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Challenger 2

Main battle tank

Challenger 2 MBT

The Challenger 2 is one of the most protected main battle tanks in the world

 
 
Country of origin United Kingdom
Entered service 1994
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 62.5 t
Length (gun forward) 11.55 m
Hull length 8.33 m
Width 3.52 m
Height 2.49 m
Armament
Main gun 120 mm rifled
Machine guns 2 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 10 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 50 rounds
Machine guns 4 000 x 7.62 mm
Mobility
Engine Perkins CV12 TCA diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 56 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.34 m
Fording 1.07 m

 

   The Challenger 2 main battle tank was developed as a private venture to replace the previous Chieftain MBT in service with British Army. It is a further development of the Challenger MBT. The new main battle tank is significantly more capable than its predecessor. It entered service with the British Army in 1994. Currently the Challenger 2 is in service with United Kingdom (386) and Oman (38). Recently a couple of proposed modernization programs for the Challenger 2 tanks were proposed. However due to budget cuts British Army could completely retire its Challenger 2 fleet in the near future.

   It is one of the most protected tanks in the world. This main battle tank provides a very high level of protection against direct fire weapons. The Challenger 2 uses Chobham composite armor of second generation. It is lighter than the original Chobham, but offers better protection. Tank's turret was redesigned. Explosive reactive armor kit can be fitted for improved protection. The Challenger 2 is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. This MBT can be also be fitted with VIRSSS (Visual and Infra-Red Smoke Screening System).

   The tank is fitted with a new L30E4 120 mm rifled gun. It is capable of firing a wide variety of standard NATO 120 mm tank munitions. This gun is loaded manually. Effective range of fire with armor-piercing round is over 3 000 m. The Challenger gun claims the longest-distance tank kill in history. During the Gulf War it defeated an Iraqi tank at a range of 4 km.

   Secondary armament consists of two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is coaxially mounted with the main gun, while the other is placed on top of the roof.

   Challenger 2 is fitted with a new fire control system. Some of its components are similar to the US M1A1 Abrams and French Leclerc MBTs. Its fire control system has a high hit probability against stationary and moving targets. This main battle tank has a battle management system similar to that, used on the M1A1 Abrams. Furthermore British tanks can interchange information with US tanks.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunned, loader and driver.

   The Challenger 2 is powered by a Perkins CV12 TCA turbocharged diesel engine, similar to that on the Challenger 1. This engine develops 1 200 horsepower. Though comparable Western MBTs - the M1A2 Abrams and Leopard 2A5 have more powerful engines, developing 1500 hp. The Challenger is famous for its mechanical reliability. Suspension has been improved, particularly a hydraulic track pre-tensioner was added. The Challenger used a hydropneumatic suspension instead of the previous Horstmann type syspension of the Challenger 1.

Despite an increase in weight the Challenger 2 has similar cross-country performance to the previous vehicle. Additional fuel tanks can be mounted at the rear of the hull for extended operational range. It can also be fitted with a dozer blade. It is worth mentioning that all Challenger 1 MBTs can be upgraded to the Challenger 2 standard.

 

Variants

 

   Challenger 2E export variant with a number of improvements.

   Trojan armored engineering vehicle.

   Titan bridgelayer.

   Driver training tank.

 

 

 

 
Challenger 2 MBT

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Challenger 2 MBT

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Challenger 2 MBT

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Challenger 2 MBT

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Challenger 2 MBT

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Challenger 2 MBT

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