The IronVision situational awareness system has been trialled on a modified Challenger 2 Streetfighter II for the first time, according to Elbit Systems.
The trials were conducted in early December 2019 and began with familiarisation for the crew at the UK’s Copehill Down urban operations facility on Salisbury Plain, before a demonstration on 5 December in the presence of senior officials, including representatives of the Field Army and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
The trials were a continuation of the first Streetfighter, which was initiated in December 2018 as an experiment by the Royal Tank Regiment to modify a Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) for urban operations, Elbit stated on 14 January.
A UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Jane’s , “Project Streetfighter was aimed at adding modifications to the current Challenger 2 [CR2] to optimise it for urban operations. The three main focuses of these modifications are lethality, situational awareness, and infantry-tank co-operation.” The spokesperson added that the trials were supported by British Army headquarters.
Elbit stated that the IronVision integration was part of the situational awareness upgrade, adding that it had been working with the UK to integrate the system since initial trials in January 2019. IronVision gives MBT operators 360° vision around the vehicle with zero latency, the company said, indicating this would greatly improve the survivability of the tank crew.
The MoD spokesperson explained that the modifications to CR2 Streetfighter II also included heavy machine guns, and a launcher for an anti-tank guided missile (ATGW) was fitted to the roof of the turret of one vehicle. An improved communications system was installed to aid the IronVision situational awareness suite, and the stowage was modified by adjusting the rear oil drum to provide space for external storage or a tool rack for an urban assault kit.
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