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IAV 2021: UK reveals requirements for Battlegroup Organic Anti-armour

The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has revealed its preliminary requirements for what it terms the Battlegroup Organic Anti-armour requirement, a British Army project to replace its current anti-armour capabilities, during a 3 February presentation at the 2021 International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference.

The capability has been divided into four domains. The first is the Close-in Self-defence, described as a “lightweight shoulder-launched system, something widely proliferated”, by Mark Pickering, senior scientist of land guided weapons at Dstl. The second is the Close Combat Anti-Armour Weapon, currently provided by a Javelin-class weapon. It will be required to have relatively long-range and good anti-armour capabilities, Pickering said.

The third is the Close Combat Anti-Armour Weapon Mounted, which will be required to have a mounted and dismounted capability, Pickering said, adding that it would enable light vehicles to have some form of anti-armour capability.

The fourth capability, about which Dstl was most forthcoming, is the Mounted Close Combat Overwatch. “You could describe it as a successor to Swingfire, which was a system that the UK had in the 2000s. However, the way we are viewing the future system is drastically different,” Pickering said.

Dstl is examining a 50 kg effector for the Mounted Close Combat Overwatch requirement with a range in excess of 10 km, with the ability to defeat any armoured platform within the next 10 to 20-year timeframe, Pickering said. The weapon will be mounted and required to be effective at defeating main battle tanks (MBT). The anticipated in-service date is 2030 with a rapid upgrade spiral planned for its lifecycle.

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