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Is it true that Britain no longer manufactures tanks ?

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by Justin Smith, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    Is it really true that the UK no longer manufacturers tanks ? I thought I read this a few months ago but still find it shocking, if it really is true.......
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The US hasn't built a tank in quite a while either.
     
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Britain has what, 400 or so Challenger 11's and made some more for Saudi Arabia ?, I forget.. It is as fine a tank as can be built and is probably being upgraded as need be. There may be no current need to make more but if they decide too the question is will the capacity to do so remain. lwd is correct, the US has not made a new Abrams in probably 15+ years. Worn out ones, or older marks are rebuilt from the smallest part up, with up dated armor, electronics, etc. The US is currently in the development of an Abrams replacement, a smaller, lower, lighter composite tank.

    My guess is the Brits are doing the same. Will be interesting to see what the Leopard 111 will be. The Germans have had great success selling Leopard 11's to other countries which helps their development cost.. Many rate it as the best MBT available and most countries like it's diesel engine . The trend toward composite materials , reactive armor, modularity ,fewer crew and better mileage seems to be universal. The Latest Russian tanks have enough reactive charges on them to look like alligator hide.

    People have been saying for years that MBT's are obsolete as a concept so the Brits may also be giving that study. The Defense Forum may have some information on the subject.

    Great program on The Military Channel showing Swedish soldiers training on their Leopard 11's. To run a systems diagnostic on the entire tank a soldier plugged in his Samsung laptop !!! They bought 200 of them , to keep those frisky Finns at bay !

    Gaines
     
  4. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    The thread above brings up a question. Is the Challenger 11 the only current MBT using a rifled barrel ? I believe every one else has gone to smooth bore but I am not sure. The Brits like the accuracy but it gives up a bit of velocity ( friction) and has an wear issue. I assume it has some type of sabot to help mitigate both. Pictures show lots of lands and grooves.

    GB
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Rifled guns have a bit more of a problem with HEAT but are fine with HESH/HEP which the Britt's like.
     
  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Here's a bit more info-

    "The UK’s illustrious history of manufacturing tanks is to come to an end.BAE Systems is closing the Newcastle plant that has been designing and building tanks continuously over a longer period than any other organisation – government or private – anywhere in the world.
    The site, chosen in 1847 as a manufacturing base by Sir William Armstrong, the Victorian entrepreneur, had its heyday 100 years ago when it employed more than 25,000 people making hydraulic machinery, ships and armaments. It produced 100 Mark IV tanks in the first world war and has been heavily involved in tank and armoured vehicle production ever since, getting a new lease on life in the past decade as the UK went to war in Afghanistan. "
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/76c3eebc-ab31-11e1-a2ed-00144feabdc0.html#axzz24PNasJfq
    Also found this discussion- http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-171956.html
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    I think it depends what you call "British"....BAE Systems Land and Armaments was headquartered in the U.S., and regularly got (gets) orders for upgrading the Bradley family....and BAE Systems AB still exists on the Continent, and is currently producing the CV90 for the Swedes Combat Vehicle 90 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

    ....so I suppose it ALSO depends on what you call a "tank" nowadays! The Bradley, CV90, Warrior combined role types would have knocked most WWII tanks into a cocked hat...
     
  8. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    Yes that`s what I`d read about, the implication being that Britain wouldn`t be able to manufacture tanks in this country any more. I don`t know whether I`m entirely comfortable with that position......
     
  9. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    That is one division of them, Formally UDI which thr bought out so they could get those jobs seeing as American's are very picky about sending work off shore (though they are very happy to bring it into America away from other countries =) ).

    As for the M1's, I believe 240 new M1S1sep tanks were produced around early to mid 2,000's and new tanks are planned (M1A3's) to start production from 2017.
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I will have to investigate this more , but I can't believe the uk would have to rely on non-European nations for its defence. The Leopard was sold to most European nations and Nato allies including Canada and Turkey, but not the UK. France has its version derived from this (Leclerc and can afford to keep a national production this way)


    I know UK and Franch Navy + Airforces are combining some elements with France (common carrier, adapted bridges for Harriers on Frnech ships and Rafales on British ones, but I think the closing of their home factories is the result of not having cooperated earleir with neigbour nations. If this is confirmed it would be sad , considering Uk was the inventor of the tank during WWI
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I believe those were conversions rather than new production. Certainly the impression I get from reading:
    Main Battle Tank - M1, M1A1, and M1A2 Abrams and M1A1/2 Abrams Main Battle Tank - Army Technology
    Are these to be new tanks or upgrades of existing ones? I strongly suspect the latter.
     
  12. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Active Member

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    Wow that is something, kind of sad that the UKs does have a long history of tank building and development and their going to just pack it in. Like what about future wars they don't think they need tanks in future wars?
     
  13. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Missed the Rhinemetall & BAE merger.

    Hopefully halving the number of tanks will not prove troublesome for Britain in the future.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    You saw the Iraq war with laser aim destroying bunkers. There are bigger bombs with opening in mid-air releasing bombs that aim for the engine warmth, and there is no electronic way to stop the missile. Sending Warmth missiles Around? But if there are hundreds of attacking missiles how do you stop those Stone age missiles altogether? I know the army needs steel power to go on but can you save the tanks from attack from the air?
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    And that was 1991....
     
  17. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Seems to me that weapons that can destroy tanks can destroy any lesser vehicle. Or bunkers, gun positions, etc. Modern sensors make it harder to effectively camouflage anything, fixed or mobile. Before we write off tanks, we have to find an alternative.
     
  18. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    The more they try to turn Bradleys and similar IFVs into light tanks or tank destroyers, the more pointless it seems to have a squad of infantry sitting in the back to get fried if the vehicle is hit. I think the Stryker and similar "families of vehicles" have the right idea:

    A troop carrier with the maximum load of infantry, armed only for direct support of infantry with machine guns, grenade launchers, etc.

    Separate vehicles to carry heavier guns, antitank missiles, etc. Most likely the ideal deployment for these wouldn't be the same as for troop carriers, but they could provide close support as needed.

    Command vehicles, mortar carriers, engineer vehicles, etc.
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Or just keep going on with what we got. Thats one way but seems like the only way. Maybe massive planes coverage could keep the enemy stay away from the tanks?
     

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