Global actuator specialists awarded contract for the British Army’s Challenger 3 Tank’s Magazine Door Mechanism
Back in February, Olsen Actuators, the UK’s leading actuator and motion control specialists, announced a partnership with Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to deliver actuators for the British Army’s Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank.
Following extensive auditing and investments in internal quality systems, cyber security and production capabilities, Olsen has been awarded its first contract to supply packaged and customised actuator assemblies for integration onto the new Challenger 3 Tank.
The contract has helped Olsen Actuators, an SME based in Warrington, to employ four new permanent staff in senior technical positions, re-open the graduate recruitment scheme, retain all existing roles and helped instigate a move to a larger main office with an integrated workshop.
The ninth major programme for Olsen, which already supplies other prime contractors in the Aerospace and Marine sectors, this contract ensures both staff retention and the capability to significantly grow its team of technical engineering staff.
As part of the electrical actuator subsystem for the Challenger 3 main armament magazine door, Olsen will also be providing the user interface and electrical controllers with software for the door.
The high-performance actuator subsystems are a vital enabler of the outstanding functionality and performance that Challenger 3 will provide, whilst maintaining the high levels of survivability and safety required of the British Army. They will help to protect our nation’s tank crews and ultimately save lives.
Olsen’s range of actuators, servo motors, servo drives and cables, with control panel assembly, were carefully selected for ruggedness and defence standard compliance. Also critical was Olsen’s capability to design, manufacture and complete associated mechanical assemblies to carry out performance testing.
Months of careful research, feedback and on-site collaboration have resulted in a successful design, ‘Made in the UK’, that delivers and exceeds the key elements required by RBSL, including:
- Small Footprint
- Low Maintenance
Olsen Actuators continues to grow significantly in an industry with a reputation for high performance, quality and critical supply chain integrity and processes.
This latest contract award reflects Olsen’s sustained excellence and trustworthiness in the defence sector and is a testament to the diligent, collaborative work of Olsen’s and RBSL’s engineering teams.
Piers Olsen, Managing Director and Founder of Olsen Actuators, said: “This project is symbolic of the value that Olsen brings to the table in such critical projects. With extensive experience in helping prime defence, aerospace and space contractors, we deliver solutions that are both novel and effective with responsive delivery times.”
“Over the last 20 years, we have carefully negotiated exclusive supply agreements with an exceptional range of leading manufacturers from the global market, with products specifically designed for our key industries. These include Curtiss-Wright Exlar Roller Screw Actuators, Macron Dynamics Belt Actuators and XYZ linear robotics, ANCA Linear Motors and ESI Motion Mil-spec Aerospace ready Servo-drives. This enables us to deliver the right package solutions, whether bespoke, COTS or MCOTS, to our clients in an efficient timescale, whilst allowing longevity of supply for the next +20 years.”
Colin McClean, RBSL Managing Director, said: “RBSL is delighted with the close working relationship that we have quickly established with Olsen and the accelerated design development this has resulted in. It is also pleasing to see the positive impact this is having within the UK supply chain. We now look forward to collaborating with Olsen on a rigorous programme of testing to validate the subsystem design ahead of the manufacturing phase of the Challenger 3 project.”
Market leaders in actuator technology, the Cheshire firm was recommended to RBSL by existing clients. Following a competitive tender process, Olsen’s proposal was selected due to excellent compliance with technical, cost and schedule requirements. This project was led by Adam Bargh, Technical Engineering Manager at Olsen, and his team, in collaboration with the team at RBSL.
Olsen’s actuator solution will receive NATO codification so that it may be used in other suitable applications.
In the defence sector, Olsen Actuators can meet the following standards:
- Company: UKAS ISO 9001, AS9120 ready, Cyber Essentials Plus
- Actuators: Material Traceability and many MIL and DEF Standards
- Servo-Drives: DO178, DO 254 and MIL standards
This announcement follows a series of successfully ongoing projects in closely associated high-technology markets for Olsen Actuators. While these are confidential, the successes are reflected in the growth of the company including four new permanent staff in senior technical positions, the re-opening of the graduate recruitment scheme, retention of all existing roles and a move to larger premises with an integrated workshop on the prestigious Sci-Tech Daresbury technology campus earlier in April 2022.
It will reinforce Olsen Actuators’ position as the UK’s premier authority on electric actuation projects. Its range of products increases the UK’s supply chain of world-class engineering components and Olsen’s unique ability to customise and develop new solutions gives the UK a significant advantage in a highly important global sector.
As it continues to grow, Olsen is advertising for several new roles including sales, technical and administration staff. During 2022, it increased its usage of its extensive network of sub-contracted staff and will continue to bring in the best-qualified people for the relevant applications.
Thomas James, Marketing Manager, Olsen, added: “While Olsen has significant experience in this sector, each new application offers an opportunity to learn. No two projects are the same, though experiences can be shared and transferred from one application to another.”
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