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Now that we know the Challenger 2's Life Extension Program won't include a new gun, there's news coming in that the Warrior's modernization program is highly likely to be cancelled:

Axe Hangs Over UK Warrior Upgrade.

 

Spoiler

The British Army’s plans to upgrade its legacy Warrior IFVs looks to be in further jeopardy as a new UK government watchdog report revealed that the programme’s delivery was now 'unachievable'.

The MoD’s Armoured Infantry 2026 programme, which includes upgraded IFVs under the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, has now been downgraded to a ‘red’ rating by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA).

The IPA is considered to be the UK’s ‘centre for expertise’ on major projects across Whitehall.

A red rating deems that ‘successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable,’ according to the report. ‘There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable,’ it added.

Its most recent July 4 report flagged a total of five MoD programmes that were now in the red. The other programmes included submarines, UAVs and the UK’s ability to manufacture nuclear reactor cores for naval vessels.

The WCSP is one of the British Army’s flagship modernisation programmes, extending the life of a veteran vehicle that was first introduced in the late 1980s and has since seen operational deployments in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

This new assessment of the WCSP could prove decisive in the coming weeks as the British Army determines the way forward on several key programmes as part of the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP), including what stays and what goes.

‘I’d say it’s dead,’ said one defence industry insider speaking to Shephard.

Cancelling the programme would not be easy, especially as costs have already been sunk into the programme and finding something to replace it would unlikely be complete before the current generation Warrior reaches its out-of-service date in 2025.

It is the latest saga in a programme that has proved to be a perpetual headache for the British Army.

In 2014 - three years after the demonstration phase contract was awarded to prime Lockheed Martin – the programme had to be rebaselined due to ‘slower than expected progress’ by the contractor.

This rebaseline included the design and development of a brand new turret, after it was found that utilising the legacy turret was not feasible. The company also revealed to Shephard last year that the MoD had requested a ‘refresh process’ on the programme, although it did not disclose how this would affect cost, numbers and schedules.

The MoD’s Major Projects Portfolio data, which supports the IPA reports, said in 2017 that the key aims for FY2016/17 was to stabilise ‘programme costs and schedules’ but a 12 month slip to equipment delivery was likely.

The programme’s total cost had previously been quoted as £1.3 billion, but recent data has suggested this is now £1.6 billion, with the programme racking up an annual bill of nearly £100 million.

According to the National Audit Office, the programme cost the taxpayer £361 million in its first four years. That figure how now likely risen to over half a billion pounds.

A production option in the original 2011 contract would include 380 upgraded warriors, with 245 of those receiving a new Lockheed-developed turret with a CT40 cannon. The MoD has already solidified a £200 million contract for the 245 cannons that would equip the Warrior turret, along with over 200 guns for the Ajax programme.

WCSP numbers are now in doubt and a vehicle production contract that would give some clarity in terms of units sought has yet to materialise. A senior British Army official told Shephard last year that this contract would be sometime in 2018, but the impending MDP appears to be delaying that decision.

Nevertheless, the Warrior upgrade programme continues with all demonstration vehicles now completed for the British Army. In a statement, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson confirmed that eight vehicles had been delivered to the army at the end of 2017. 

The spokesperson added: 'We have now completed all vehicle builds as part of the development phase, with test activities now underway. We continue to work with the MoD to deliver this important capability.'

Officially, the initial operating capability (IOC) for the vehicle has been set for October 2020, which would see 28 vehicles delivered with training and logistic solutions.

But as MoD data has suggested, this is unlikely. That has also not factored in problems that could be encountered during the trial phase, which again could cause delays.

A key element of any decision on whether to move forward with WCSP is if Lockheed Martin can progress through the programme without any more substantial delays. Any more alterations will invariably incur a cost penalty and a capability gap will develop as in-service Warrior vehicles become unserviceable.

Responding to request for comment on the IPA report, an MOD spokesperson said that the ratings 'reflect the scale of delivering some of the most complex programmes in the world and in our history'.

‘We recognise financial risk comes with that, but have already made almost £8 billion of efficiency savings to make sure we deliver for our armed forces and give them the very best equipment in the face of intensifying threats.’

 

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That's what happens when you let Tories run the show.....They're big on 'defence talk' and just love threatening nations we wouldn't have a prayer against (Russia), but they and their banker pals just can't help stealing money, so this is what we inevitably see time & time again.

 

Not to mention our defence secretary is a pansy.....I've e-mailed him and challenged him to a fight on College Green (outside parliament), but thus far he has not responded (wanker).

