Black Night and Streetfighter. Which tank will the UK get?


Thunderstorm of the seas, but not tank ranges



К tanks the British have a special relationship. This is not surprising when you consider that these machines owe their very concept to the Foggy Albion.

First in stories the tank used in combat was the British Mark I. Although the most perfect tank of World War I is not unreasonably considered a light French Renault FT. In World War II, Great Britain generated a number of strange, and sometimes archaic, products. There were also successful ones. Already in 1945, the release of Centurion began, which the British themselves sometimes call the best tank of the Second World War (as you know, he did not directly participate in the war). Good survivability and excellent reliability allowed the machine to serve for many decades and become one of the best tanks of the XX century.

In a word, British tank building was developing quite in the spirit of its time, and sometimes even ahead of it, becoming an example to follow. That was until the end of the Cold War. Recall that in the 80s the main Challenger battle tank appeared: the most advanced aspect of its design was the combined multilayer Chobham armor. The main armament - rifled 120 mm weapon L11A5.

In terms of the sum of its combat qualities, the car already somewhat lost to Abrams and Leopards 2, and at a price to the Soviet MBT. The only foreign operator was Jordan.

In 1994, the British began to produce a new version of the tank - "Challenger 2". The car, among other things, could boast of solid protection. According to the Russian resource btvt, the level of resistance of the forehead of the turret of the new tank was 800 millimeters from armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber shells and 1200 from cumulative shells. Leopard 2A5 has 800 and 1300 millimeters, respectively. "Challenger 2" received a rifled 120-mm gun L30E4, as well as a number of advanced at the time of the start of production of electron-optical devices.

However, the tank received more than modest ratings: at least against the backdrop of the most advanced European and Asian vehicles. In addition to Britain, only Oman ordered the tank: 18 units in 1993 and another 20 in 1997. The total number of built "Challengers 2" is about 400 cars.


In 2009, BAE Systems announced the phasing out of these tanks, which de facto meant at the same time the end of the active existence of British tank building. It is worth recalling that not so long ago France and Germany launched the Main Ground Combat System program, within which they must create a new tank. The British can no longer compete with such giants, even if they had free money for it (and something tells us that there may be difficulties in connection with Brexit).

However, the tragedy of British tank building at some stage grew into a comedy. Recall that BAE Systems is declared as a participant in the development of the mysterious Polish PL-01 - either a prototype, or a technology demonstrator, or just a character in computer games.

Black Night and Streetfighter. Which tank will the UK get?

"Black Night"


In fact, all that the UK has (and will have in the foreseeable future) is far from new Challengers 2. Now they are trying to upgrade them to make cars at least partially meet the requirements of the XNUMXst century. So far, PR is clearly more than real cases.

Recall that in 2019, the UK Department of Defense suspended the Challenger 2 Life Extension Program (CR2 LEP) tender, which involved the modernization of MBT. However, some of the previously proposed ideas attract attention. Last year, BAE Systems first talked about the new version of the Challenger, called the pathetic Black Night and painted black. The machine, as reported, can receive a complex of active protection (KAZ) - similar to the one that is now installed on the "Abrams" and "Merkava" (I want to say the same thing about the T-14, but it is still far from a full-fledged "series").


The presentation looked all the more strange when you consider that, in addition to the alleged KAZ, there are no other improvements as such. The main and, in fact, the only one of them was the expansion of the ability to conduct combat at night. Remained old and the "main caliber."

And at this time, continental Europe was in full swing experimenting with fundamentally new guns. The German Rheinmetall offers a 130 mm cannon for the future European tank, while the French partners even think about a 140 mm gun. How can one not recall the Soviet experiments with 152 mm “monsters”. Recall that they wanted to equip Object 195 with just such a gun, but in the case of the aforementioned Russian T-14 based on the Almaty, this idea seems to remain just a bold proposal.

Streetfighter ii


In January 2020, the blog of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies bmpd spoke about testing another version of Challenger 2, called Streetfighter II. The information was originally posted by Jane's Defense Weekly in its IronVision trialled on Challenger 2 Streetfighter II. As it was reported then, in December last year, on the territory of the British center for urban combat training, Copehill Down (Salisbury) conducted the first tests of the modified tank, which is designed for fighting in urban conditions. The official presentation was held on December 5th.

