Britain’s Challenger 2 main battle tank is successor to the successful Challenger 1 which was used to great effect in the first Gulf War. Challenger 2 proved equally as effective during the second Gulf War in 2003 – and is still providing valuable support for Warrior crews in Southern Iraq. Distinctive changes to the Challenger include Thermal Exhaust Cowls to reduce exhaust heat signature on the hull rear sides, thermal identification panels and filter louvres on the turret, and side armour with sand reduction skirting.
|Challenger 2 MBT|
|Challenger 2 Tank|
incapacitated Challengers, when the tanks took part in exercises in Oman in 2001. Omani tanks, all Challenger 2E models and designed for the desert, had no problems.
The exercise exposed the tank’s weakness to dust and fine sand. Modifications to fans and filters doubled useful life in the dustiest conditions, and the side skirts were extended to prevent dust being thrown up towards the air intakes. All the work was carried out in Kuwait before hostilities began.
|Challenger 2 MBT|
|Challenger 2 MBTANK|
areas within the turret and hull. It may involve collaboration with the German firm Rheinmetall.
History Productions Challengers MBT
Based on British Army requirements, nine trial vehicles built
Challenger 1 production stopped
Production of Challenger 2 starts
38 Challenger 2s handed over to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at Bergen Hohne in Germany, the first
Royal Armoured Corps unit to receive it. Challenger 2E Vickers Defence Systems (now Alvis Vickers Ltd.)
produces a Challenger 2 with modifications called Desert Challenger or Challenger 2E (Export). Main improvement is a change of engine and transmission. It uses an updated version of the German Leopard 2 MBT engine, MTU 883 turbocharged diesel rated at 1,500hp with a German RENK transmission. Oman ordered 38 which are now in service.
Designation: Challenger 2
Hull length: 8.327m
Ground clearance: 0.5m
Ground pressure: 0.9kg/cm2
Combat weight: 62.5mt
Engine: 1200bhp V12 Perkins diesel
Gearbox: David Brown TN54 epicyclical with 6 forward and two reverse gears
Range: 450km (increased by 70km by two 200-litre fuel barrels carried on rear)
Speed: 56km/h max road, 40km/h cross country
Fording depth: 1.07m
Armament: Stabilised 120mm L30 rifled gun with ND–YAG laser rangefinder and TOGS II thermal imager for passive night vision; Marconi Space & Defence digital No. 6 Mk1 ballistic computer; fire control computer from CDC of Canada
Maximum range: 9,000 meters
Ammunition: 50 mixed projectiles stowed below the turret ring. Propellant charges are stowed separately in armoured bins. The L30 gun fires all current 120mm two-piece ammunition, and they can be a mixture of
APFSDS (armour piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot), HESH (high explosivesquash head), a depleted uranium round, or smoke.
Auxiliary weapons: 7.62mm chain gun mounted co-axially and 7.62mm GPMG mounted on loader’s hatch
for air defence.
Protection: Challenger 2 is the best protected tank in NATO, incorporating second generation Chobham armour plating and full NBC protection.