Now, I haven’t smelt much cordite in my life but I do note that even in COIN situations, an MBT can have, how shall I put it, a suitable intimidatory presence.

I must further admit that as an old Cold War warrior I recall when the BAOR tank fleet was around nearly 500 MBTs; perhaps not much compared to 3 Shock Army’s inventory but at least it felt like an Army back then - ie it had some decent kit and as much as the nation could provide (or was prepared to pay for).

However, I appreciate that one duty of an Army is to keep its eye on the future and to identify likely threats and it may well be that the tank will be utilised, if at all perhaps, in a different way, probably this will apply to AFVs writ large; sadly, I suspect that such restructuring of the British Army’s capability has much more to do with parsimony than military planning and logic.

That’s a bit sad really; but then, I would say that, as mentioned to Top Smith I recall when there were nearly 500 MBTs based in Germany with the BAOR.

Besides, if tanks gradually disappear, what the hell are we going to model?

What are we going to model? Old tanks.

If you look at the state of ground combat around the world currently, most conflicts involve the use of armor on one or both sides. While Cyber warfare is a needed capability, it doesn’t take or defend ground. The decision to reduce or remove that capability looks a bit shortsighted and over optimistic.

Really surprised that was asked - the most obvious answer - German WWII tanks - of course.
Don’t particularly like that answer myself, but apparently many feet vote that way.

With the change to one piece ammo, I 'm assuming the ammo load will reduce. Any idea how big a reduction?


Incredible, full fleet in 2030, with a lifespan to 2040, and a reduction in the number of soldiers with a shift in focus to drones and cyber warfare. Crazy, but then, I’m not paying for it. Nice bit of kit.

The Chally2 has 47 rounds and I think Leopard 2 A6 is low forties, so it depends how they configure the inside of Chally3 turrets. If they are smart they won’t lose much if any.

They won’t lose much ammo, but a lot of it will move from hull bins to a big bin in the turret bustle with a blow-off roof panel, just like Leopard and Abrams. From everything I’ve heard, speed with the two-part ammo was never a big issue, and allowed use of the excellent all-rounder HESH round, but cost is king and one-piece 120mm ammo is cheaper because it sells more volume.

Tanks work best when the Friendlies have air dominance, and are vulnerable expensive targets if they don’t. That’s always the risk, and a good reason why tanks don’t feature in all the current insurgency-type wars. But if there is a GW3 or (heaven forbid) the Russians pour through the Fulda Gap then tanks will be needed. That’s the trouble - you need to maintain a big arsenal of different weapons to deploy depending on the nature of the next conflict, and the UK is too broke to keep up. Gone are the days when a quarter of the world poured resources and money into the Empire’s coffers…

Yeah, my question was slightly tongue in cheek; of course it’ll be German WW2 tanks!

But I still have a ton of Allied stuff to build!

Just wondering about that resin kit @BootsDMS - does it include any of the proposed APS modules? I don’t see any APS sensors or modules on the tank in the photos or on the model? I did see in another article on the real tank that the APS contract has yet to be finalised so would I be right in saying the final form of this tank is yet to be seen since APS sensors and modules will need to be added?

The stash …


No APS included; I think this is just based on the Rheinmettal concept/mods. It does include for instance the Driver’s TV camera which is not shown on the publicity pictures of the real thing in the BBC article. Everything else looks to be there including those interesting sights.

If anyone’s interested I’ll get a scan of the instruction sheets from the conversion and post them up. I must admit I’d never geard of Scottcast before so feel this was a lucky find. At 45 quid I feel it’s just about the norm for such conversion kits; it might put some off, and as has already been said, you just know that once you’ve acquired one, an injected version will come along.

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Oh yeah; duh!

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Robin, you have enough for all of us…:grin:

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I will add a thermal grenade to this fire by saying that the wonks have been predicting for decades the total demise of the MBT. And yet…


Yup! If anyone wants to make a clear statement of intent, they usually send a tank - or several hundred of them viz Op Danube in Czechoslovakia 1968.

Coincidentally, I’ve recently watched on some late-night obscure channel a 1978 film “Power Play” which is the story of a coup d’etat in a fictional European country, using the military, primarily with, guess what? Tanks. It seems a bit dated now and was made with the assistance of the Canadian Army, both in Canada and what was then West Germany, but actually I quite enjoyed it; I did watch it when it came out as being in BAOR back then, we had a pretty good smack up to date film service.

There’re some familiar actors including David Hemmings and Peter O’Toole; there’s a lovely cameo piece with Hemmings declaring (bit of a plot spoiler this so look away now) “We couldn’t have done it without our tanks”. O’Toole replies “Those aren’t our tanks out there. They are my tanks.”

Which is sort of where we came in!

Very interesting topic, enjoy reading all of info & comments.

IMO…Clean sheet of paper, the best British, German & Japanese engineers truly excel at design & building.

Hmmm, not too sure about that - you might end up with the equivalent of a camel - a horse designed by a committee!