Monday, December 23, 2019 - 01:40 AM UTC
After a teaser with a single image of their upcoming release, Rye Field Models shares more images of their Challenger 2 TES.

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Barracuda cover please!!!!
DEC 23, 2019 - 02:43 AM
I need this!! Do we know when it will be released?
DEC 23, 2019 - 05:17 AM
Rye Field Models FB page says: To be released in Jan 2020. Mario
DEC 23, 2019 - 05:54 AM
DEC 23, 2019 - 10:24 PM
A beautiful kit, wonder if they'll offer a Chieftain someday?
DEC 24, 2019 - 01:53 AM
So is this a CR2 Theatre Entry Standard (TES - deployed vehicle) or is it Megatron (concept demonstrator)?
DEC 25, 2019 - 05:00 AM
Which year? If it's Black Knight it's missing the Iron Fist APS and the Thermal CITV head which is entirely different shaped, along with the frontal MMW radar and LWR receivers. If it's Megatron as it is today, it has a much looser woven version of the MCS (not actually by Barracuda) netting than it originally had. If you are thinking towards the future, it needs an RH120/L55 gun. The irony here is that TES is a basic set of kit which is itself highly variable. The Condor engine and particularly the transmission is too low HP/highly loaded to provide more than about 55kph. But this would change with the installation of one of the later MTU883 class with 1,700bhp. Without that engine, a maneuver tank is actually better off without the heavy skirts and bird cage _unless_ it is operating in a specifically urban/complex terrain environment. Similarly the bird table is unlikely to be used in cross country operations for the simple reason that it so greatly elevates the silhouette of the vehicle and the anti-IED antenna suite is pretty much unnecessary, once you (wisely) get off the roadnet. The British were busy helping us out in SWA for about a decade and so were a little skosh on upgrade cash for their tank force. Now they are down to about 200 vehicles and looking at a CR2 which is basically a raise the jack, insert new MBT level of upgrade with SERIOUS improvements to protection, firepower and mobility all long overdue, as well as the mission suite and reliability improvements. Sadly, the company best positioned to give the tank a new lease on life was KMW and now that Brexit is edging towards No Deal, that's off and you are left with BAe and GDUK as the best providers. BAe certainly has a history with the tank but the various Royal Ordnance federalized tank factories which could make an upgrade happen are all long closed, to the point where now, even the multipart ammunition must be small lot sourced from Belgium at terrible cost. If Britain was honest with itself, they would source either M1A2C on a U.S. expanded block buy (helping our economies of scale, immensely) or get onboard with Italy or Poland to do a followon MBT program in competition with the Franco-German MGCS/Leopard 3 effort. Britain has always had a crazy-strong 'Vickers' export weapons complex and would be well advised to maintain that crucial economy of state asset as an affordable, next generation, medium tank in the 30-40 ton class with new armor and better (NLOS, LOAL) rounds sourced from the start. There is not a tank on the planet, including the Strv-122 that cannot be penetrated by an EFP through the hull or turret roofs. The question is whether you have the remote NCW RSTA to get the round on target. It sure would be nice if Shapeways or Black Dog could produce something like the Black Knight suite and maybe some camouflage drape because then you could effectively mix and match the layout needed to do a MOUT or Battlefield version of a circa 2030 'Challenger, Hong Kong' or 'Challenger, Iran' standard vehicle. For the price, the Rye Fields kit is very nice. But they missed a multi-variant opportunity which the likes of TAKOM did not with their XM8 and PL-01 kits.
JUN 16, 2020 - 11:40 AM
Interesting analysis! The UK already rejected M1 for a number of reasons so buying them is not a sensible option. And there's no export market if you buy from abroad - a major factor in most UK procurement decisions. Joint development with other countries is not realistic, given how well such programmes have worked in the past. (MBT70, anyone?) So the only option left on the table is to develop Chally in-house. But I agree adding more weight in a futile effort to keep the nasties out becomes more of a problem than a solution, given it's an unequal struggle. The key is not having the most invulnerable tank, but rather having the crushing weight of all-arms battlefield dominance that allows tanks to operate without too much risk, and the UK simply doesn't have the budget for that anymore. In fact, you could argue there's not much need for a new MBT at all given there are not the forces needed for the kinds of overseas interventions that would need them! But the habits of Empire are hard to shake...
JUN 16, 2020 - 11:02 PM

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