Bedfordshire company Lockheed Martin UK is to bid for the Ministry of Defence’s contract to upgrade the British Army’s Challenger 2 tanks.
In collaboration with Elbit Systems UK, the Ampthill-based business will submit a proposal to undertake the Life Extension Project (LEP) that will see the main battle tanks in service until 2035.
Lockheed Martin UK is a contractor for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, which is upgrading a minimum of 380 armoured fighting vehicles for the Army.
The company is also designing and delivering 245 turrets for the AJAX vehicles that are being produced by General Dynamics UK.
In June this year, a new £5.5 million manufacturing facility was opened at Lockheed Martin’s Ampthill site in Bedfordshire where work on Warrior and AJAX will be undertaken.
If successful, the facilities would also be used to deliver the Challenger 2 LEP, creating and safeguarding jobs at the site.
Richard Muir, business development director from Lockheed Martin UK, said: “We have a proven track record of designing and delivering turrets for armoured fighting vehicles through the Warrior and AJAX programmes.
“The ability to transfer knowledge between programmes ensures commonality and reduces risk.
“We have invested millions of pounds in our facilities and have doubled our workforce of skilled engineers to develop our Ampthill site into a centre of excellence.
“By teaming with Elbit Systems UK, and using our established and predominantly UK-based supply chain, we’re confident we can offer an innovative solution to extend the life of Challenger 2 and deliver improved capability to the British Army from here in Bedfordshire.”