Challenges for tanks in the post Cold War

Challenges for tanks in the post Cold War
September 19 11:29 2018 Print This Article

For NATO members, the end of the Cold War signalled an end to a continual threat of war. This inevitably led to budget cuts curtailing ground programmes, with the Royal Navy being particularly hit. However, this time also saw a new tank being unveiled for the first time, the Challenger II. So, where would this heavy-duty piece of equipment be deployed now?

The First Gulf War

The first big war for most European countries after WWII cam in Iraq. Iraq was a large and well-experienced fighting power, having spent ten years at war with Iran. General Schwarzkopf adopted a plan of gaining supremacy in the air before any ground assault would take place. This was down to a fear of becoming involved in a long and drawn-out war. However, the ground assault Operation Desert Sabre, part of Desert Storm witnessed the British armed forces committed in battle in full force for the first time since WWII.

The British led the ground assault stage, with the SAS B Squadron completing an advanced recon mission and precision strikes. The 1st Armoured division successfully cut off the Iraqi forces around Kuwait, partly thanks to the Challenger tank and the new Warrior IFV. They could both travel at high speeds on flat ground and were incredibly reliable. Most of the Challengers available were sent to Iraq with most battles occurring in sandstorms with very low visibility. The end result was a highly successful 300 kills and no losses.


The UK was also involved in the decision to invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein from power on suspicions of holding ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Stockpiles of which we said to be hidden from inspection teams from the UN. Whatever the reason, political or military, it provided another opportunity for the 1st Armoured division to test out the power of the Challenger II again. If you’d like to get the controls of a real-life tank, why not book a Tank Driving experience with

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The Future of the Royal Armoured Corps

The future of the main battle tanks includes planned upgrades to the Challenger II. Upgrades have also been planned for the Warrior IFV. A lot of attention has been given to smaller AFVs with one of the most exciting set to be the Future Rapid Effect System. This is a series of medium-weight armoured vehicles to phase out the CVR(T), FV432 and the Saxon.  Plans for a MAN Support vehicle programme at a cost of £1.3 billion is hoped to give the Army’s logistical corps over 7,000 new trucks and vehicles based on a common platform to give much better cost efficiency.

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Clare Louise
Clare Louise

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