Germany and the UK have signed an settlement to work collectively on the subsequent part growing superior armour-piercing ammunition for the Challenger 3 predominant battle tank (MBT) programme, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Defence Tools & Help (DE&S) organisation introduced on 27 April 2023.
DE&S CEO Andy Begin, in his position as UK Nationwide Armament Director, met his German counterpart, Vice Admiral Carsten Stawitzki, on the Honourable Artillery Firm in London, the place they signed a Assertion of Intent to collaborate on the Enhanced Kinetic Power (EKE) spherical, which is able to present a step change within the British Military’s capability to defeat evolving enemy armour threats.
This subsequent part of qualification for the EKE spherical, which should exhibit that the brand new munition passes all authorized and regulatory requirements, marks a big milestone within the ammunition’s programme, DE&S famous in a press launch.
Ongoing discussions will search a joint programme to be stood up this 12 months, with the intention of manufacturing EKE ammunition to be used by the Challenger 3.
In addition to being fired by the Challenger 3 from its 120 mm smoothbore L55A1 predominant gun, the EKE rounds would even be fired by the 120-mm-gun-armed Leopard 2 MBTs operated by Germany and different nations, supporting interoperability with NATO allies.
The Challenger 3’s L55A1 predominant gun replaces the Challenger 2’s L30A1 120 mm rifled tank gun, thus offering ammunition commonality with NATO allies that by no means existed beforehand.
“The UK will proceed to drive stronger collaboration between associate nations to handle present and future procurement wants,” mentioned Begin. “This strategy maximises our collective energy to drive standardisation throughout NATO and supplies the chance for nations to enhance availability and realise efficiencies.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace added, “We’re more than happy to work with Germany on this programme, serving to equip our respective armed forces with an important battle-winning functionality. The standardised ammunition is not going to solely profit battlefield collaboration with a lot of our NATO allies, however has vital export potential for UK and German defence trade companions.”
The settlement follows each Germany and the UK saying the gifting of a squadron of their respective MBTs to help Ukraine in its ongoing struggle to counter Russia’s unlawful invasion.
Below the phrases of the brand new settlement, Germany and the UK will even stay open to the thought of different nations becoming a member of the programme or being export recipients of the brand new rounds, with Vice Adm Stawitzki, stating that the 2 international locations “will think about the request to permit for added companions to affix the programme as quickly as doable. A request from one other associate to affix can also be on the desk.”
Germany and the UK will even proceed discussions on potential collaboration in relation to different varieties of 120 mm tank ammunition.
In February this 12 months the UK MoD introduced the authorised the important design evaluate for the Challenger 3 programme forward of schedule. “The development of this programme at tempo has been made doable by the collaborative working between DE&S, the British Military and our trade companions Rheinmetall BAE Techniques Land (RBSL),” said DE&S.
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