The tank was developed on its own by the Royal Tank Corps with the participation of the UK Defense Ministry Research Center.

In general, the presentation and choice of the name sounds like “butter oil”. After all, any modern tank should be able to conduct urban battles: these are the realities of the XNUMXst century, when there are multiple clashes in large cities.


What do developers offer us? The main novelty should be improved situational awareness of the crew. The machine should receive a system of "transparent armor" Iron Vision from the Israeli company Elbit Systems. Due to this, the tankers will receive an all-round view, which they will be provided with cameras installed on the tank body. Information should be transmitted in real time to the helmet-mounted indicators of the crew members, thus creating an effect of the “through” the tank. In addition, the tank must have a new communication system and a bulldozer blade. On the tower, you can see an additional 12,7 mm machine gun M2 and a 60 mm mortar.

Actually, the name Streetfighter II originates from the British efforts to strengthen the protection of the Challenger 2 of the British contingent in Iraq in 2007-2008: this version, as you might guess, was called "Street Fighter". The created palliatives involuntarily resemble modern economical versions of the so-called Sherman Jumbo, which appeared at the very end of World War II and are modified M4. Despite the “fashionable” solutions, such an upgrade alone will not allow you to get a tank that meets the requirements of the XXI century.

Brief Summary


The most potentially successful of the proposed versions seems to be the option shown in London at the Defense Exhibition and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019, held in September. Then, recall, the Challenger 2 was introduced, equipped with a new tower with a 120-mm smoothbore German gun Rheinmetall Rh 120 L55A1. This approach has its undeniable advantages: it will make it possible to unify the shells used within the NATO framework and increase the combat power of MBT. A 1200-horsepower regular Perkins diesel engine is also expected to be replaced with a German MTU with a capacity of 1500 horsepower. In addition, the tank is proposed to be equipped with new electronics.


Of course, all this will require a lot of money, with which, as we have already noted above, the British have difficulties. The British Ministry of Defense will not say its weighty word until 2021: it is possible to predict with a great deal of confidence that a breakthrough is not worth waiting for here.
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  1. Monster_Fat 26 January 2020 06: 59 New
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    Something tells us that for a battle in urban conditions you need a hefty tank with a bulky long-barreled cannon (for which everything clings and which prevents maneuvering among the ruins) with a relatively low elevation angle, but something like a heavily armored combat vehicle of relatively small dimensions with a gun not exceeding the dimensions of the machine, such as a howitzer, with a coaxial small-caliber gun and a couple of machine guns.
    1. Sergey M. Karasev 26 January 2020 08: 43 New
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      Quote: Monster_Fat
      Something tells us that for a battle in urban conditions you need a hefty tank with a bulky long-barreled cannon (for which everything clings and which prevents maneuvering among the ruins) with a relatively low elevation angle, but something like a heavily armored combat vehicle of relatively small dimensions with a gun not exceeding the dimensions of the machine, such as a howitzer, with a coaxial small-caliber gun and a couple of machine guns.

      Or BMPT with ATGMs, machine guns and a small-caliber rapid-fire.
      But, in any case, in street battles, as before, the infantry will decide everything.
    2. Octopus 26 January 2020 11: 57 New
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      Quote: Monster_Fat
      and something in the form of a heavily armored combat vehicle of relatively small dimensions with a gun not exceeding the dimensions of the vehicle, such as a howitzer, with a coaxial small-caliber gun and a couple of machine guns.

      He he
      https://topwar.ru/160901-izrail-predstavil-tri-demonstratora-tehnologij-umnoj-bronetankovoj-tehniki.html



      Only at the expense of the howitzer you are wrong. There are such solutions as a breech-loading mortar with the possibility of direct fire,
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMOS
      but they are considered redundant. It’s not necessary to destroy the building now, 57 or even 40 mm with a smart remote detonation is more than enough against infantry, and the tank has ATGMs.
      1. Monster_Fat 26 January 2020 12: 00 New
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        "Howitzer type" does not mean howitzer. A gun with low ballistics but powerful ammunition such as "nona", etc., is quite suitable. The main thing is a "large elevation angle."
        1. Octopus 26 January 2020 12: 23 New
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          Quote: Monster_Fat
          a gun with low ballistics but powerful ammunition such as "nona", etc. The main thing is a "large elevation angle."

