CMI Defence and Ricardo UK Ltd together for the UK MOD Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (LEP)

CMI Defence and Ricardo UK Ltd together for the UK MOD Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (LEP).

June 14th 2016

Belgian weapons systems designer, manufacturer and integrator CMI Defence and British defence Systems Engineering specialist Ricardo UK Ltd, have joined forces in view of the UK Ministry Of Defence (DE&S) Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (LEP). This partnership was formalised today by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

CMI Defence and Ricardo UK Ltd will respond together to the Invitation To Tender recently issued by the British Ministry of Defence regarding its Challenger 2 Life Extension Project. In this process, CMI Defence S.A. will act as the prime contractor with Ricardo UK acting as the Systems Engineering and delivery partner.

CMI Defence provides an extensive history and knowledge of delivering heavy firepower gun-turret systems throughout the world. These are marketed under the brand name Cockerill®, which comes from the British engineer John Cockerill who founded the company in 1817 in Belgium. Today, CMI Defence is delivering weapons systems that are modern, reliable, safe and demonstrate a firepower capability rarely seen on the market. CMI Defence is globally renowned for its development and delivery of over 2,500 large caliber guns from 1970 to present.

CMI Defence is an innovative system of systems provider which has proven its capability through its battle proven open electronic architecture. CMI Defence continues to build on its innovation of open electronic architecture by incorporating new technology and proactively managing the obsolescence of its product range. This creates a managed solution in order to meet the customers’ needs through life. CMI Defence is in a prime position to deliver an innovative, reliable and safe approach to deliver a solution that extends the life of Challenger 2 to its Out of Service Date of 2035. 

CMI Defence has drawn on its internal knowledge of Challenger 2 through its in-house former Challenger 2 operators (Gunner, Commander and Instructor) and maintainers. This wealth and depth of internal experience provides CMI Defence with a unique insight into how our approach can improve Human Factors Integration (HFI) and increase reliability and availability. 

CMI Defence will be perfectly positioned to deliver the Life Extension Project through, the July 2016 incorporated, CMI Defence UK Ltd. This commitment to the UK Defence community by CMI Defence, will be built on the foundations of solid investment which in turn will create UK jobs.

With over 1000 engineers and technicians in the UK, Ricardo is a leading, UK owned, Land Systems Engineering consultancy that has been supporting UKMOD and the wider defence industry for over 100 years. Ricardo specializes in System and Automotive Engineering bringing cutting edge modelling and simulation tools and techniques that have been developed and honed in the global Defence and Commercial vehicle industries. Ricardo has wide experience of delivering programmes on tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicle and protected wheeled vehicles, that range from sub-system obsolescence redesigns through to whole system analysis, and clean sheet whole platform and drive train design. Recently Ricardo has been supporting DSTL with powertrain and drivetrain Obsolescence Management  studies on CR2 utilising Total System Optimisation, a Ricardo developed tool set used for whole system lifecycle cost modelling including the ability to model to cost effectiveness of potential system upgrade options from initial development and implementation costs plus through life costs such as fuel efficiency and maintenance.

Jean-Luc Maurange, President of CMI Defence, stated: “CMI Defence has the passion, energy, drive and full commitment to becoming the Challenger 2 Design Authority. The bringing together of our two independent companies creates a dynamic, flexible and responsive team. As specialists in the defence land domain, we will create and deliver an innovative solution to not only meet the customers’ needs but also to take into consideration the aspirations of the User (British Army).”

John Stretton, Head of Defence of Ricardo UK Ltd, stated: “Both our leading expert companies are looking forward to a long term continuation of our already successful relationship. Together, by combining our skill sets and resources we are perfectly positioned to answer UK MoD’s needs and ambitions for the Challenger 2 fleet.”