The British Army's MBT Challenger 3 will be the tank with the longest combat range in the world

He Ministry of Defence British has successfully carried out firing tests of the new main battle tank, MBT for its acronym in English, Challenger 3 during last May. The future Army tank British stands out for its long-range capability thanks to the high pressure cannon Rheinmetall 120mm L55A1 which, together with the 120mm ammunition DM73It allows a combat range of up to 5,000 meters, greater than that of any other tank currently in service. The Rheinmetall 120mm L55A1 cannon also makes it easier for you Unprecedented precision at long ranges.

The Challenger 3 is an advanced MBT developed by the United Kingdom and designed to replace the Challenger 2in service since 1994. 148 Challenger 2of which the tank hull will be reused while a good part of its elements are replaced, will be converted into the successor model and will begin entering service in 2027. The new cannon incorporates the latest technology to improve its firepower, precision and effectiveness in modern combat scenarios.

Thus, the 120mm Rheinmetall L55A1 smoothbore gun constitutes a notable improvement over the rifled gun used on the Challenger 2 and makes it more compatible with modern NATO ammunition standards. The L55A1 has a length of approximately 6.6 meters. This longest cannon improves projectile exit velocity and contributes to greater precision and penetration capacity.

Challenger 3 opening fire. United Kingdom Ministry of Defense.

With it, the Challenger 3 can fire a wide range of advanced ammunition types, including armor-piercing fin-stabilized expendable munitions (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank munitions (HEAT), and programmable airburst munitions. The use of programmable ammunition allows the Challenger 3 to effectively engage a variety of targets, from heavily armored vehicles to infantry and fortifications.

In addition to the main smoothbore gun, it has also been improved the Challenger 3 fire control system. It has advanced aiming and stabilization systems that allow it to follow shooting accurately even if the tank moves over rough terrain. The integration of modern sensors and computerized fire control allows for a Fast target acquisition and accurate shooting.

The L55A1 120mm high pressure cannon is based on the model L55 and has been recognized as the most advanced smoothbore gun in the world after its introduction in 2019. Provides the highest pressure levels for high performance ammunition and, combined with the ammunition DM73, significantly improves the firepower and lethality of any MBT. As an optional feature, it can be equipped with a programming kit that allows you to use DM11 ammunition.

The MBT Challenger 3.
The MBT Challenger 3.RBSL.

The DM73 ammunition has a improved propulsion unit which maximizes the high pressure capabilities of the L55A1 cannon. This advance allows higher exit velocity compared to the DM63, which can also use the Challenger 3, when fired from an L55 weapon, thus extending the effective combat range. Additionally, new fuel cartridge technology, which includes fabric reinforcement, prevents loss of propellant powder in the event of cartridge damage.

This ammunition is specifically designed for use with the L55A1 cannon. Technical specifications for the 120mm x 570 DM73 include a muzzle velocity of 1,780 meters per second when used with the L55A1 cannon, an accuracy of 0.2 milliradians, a weight of approximately 21 kilograms and operating capabilities within the temperature range –46°C to +63°C.

He M1A2 Abramsone of the most advanced tanks in the US arsenal, has a range of around 4,000 meters with its 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, just like the T-90M Russian, equipped with a 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun. Other modern MBTs like the Leopard 2A7 German and Leclerc French, too. The Challenger 3 outperforms all of them by 1,000 meters, giving it superior capabilities in long-range combat.