          Wrote the same. Breech-loading mortar with direct fire option. But no, at least the Jews consider this superfluous.
          1. prodi 26 January 2020 16: 14 New
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            Well, we have some analogue, in the form of "Vienna"
    3. voyaka uh 26 January 2020 16: 26 New
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      "a tool that does not go beyond the dimensions of the machine," ///
      ---
      Like Merkava’s. His gun only slightly goes beyond the dimensions of the hull. Convenient on narrow city streets.
      And the armor of the top of the tower at Merkava-4 is the same thickness as the sides and back.
      1. bk0010 26 January 2020 16: 41 New
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        Quote: voyaka uh
        Like Merkava’s. His gun only slightly goes beyond the dimensions of the hull.
        Not an indicator: Merkava is still that barn.
        Quote: voyaka uh
        Convenient on narrow city streets.
        Merkava will not fit into the narrow city streets: in Jerusalem, a man with a cart goes right to the market. Or a small car, no more. No, Merkava can pave his own street there, there are no questions, only this is not called "convenient on narrow city streets."
        Quote: voyaka uh
        And the armor of the top of the tower at Merkava-4 is the same thickness as the sides and back.
        Mobile dot.
    4. sen
      sen 27 January 2020 06: 41 New
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      Something tells us that for a battle in urban conditions you need a hefty tank with a bulky long-barreled cannon (for which everything clings and which prevents maneuvering among the ruins) with a relatively low elevation angle, but something like a heavily armored combat vehicle of relatively small dimensions with a gun not exceeding the dimensions of the machine, such as a howitzer, with a coaxial small-caliber gun and a couple of machine guns.

      Sometimes you need to destroy buildings. To do this, from the sides of the tower (like "Berezhka") you need to provide universal attachment points for ATGMs or something like "Pinocchio" shells to destroy buildings.
  2. Paul Siebert 26 January 2020 07: 21 New
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    In general - as the British do not try, they still get Mark 1.
    Either male or female. laughing
    1. To be or not to be 26 January 2020 08: 42 New
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      At all . Why are the island state tanks ?? wink
      Who is going for the English Channel? Germans. French ..? WHO?
      Or England became crowded on the island and again there is a desire to fight in overseas territories.? Or maybe with Russia? Then. sure. Black Night-Black Night is better suited.
      . And the ashes descend to the islands and Black Night comes. And silence... wink
      1. bk0010 26 January 2020 16: 42 New
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        Quote: To be or not to be
        At all . Why do island states need tanks?
        Reflect our landing after a nuclear strike.
    2. voyaka uh 26 January 2020 17: 04 New
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      They had ups and downs.
      Vickers light (T-26) in the 30-40s used half the world.
      Centurion in the 60-70s with the L7 gun confidently hit and pierced any tank with 3 km.
      But there were recessions. Churchill, Matilda, for example. And Challenger is a mediocre tank.
      1. mvg
        mvg 26 January 2020 22: 50 New
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        But there were recessions. Churchill, Matilda

        What do you dislike about Matilda? It was used until 1945. Definitely not the worst tank of 41-42 years. So is Churchill, with his reservation, at or even above Tiger I
  3. Vladimir_2U 26 January 2020 07: 34 New
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    Black Night and Streetfighter. Which tank will the UK get? Which, what, one FIG Challenger-2, only hung in different ways, even the trunk is not going to change, it seems.
    1. Sanichsan 27 January 2020 17: 18 New
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      apparently ukrov consulted how to paint the tank so that it becomes "revolutionary" laughing
  4. demiurg 26 January 2020 07: 42 New
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    Quote: Monster_Fat
    Something tells us that for a battle in urban conditions you need a hefty tank with a bulky long-barreled cannon (for which everything clings and which prevents maneuvering among the ruins) with a relatively low elevation angle, but something like a heavily armored combat vehicle of relatively small dimensions with a gun not exceeding the dimensions of the machine, such as a howitzer, with a coaxial small-caliber gun and a couple of machine guns.


