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 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.
Although security operations are likely to continue as before, the coup should force the international community to ask hard and probing questions about the approach taken in trying to secure the Sahel.