Challenger 2 Tank on Exercise Spring Storm 19 Credit BFBS 090519
Land vehicles

Defence Companies Join Forces For Challenger 2 Upgrade And Other Projects

Rheinmetall and BAE Systems will work together on projects including the Challenger 2 upgrade and the Army's mechanised infantry vehicles.

Challenger 2 Tank on Exercise Spring Storm 19 Credit BFBS 090519

Two defence manufacturers have been given approval to join forces and create new military vehicles.

German tank-maker Rheinmetall and BAE Systems will work together on projects including the upgrade of the UK's Challenger 2 tanks and the British Army's new mechanised infantry vehicles.

Based at BAE Systems in Telford, the joint venture is expected to see around 450 new jobs in the UK.

Rheinmetall said further details would be announced in due course.

Prior to the announcement, the two companies had been individually bidding for the contract to extend the life of the Challenger 2 to 2035.

The vehicle was originally designed and manufactured by BAE Systems and entered service in 1998.

Last year, BAE showcased its prototype for the upgraded Challenger 2, the Mark 2 Demonstrator, nicknamed the 'Black Night'.

It included a new commander's panoramic sight with a thermal and optical channel - meaning it has a full 24-hour hunter capability and a night vision system.

Watch: What features did soldiers pick when asked to suggest upgrades to the Challenger 2?