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Thales UK to supply Orion sighting systems for Challenger 3

The Challenger 3 demonstrator from RBSL. (RBSL)

Thales UK has been awarded a GBP90 million (USD102.9 million) seven-year subcontract by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to integrate sighting systems onto RBSL Challenger 3 (CR3) main battle tanks (MBT), the UK's Defence Equipment and Support announced on 7 February.

In a separate announcement, Thales UK said that it will provide panoramic and fixed azimuth weapon aiming sights for both the vehicle commander and gunner. A Thales spokesperson confirmed to Janes that they will supply the Orion stabilised independent panoramic sight – delivering long-range surveillance and target identification, independent of turret orientation, for the commander.

The Thales DNGS T3 sight – a dual-axis stabilised gunner sight – will also be integrated onto the Challenger 3, the Thales spokesperson noted.

The Challenger 3 will receive Thales's Signal Processing System (SPS), delivering video tracking and a Wide Area Search and Detection (WASAD) capability. The spokesperson added that “the gunner and commander sights are linked to the SPS which provides automatic video tracking capability, allowing acquired targets to be tracked day or night. In addition, the commander's sight through the SPS has a WASAD capability which provides up to a 360° panoramic view of the scene and is able to detect and alert the commander of threats and potential targets of interest”.

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