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IAV 2019: Rheinmetall unveils proposal for Challenger 2 LEP

23 January 2019
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At IAV 2019, Rheinmetall unveiled its proposal for the Challenger 2 LEP, which includes a new turret with day/night sights for the commander and gunner, and a new L55 120 mm smoothbore gun. Source: IHS Markit/Mark Cazalet

At the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2019 conference held in London on 21–24 January, Rheinmetall unveiled details of its proposal for the Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme (LEP). The company’s solution has been to develop a completely new turret for the Challenger 2, which has a fully digital electronic architecture, new day and night sights for the commander and gunner, and a Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore 120 mm gun.

The L55 gun is capable of firing Rheinmetall’s 120 mm ammunition family, and the typical loadout would include the DM63 armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) for armoured targets, and a DM11 programmable high-explosive round with impact, delay, and air-burst settings. The commander is provided with a panoramic sight.

Although the Rheinmetall proposal does not feature an active protection system (APS), a company representative told Jane’s the new turret is capable of mounting such a system according to user requirements. He added that the turret also contains under-armour links, as well as having increased power and weight capacity, which would enable a customer to fit the vehicle with an electronic warfare system. It is likely that when mounted on the Challenger 2, such a system would be intended to disrupt the remote detonation signals of improvised explosive devices.

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