Army Unveils Two New Tanks With X-Ray Vision Dubbed ‘Streetfighter’ and ‘Magatron’ | United Kingdom | New



Dubbed “Streetfighter” and “Megatron,” the upgraded Challenger 2 will look more like a computer simulation for drivers, with 360-degree views and X-ray vision. But they’re far deadlier than playing Hell’s combat simulator. Let Loose at Home.

Both will be fitted with Brimstone anti-tank missile systems, and crews will be able to maintain full visibility even with the hatches closed, thanks to special helmets equipped with Israeli-made IronVision See-Through head-mounted display technology.

For this system to work, an array of electro-optical and infrared cameras are positioned around the hull of each tank.

This is similar in many ways to the Distributed Aperture System (DAS) fitted to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The system then “sews” these streams together, giving the individual wearing the helmet the ability to “see” through the tank shell in any direction, day or night.

Additionally, an iPad-like tablet will be mounted on the back to allow infantry to communicate with the tank crew in the event of a radio communications failure.

Although the idea is not new, “Streetfighter” is being developed in expanded form as the UK and its NATO allies learn lessons from Ukraine regarding the use of tanks in built-up areas.

Last month it was announced that around 60 unmodified Challenger 2 tanks were being readied by British troops for exercises and operations in Europe at a NATO forward holding base in Sennelager, Germany, as tensions with Russia were rising.

The second variant, “Megatron”, receives various applied armor systems and a soft camouflage system that reduces its infrared signature

As part of the £800million Heavy Armored Automotive Improvement Program (HAAIP), existing Challengers will be stripped to bare shells and subjected to ultrasonic inspection, weld repair and repainting . Every component will be removed and inspected to ensure the vehicle is as close to new as possible when rebuilt.

Then both variants will receive new guns, new modular armor and an improved active protection system – which will change the profile of the tank on the radar.

About 148 tanks are being modified during the overhaul, during which Rheinmetall and BAE Systems will deliver the first tanks to the British Army over the next two years.

Brigadier Anna-Lee Reilly, DE&S Vehicle Support Team Leader, said, “This is an exciting time for Defence. We are committed to keeping Challenger 2 tanks in service for the past 23 years and look forward to using our expertise to manage the upgrades needed to pave the way for the Challenger 3.”

Justin Crump of the Sibylline Strategic Risk Group, who is also a reservist tank commander, said: “It’s important to note that none of this is Challenger 3 – it’s just an upgrade from Challenger 2.

“We don’t know what the mix will be, but it’s likely the Streetfighter will be in the works for somewhere like Estonia, while the Megatron will be held back for operations in other theatres. The thing is, we just don’t know what will be asked of us.

He added: “On paper these are good developments if they work effectively. Adding Brimstone would allow tanks to fire over the crest of a hill, for example.

“However, I do worry about information overload inside the turret and whether a platform is being asked to perform too many tasks. – but we are testing for a reason.

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