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*sigh* At this point, I wonder if they can even afford new bearskins for the Trooping the Colours.

 

What's next? Putting HMS Victory (remember, it is STILL officially in commission) back to sea as cost-saving measure for the British armed forces?

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2 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Now that we know the Challenger 2's Life Extension Program won't include a new gun,


Not sure that's true. Rheinmetall recently signed Curtiss Wright for work: https://t.co/y3P5U6Wfzj and the BAE bid is rumoured to also offer a 120mm smoothbore.

Army procurement has been a disaster for at least 20 years. Cuts have played a part but it's mostly down to the Army's poor decision making. 

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36 minutes ago, David Moyes said:


Not sure that's true. Rheinmetall recently signed Curtiss Wright for work: https://t.co/y3P5U6Wfzj and the BAE bid is rumoured to also offer a 120mm smoothbore.

Army procurement has been a disaster for at least 20 years. Cuts have played a part but it's mostly down to the Army's poor decision making. 

You're correct. I've read that in a Hebrew publication of an article from Jane's where I now noticed they merely misinterpreted some of the words.

The gun replacement is still sought after, but is considered an add-on, and not a crucial part of the program.

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On 7/6/2018 at 1:26 PM, Renegade334 said:

*sigh* At this point, I wonder if they can even afford new bearskins for the Trooping the Colours.

 

What's next? Putting HMS Victory (remember, it is STILL officially in commission) back to sea as cost-saving measure for the British armed forces?

 

That'll never happen, there's nowhere near enough spare manpower to sail her. Victory took more crew than the carrier does!

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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 6:49 AM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

 

Not to mention our defence secretary is a pansy.....I've e-mailed him and challenged him to a fight on College Green (outside parliament), but thus far he has not responded (wanker).

 

Did you try taking off your glove and smacking him across the face? 

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I’d like to see them drop an Abrams turret on the Challenger 2. Takes care of the ammunition stowage (38 compartmented rounds), simplifies the integration, benefits from continued US investment in the Abrams, and joins them to the Abrams user community. Would likely be cheaper, too. 

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1 hour ago, 2805662 said:

I’d like to see them drop an Abrams turret on the Challenger 2. Takes care of the ammunition stowage (38 compartmented rounds), simplifies the integration, benefits from continued US investment in the Abrams, and joins them to the Abrams user community. Would likely be cheaper, too. 

 

Do they have the same size turret ring? 

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12 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

Do they have the same size turret ring? 

 

I believe they do.  For some bizarre reason, the chieftain and T95 were designed to have the same turret ring, and that ring diameter was kept through the M60 and M1.  If Chally 2 has the same turret ring diameter as a chieftain, then you can plop an Abrams turret on it, at least in principle.

 

 

Edit: Ogorkiewicz says chally 1 and Abrams have the same turret ring diameter.  Probably chally 2 does as well:

 

yRMbB1v.png?1

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7 minutes ago, Collimatrix said:

I believe they do.  For some bizarre reason, the chieftain and T95 were designed to have the same turret ring, and that ring diameter was kept through the M60 and M1.  If Chally 2 has the same turret ring diameter as a chieftain, then you can plop an Abrams turret on it, at least in principle. 

 

That would most likely be more expensive than buying off the shelves M1s anyway (and would probably make the tank even more overweight than it already is)

The Germans also proposed them to buy second hand Leopard 2 at some point which would have been cheaper and more effective (from a combat potential PoV) than upgrading their CR2 but it was shot down for pride reasons apparently.

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ministry-of-defence-mod-german-tank-deal-manufacturer-krauss-maffei-wegmann-leopard-2-tank-fear-a7510681.html

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1 hour ago, Alzoc said:

 

That would most likely be more expensive than buying off the shelves M1s anyway (and would probably make the tank even more overweight than it already is)

The Germans also proposed them to buy second hand Leopard 2 at some point which would have been cheaper and more effective (from a combat potential PoV) than upgrading their CR2 but it was shot down for pride reasons apparently.

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ministry-of-defence-mod-german-tank-deal-manufacturer-krauss-maffei-wegmann-leopard-2-tank-fear-a7510681.html

Buying 2nd hand Leos would also be an expensive interim solution wouldn't it? Some old "off the shelf" A4s wouldn't be an improvement so the tanks need to be upgraded to A7Vs or with one of the upgrade Packages offered by the Industry while only RUAG and partially KMW should have ad hoc free capacity to do so. Buying M1A2 and hoping that the former colonists won't sell a monkey version would really be the cheaper and faster solution...besides pride reasons.

