Shropshire Star

Newest battle tanks ‘imperative’ in dangerous world, Shapps says on Telford visit

The UK’s latest generation of battle tanks will be “imperative” for a more dangerous world, Grant Shapps has said.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (centre) during a visit to view the first prototypes of the Challenger 3 tank, of which the British Army will have 148 in the coming years, at the Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) factory in Telford

The Defence Secretary hailed the rollout of the first Challenger 3 prototypes in a visit to the Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land factory production line in Telford.

“In a more dangerous world, the need for vehicles such as the Challenger 3 is imperative, as the threats facing the UK evolve,” Mr Shapps said.

“This tank will be at the heart of the British Army’s warfighting capabilities and will be integral to the UK’s deterrence.

“The hard work and dedication on show in Telford and across the country is instrumental in driving forward UK defence innovation and delivering for our forces in the frontline.”

The Challenger 3 will serve as the army’s new main battle tank, and will remain in service until at least 2040.

It will gradually replace the Challenger 2, a tank which entered production in the 1990s.

RBSL Managing Director, Will Gibby said: “RBSL is playing a key part in delivering the Land Industrial Strategy through its Challenger 3 programme, ensuring it benefits from the best of British engineering and manufacturing, whilst also sustaining valuable skills across the country.

“Delivery of the first pre-production Challenger 3 and the commencement of trials marks a critical milestone in our delivery of this impressive capability to the British Army and will provide our soldiers with a world-class Main Battle Tank made here in the UK.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.