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According to its own information, the armaments company Rheinmetall has prematurely started production of two 120 mm smooth-barreled L55A1 cannons for testing purposes as part of the British Challenger 3 upgrade program. As the company announced on the occasion of the DSEI trade fair in London, the steel for the later barrel of the weapon, the breech block and the weapon mounts on the tower was cut at the Unterlüss location. After production, the smoothbore cannons are to be integrated, tested and validated before they are delivered to Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) in Great Britain for integration into the new digital turret.

The weapon is considered a key component in the Challenger 3 upgrade program. In May the British government announced that the RBSL 148 Challenger 2 main battle tank would be upgraded to the new version.

Rheinmetall: Erste Glattrohrkanonen für Challenger 3 gehen in Produktion