Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battle Tank Takes Up Position at Museum

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battle Tank Takes Up Position at Museum

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor tony.henderson@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE role of armaments manufacture in the industrial history of Tyneside will be symbolised by the display of a battle tank outside Newcastle's Discovery Museum.

The museum has been given the Challenger 2 tank prototype by defence company BAE Systems.

The tank will sit on a plinth outside the museum in Blandford Square as part of an industrial legacy which began with William - later Lord - Armstrong, whose story forms part of the Discovery Museum and Tyne & Wear Archives collections.

Challenger 2 is a main battle tank designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems - now known as BAE Systems. Production began in 1993 at Scotswood in Newcastle and Barnbow in Leeds.

The museum tank is one of nine prototypes which were built by Vickers in the early 1990s for testing as part of the development process.

Following the removal of all its internal equipment it was on display for 12 years outside the Scotswood works.

It had also been taken on an orders mission to Oman to demonstrate the model's capabilities.

Ged Bell, chairman of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Joint Committee, said: "We would like to thank BAE Systems for the donation of the Challenger 2 to Discovery Museum.

"The significance of its heritage to the city of Newcastle and the wider region is renowned and it provides the missing piece to the Armstrong story we tell in the museum."

BAE has now ceased manufacturing operations in Scotswood.

David Bond, managing director of BAE Systems Newcastle, said: "BAE Systems is proud to donate the Challenger 2 main battle tank to Discovery Museum.

"It is important that the tank, which is closely associated with the Scotswood Road site, remains in the North East as a reminder of its proud Armstrong heritage. …

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