While one could argue that this would be their opportunity for the Tommies to get their hands on an actual tank, after they refused their opportunity in 1940 *duckandcover*

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13 minutes ago, Jägerlein said:

Buying 2nd hand Leos would also be an expensive interim solution wouldn't it? Some old "off the shelf" A4s wouldn't be an improvement so the tanks need to be upgraded to A7Vs or with one of the upgrade Packages offered by the Industry while only RUAG and partially KMW should have ad hoc free capacity to do so. Buying M1A2 and hoping that the former colonists won't sell a monkey version would really be the cheaper and faster solution...besides pride reasons.

While one could argue that this would be their opportunity for the Tommies to get their hands on an actual tank, after they refused their opportunity in 1940 *duckandcover*

 

True that the Leopard 2 would have needed to be brought up to standard, but the same would be true if they bought M1 (which would most likely be storage M1A1  brought to A2 xx standard).

Point is no matter what the British chose it will be old tanks (M1, Leo 2, CR2) upgraded to a more recent standard, they need an interim solution to last until 2030-2035.

 

The big difference is that for both the M1 and the Leopard 2 the R&D costs of the upgrades have already been paid for and their most recent iterations are recognized as capable.

That's not the case with upgrading the CR2 which require to develop a new solution with the afferent costs (and for minor improvements I may add).

 

It doesn't matter if they buy M1 or Leopard 2 it would be cheaper and bring them more capability than trying to upgrade the Challenger 2.

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47 minutes ago, Jägerlein said:

Buying 2nd hand Leos would also be an expensive interim solution wouldn't it? Some old "off the shelf" A4s wouldn't be an improvement so the tanks need to be upgraded to A7Vs or with one of the upgrade Packages offered by the Industry while only RUAG and partially KMW should have ad hoc free capacity to do so. Buying M1A2 and hoping that the former colonists won't sell a monkey version would really be the cheaper and faster solution...besides pride reasons

 

Rheinmetall also has the capacity to upgrade tanks, they have actually running production lines for the Leopard 2RI and Leopard 2PL - unlike RUAG - and don't have an excessive backlog for ordered upgrades - unlike KMW (the Leopard 2RI order will be finished soon, most of the Leopard 2PL tanks will be made in Poland; meanwhile KMW is busy dealing with the upgrades of German and Danish tanks).

 

There are no leftover M1A2 (SEP v2/v3) tanks available; the British army would need to buy old M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 1980s, which are currently sitting in the US Army's long-term storage depots, and then pay for the same 30-40 years of upgrades that a Leopard 2A4 would require. There is no real difference, except for the M1A2 SEP being more expensive to run and having less upgrade options available.

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3 hours ago, Alzoc said:

 

That would most likely be more expensive than buying off the shelves M1s anyway (and would probably make the tank even more overweight than it already is)

The Germans also proposed them to buy second hand Leopard 2 at some point which would have been cheaper and more effective (from a combat potential PoV) than upgrading their CR2 but it was shot down for pride reasons apparently.

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ministry-of-defence-mod-german-tank-deal-manufacturer-krauss-maffei-wegmann-leopard-2-tank-fear-a7510681.html

 

No argument about the expense; this is aimed more at providing a fig leaf of national pride, whilst delivering a system that can leverage someone else’s money in terms of planned, ongoing investment (APS, FCS, up-armouring, TUSK, CROWS-LP, ECM etc.) in both design and large-scale production (I’m looking at you, Leopard 2A7V).  

 

My proposed Abrams turret option (over any other western turret) is more about providing a useful ammunition load (38 vs. 15 rounds of the Leopard 2) without having to touch the existing hull ammunition stowage, or changing RAC doctrine by adopting an auto-loader (Leclerc, for example). Also, it meets US “spend more” pressure, can be done without a lengthy tender process (FMS), and avoids EU entanglements.

 

...all of which is moot against no apparent desire by the UK Government to invest seriously in heavy armour. 

 

 

 

 

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@Alzoc@SH_MM

How long would it take the US to upgrade their old M1s? Serious question, because their capacities are probably at an astronomic level compared to "ours".
And yes, KMW has still some projects in the pipeline, while RUAG has the product but no pipeline...Rheinmetall is imo even worse.

They got contracted with the A7Vupgrade in September 2017 and the first of these 104 upgraded Leopards are expected to be delivered in 2020 while the order is expected to be finished in 2023!
This time would only be adequade and acceptable if each of those tanks will be disassembled to the tiniest part and cleaned with toothbrushes by members of the management board.


