04 Apr 03. One system to come out tops in terms of effectiveness and deployment is the Main battle Tank. Both the British Army’s Challenger 2s and the US M1A2 Abrams have been performing excellently in tasks from front line engagements to urban clearances. Those pundits who foresaw the terminal decline of the Main Battle tank may be looking at their textbooks and history. The tank has a huge advantage over the attack helicopter, the machine many thought would replace the tank in the long term, in that it is more robust, it works in all weathers and it can take and hold ground. Whilst the attack helicopter is an excellent tool, in the right weather and terrain, (it was not used in Kosovo extensively due to vulnerability) to fight armoured columns and destroy buildings it cannot hold the ground once attacked. The Israelis still rely on their Mekarava tanks to a huge extent for ant-terrorism operations and post-Iraq we may see more technology going into the MBT fleets of the coalition forces.
BATTLESPACE will soon be reporting on major enhancements to the UK Challenger 2 fleet being undertaken by Alvis Vickers and DRS as part of the General Dynamics (UK) Platform BISA programme