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UK fields regenerative NBC system

29 March 2006
UK fields regenerative NBC system

By Christopher F Foss Jane's Land Forces Contributing Editor

The British Army has become the first in the world to deploy an armoured fighting vehicle fitted with a regenerative nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system.

Each Engineer Tank System (ETS), now in quantity production at BAE Systems Land Systems' Newcastle-upon-Tyne facility, has been fitted with a regenerative NBC system designed, developed and manufactured by Domnick Hunter. This not only performs the NBC function but also acts as an environmental control system (ECS) and enables the ETS to operate worldwide.

A total of 66 production systems are being delivered to the Royal Engineers.

Trials are currently under way with a Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) with a 120 mm/L55 smoothbore gun under the Challenger Lethality Improvement Programme.

Currently, the Challenger 2 MBT has a conventional filter-type NBC system integrated into the turret bustle, where some of the 120 mm Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot - Tracer (APFSDS-T) projectiles are also installed.

The new 120 mm smoothbore ammunition is of the complete round type (combining projectile and charge). If the UK opts to install the 120 mm smooth gun in the Challenger 2 MBT, then the turret bustle will have to be re-stowed and the NBC system installed elsewhere in the vehicle.

Domnick Hunter has already carried out an initial feasibility study showing that its regenerative NBC system plus an ECS could be integrated into the current Challenger 2 MBT chassis.

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