Rheinmetall COULD expand it's capacities because there's really enough work to do - but they avoid it as far as possible for political reasons. It's a "Fuck you" in return for
the slightly more harsh export regulations and explained with a not forseeable sustainablility ("Today you want more tanks but tomorrow could be 1990 again").


If Rheinmetall would show the same "enthusiam" with the upgrades for ~200 UK Leos the first tanks would arrive 2030? And if Rheinmetall would magically find the capacities
to do the job in parallel to the German order, the BAAINBW would be not amused and could keep that in mind when it comes to KNDS vs. Rheinmetall (well actually I'm not shure

if they would notice it since they are not really quick-witted).

yes, my opinion might be influenced by a little grudge.

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11 minutes ago, Jägerlein said:

They got contracted with the A7Vupgrade in September 2017 and the first of these 104 upgraded Leopards are expected to be delivered in 2020 while the order is expected to be finished in 2023!
This time would only be adequade and acceptable if each of those tanks will be disassembled to the tiniest part and cleaned with toothbrushes by members of the management board. 

 

The main work for the Leopard 2A7V uppgrade is done by KMW. The contract was not awarded to Rheinmetall, this company acts only as a sub-contractor (i.e. parts for the Leopard 2A7V like the gun and FCS are made by Rheinmetall). The lion's share of the work is done by KMW and the schedule is mostly a result of their work backlog:

 

Quote

Insgesamt werden 68 Leopard 2A4, 16 Leopard 2A6 und 20 Leopard 2A7 auf den Konstruktionsstand A7V gebracht. Im Rahmen der Modernisierung übernimmt Rheinmetall die Behebung von Obsoleszenzen am Feuerleitrechner und am Rechnerbediengerät, rüstet einen neuen augensicheren Laserentfernungsmesser ein und integriert ein neues Wärmebildgerät.

 

Weiterhin liefert Rheinmetall neue Waffenanlagen des Typs L55A1 für die zu modernisierenden 68 Leopard 2A4. Diese Kampfpanzer verfügen dann waffenseitig bereits über die technischen Voraussetzungen, die nächste Generation panzerbrechender Munition im höheren Druckbereich verschießen zu können. Alle 104 Leopard 2A7V erhalten die Fähigkeit, die neue programmierbare Mehrzweckmunition DM11 von Rheinmetall zu nutzen.

 

Source: https://www.rheinmetall.com/de/rheinmetall_ag/press/news/latest_news/index_12992.php

 

Before the first Leopard 2A7V will be delivered to Germany, a part of the Danish order (who are upgrading their Leopard 2A5 tanks to Leopard 2A7DK) has to be finished. They already received their first Leopard 2A7DK tank:

914d3e07c5a0f95d7515b4a9a7f233e4.jpg

There are two models of the Leopard 2A7DK; one is pretty much identical to the Leopard 2A7V, the other will retain the shorter gun barrel and might lack other features as well.

 

The only reason why I think one could blame Rheinmetall for the slow delivery is the fact that the whole deal was delayed by two years - originally the contracts were to be signed in 2015, but it was signed in 2017 after Rheinmetall and KMW couldn't agree on how the money was split between the two companies. As far as I understand KMW's production capacity is limiting the upgrade. KMW doesn't have a fully operational Leopard 2 production line in Germany, which is why some parts for the Leopard 2 tanks ordered by the Qatari military were in fact made in foreign countries. I.e. the basic hull structures for the Leopard 2A7Q were made in Greece, which then were transported to Germany. The turrets were made in Kassel (KMW's facility in Kassel is very close to Rheinmetall's Kassel facility, where the gun and FCS were made) and then send to Munich. In Munich the Greek-made hull structures were fitted with all components and the turrets.

 

Qatar ordered its 62 Leopard 2A7Q tanks, 24 Panzerhaubitze 2000 artillery systems, unknown number of Dingo 2s and 32 Fenneks in 2013, but in 2016 only about half of the vehicles had been delivered. If you add the Danish contract to the mix aswell as orders from the Bundeswehr (Dingo 2s, Fennek JFST, and some of the Boxers are made by KMW) and other NATO countries, then it is easy to see why KMW needs so much time to deliver the German Leopard 2A7V tanks.

Rheinmetall also has lots of orders (most Boxers and most parts of the Puma + the final integration are made by Rheinmetall), but it is a much larger company (~23 thousand vs ~2.7 thousand employees) and much more open for international cooperation (only 25 out of 211 Boxer CRVs for the Australian army are being made in Germany, the work for only 8 full and 12 partial Leopard 2PL upgrades out of 128 tanks will be made in Germany).

