The debate about the future of the UK’s heavy armour has been reignited by the recent revelation that the British Army is considering retiring its main battle tanks in the Integrated Review. While changes are necessary, to abandon heavy armour would be a mistake.
The UK has two options for modernising its armour: developing a Challenger 3 or procuring Leopard 2. The latter is an assured capability that will likely prove cheaper over the life of the programme. The former is risky but offers the UK an opportunity to develop valuable intellectual property.
The Type 055 Renhai destroyer, which displaces 12,000 tonnes, represents a significant advance in People’s Liberation Army Navy blue-water surface combatant vessel capabilities, in terms of both size and complexity