    Strongly support from your couch.
    Instead of a turret with a cannon and ammunition (and this is 15-20 tons), it makes sense to give the infantry BMP weighing about 40 tons, with a BM 45-57mm cannon and anti-tank systems. Security will be comparable.
  5. Hermit21 26 January 2020 09: 12 New
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    Escobar's theorem is fully applicable to all modernization options.
  6. svp67 26 January 2020 09: 20 New
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    In the near future, the British will imagine that something completely new and revolutionary - I DO NOT BELIEVE.
  7. knn54 26 January 2020 10: 13 New
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    - By their very concept, these machines are OBLIGED to Misty Albion.
    Well this is a moot point.
  8. NF68 26 January 2020 15: 41 New
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    A 1200-horsepower regular Perkins diesel engine is also expected to be replaced with a German MTU with a capacity of 1500 horsepower.


    MTU has several types of tank engines rated at 1500 hp. If we are talking about the family of 880, then it can be V-12 and, more compact V-8.
  9. Knell wardenheart 26 January 2020 15: 54 New
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    Britain is developing what, in general, is completely unnecessary to it. If she is interested in national security, then Britain is inside the bloc that provides this security with interest, and given US-British cooperation, then purchasing a batch of Abrams for national needs would be much more economical and practical. From the point of view of export potential, the article outlines a potential “portfolio of orders” for British tanks. Many countries already have their own tank-building school, while other markets, which are more or less valuable, have long been firmly divided between the titans of the arms trade. If we consider the work of the British in the "European security" complex, then Brexit covered all this with a copper basin, not to mention the fact that the Franco-German industrial lobby in this area was seen to be shared with the British in the coffin.

    In fact, Britain will try to “maintain status” out of habit - the result of this will be appropriate.
    1. L-39NG 26 January 2020 18: 31 New
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      Why do the British do what is not needed? For the development of technology, engineering, metallurgy, chemistry. In order not to stay too long at the start, they did not lag behind, otherwise it will turn out as in one large, not named, “POWER”
      There were times and there were people. Someone was doing nonsense to anyone who didn’t need anyone, and now we are flying on airplanes, some kind of weirdo was digging in the mold and penicillin appeared. And someone realized to build a bonfire in the cave. Surely all of them were destroyers of traditions, and, even I am afraid of this word, a bond. In fact, it would be better for humanity if some individuals remained in the caves.
      1. Knell wardenheart 26 January 2020 18: 56 New
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        No, you did not understand my thought. Why we conduct parallel development and research with the USA and KO is understandable. Diversification, all things. But Britain, it’s as if in a clip, and with BB2 sits there very tightly. They have a lot of opportunities, within joint developments with the USA, to get the technologies they are interested in, the loading of the industry. Otherwise, their progress in this direction does not look like stupidity and / or great power pride, in view of this.
        We are geographically strong. positions without powerful armored vehicles are nowhere - a solid land where you do not stick. And they are on the island, killer whales. And this direction - they could not show off, circumstances allow ..
  10. stepka_razin 26 January 2020 16: 53 New
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    If you stick KAZ and Iron Vision together, you get a completely adequate tank for the next 20 years
    Well, of course, the engine is 1500 horses
  11. Petrol cutter 26 January 2020 19: 05 New
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    “Of course, all this will require a lot of money, which, as we have already noted above, the British have difficulties with. The British Ministry of Defense will say its weighty word no earlier than 2021: we can predict with great certainty that a breakthrough is not worth waiting for here.”
    Right now, and the European Union will come out, you look and scrape on the gophers.
    Concept PL01- quite delivers. At least aesthetically.
  12. Kerensky 26 January 2020 22: 24 New
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    Well, if they were going to fence a new tank, then it should at least fit into the plane normally.
    If for urban battles, then a box that knows how to fold buildings and burn out cellars. With mine protection and preferably with a landing.
  13. Nikolai 9 March 2020 22: 39 New
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    The British Armed Forces will not abandon the Challenger, but will continue to modernize it for as long as possible and more until it falls into insanity.