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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

There are two models of the Leopard 2A7DK; one is pretty much identical to the Leopard 2A7V, the other will retain the shorter gun barrel and might lack other features as well.

Why will they have different cannons? For the sake of economy?  .. and what is this green box?

 

YaxoxJv93AU.jpg

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3 hours ago, SH_MM said:

 

The main work for the Leopard 2A7V uppgrade is done by KMW. The contract was not awarded to Rheinmetall, this company acts only as a sub-contractor (i.e. parts for the Leopard 2A7V like the gun and FCS are made by Rheinmetall). The lion's share of the work is done by KMW and the schedule is mostly a result of their work backlog:

Yup. I honestly was to focused on the L55/A1 as the biggest part which changes from A7 to A7V without taking all the things into account that are necessary to bring old A4s on A7 level. A quick google seach would have helped - ~760 mio €
volume and only 120 mio for Rheinmetall. My bad

 

3 hours ago, SH_MM said:

KMW's facility in Kassel is very close to Rheinmetall's Kassel facility, where the gun and FCS were made)

I could see KMW's gates for 5 years from my window...shitty area to live.
 

 

3 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Qatar ordered its 62 Leopard 2A7Q tanks, 24 Panzerhaubitze 2000 artillery systems, unknown number of Dingo 2s and 32 Fenneks in 2013, but in 2016 only about half of the vehicles had been delivered. If you add the Danish contract to the mix aswell as orders from the Bundeswehr (Dingo 2s, Fennek JFST, and some of the Boxers are made by KMW) and other NATO countries, then it is easy to see why KMW needs so much time to deliver the German Leopard 2A7V tanks.

Rheinmetall also has lots of orders (most Boxers and most parts of the Puma + the final integration are made by Rheinmetall), but it is a much larger company (~23 thousand vs ~2.7 thousand employees) and much more open for international cooperation (only 25 out of 211 Boxer CRVs for the Australian army are being made in Germany, the work for only 8 full and 12 partial Leopard 2PL upgrades out of 128 tanks will be made in Germany).

Yes, my shot from the hip was directed at the wrong target but with your further argument you underlined my intended statement: An upgrade programm for up to 200 further Leo would probably take forever.
It's the same mess with spare parts. While this problem is mainly caused by a bureaucrazy that believes/ed in "just in time" in the military sector, it is aggravated by an indistry not willing to expand it's productionlines without the assurance that their capacities can be fully occupied for a whole generation. Yes from an economical view I cand understand it and that they are afraid of a flash in the pan situation. 
This is by the way one of the main arguments brought up against the 2% GdP - this amount of money could ot be spend in a reasonable way: The indigenous indistry ( at least Land and Air) has no free capacity for "sponaneous orders" and the procurement department is....a mess.

Summa summarum this is the reason why I that the Abrams as an interim solution would be more expensive but more reliable for the British. Getting some upgraded Leo 2s in 2025-2028 sounds bad if they only want a gap filler untill 2035. Well they are probably used to short lived systems and probably a bit hardend up thanks to the L85A1s and Chally 1/2s lifetime but it would still be a waste. At least if they start now to think about their next MBT.


 

 

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Tanks aren't the highest priority for the UK at the moment (heresy in an offshoot from the WoT forums, I know). Compare the cost of the upgrade to the cost of a single A-boat or T26, for example - heavy armour is pretty low down the pecking order of priority spending. Hell, a single T31e would fund a £1mil/tank upgrade across the fleet

 

6 hours ago, Lord_James said:

That would imply the British MoD actually wants to spend money on the armed forces. 

 

... as opposed to?

 

9 hours ago, Alzoc said:

 

That would most likely be more expensive than buying off the shelves M1s anyway (and would probably make the tank even more overweight than it already is)

The Germans also proposed them to buy second hand Leopard 2 at some point which would have been cheaper and more effective (from a combat potential PoV) than upgrading their CR2 but it was shot down for pride reasons apparently.

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ministry-of-defence-mod-german-tank-deal-manufacturer-krauss-maffei-wegmann-leopard-2-tank-fear-a7510681.html

 

Quote

One offer that still stands would involve a deal of 200 second-hand models of the Leopard 2 for roughly £2 million each. 

A further £500,000 per tank could then be paid to upgrade the vehicles to a common standard, and then up to a further £1 million to be upgraded to an A7V variant with increased firepower. 

 

£3.5mil ea.? Cheaper? A new set of modern sights and a computer refresh will not cost that much, given the (probably) leo2a4 -> a7v upgrade is stated here as £1mil ea.

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