Tag Archives: armored_vehicles

The British Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank – British innovation in armored vehicles tested in Iraq

British Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank
Manufacturer: BAE Systems Land and Armaments [LSE: BA.L]
Challenger 2
Photo Crown Copyright/MOD

The British Challenger 2 Main battle tank has several innovations unique to its design. One of the foremost innovations devised by the Brits is a type of armor known as Chobham armor, which is a layered matrix of steel and ceramics. In fact, incorporating layers of ceramic into steel has been a newer technique of strengthening steel, (the strongest knife blades are now layered steel and ceramics, because the ceramics provide an added measure of flexibility. The Chobham armor is known to perform especially well against HEAT (High explosive anti-tank) rounds. In one encounter in Iraq, one Challenger 2 was hit by 8 RPGs in close range and one MILAN anti-tank missile and managed to escape to be repaired. Another improvement currently being made to the Challenger 2 is the replacement of its 120 mm rifled cannon barrel with a smooth bore cannon, which will enable the Challenger to fire depleted uranium rounds among other more lethal ammunition developed by the US and Germany.


Weight: 62.5 tonnes
Length: 8.3 m
Width: 3.5 m (4.2 m with appliqué armour)
Height: 2.5 m
Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

Drive System

  • Engine: Perkins CV12 diesel engine delivering 1,200 hp (895 kW).
  • Gearbox: David Brown TN54 epicyclical transmission (6 fwd, 2 rev).
  • Suspension: Second-generation Hydrogas.
  • Track: William Cook Defence Hydraulically Adjustable double-pin.
Maximum speed 37 mph, 59 km/h (road) 25 mph, 40 km/h (cross country)
Range 280 miles, 450 km (road) 156 miles, 250 km (cross country).

Check out this Challenger 2 tank video, this thing is a beast!

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The French Leclerc Main Battle Tank – Video of an MBT to reckon with…

Manufacturer: GIAT Industries
Leclerc MBT
The French, their military history aside, actually are widely known in Europe for their innovative and solid armored vehicle designs. In the mid 1980’s, Britain introduced its Challenger 2 main battle tank, Germany rolled out the impressive Leopard 2, and the US unveiled its M1A1 Abrams tank. The world was being introduced to battle machinery that combined decades of design research and cutting edge electronics systems. Not wanting to be left behind, the French decided to join the party. They had initially planned on simply importing the German Leopard 2 tank, but after some cost forecasting and design speculation, these plans were rejected. Thus the French decided to design their own tank, and they specialized in different aspects of design from other Western tanks. In steps the GIAT industries Leclerc French Main Battle Tank.

Indeed, it only bodes well for Western civilization to have diversity amongst tank designs, especially among allies. The most notable specializations of the Leclerc are its propulsion and driving capabilities. The Leclerc is not only the fastest western tank, but it is also the quickest to stop, having a hydro pneumatic retarder built into the gearbox that can utilize the tanks engine to aide in slowing the vehicle. Likewise, these capabilities are also made possible because the Leclerc is the lightest main battle tank, which also helps it to be transported easily and cost-effectively. All in all, the Leclerc Main Battle Tank is an impressive design that adds value to the militaries of NATO.

Check out this Leclerc tank video, it is ominously set to the classical piece Requiem for a Dream.
[youtube L-_oVNuyTJM]

Tank Specifications
Unit Weight 56 tonnes
Length in Meters 9.87 m (6.88 without gun)
Width 3.60 m
Height 2.50 m
Crew 3 (Commander, gunner, driver)

Engine : 8-cylinder diesel Wärtsilä 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)

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CBU-105 – The Sensor-Fuzed Weapon – CBU-97 Cluster Bomb Video


Manufacturer: Textron Inc. [NYSE: TXT]

The CBU-97 sensor-fuzed weapon is an extremely potent anti-armor cluster bomb. It combines so many different technologies of lethality and has so many moving parts for a bomb that initial observes questioned whether it would even work. Basically, the CBU-97 is dropped over a column of enemy armor, the bomb “clusters” and releases it’s sub-munitions, which are like smaller little bombs themselves. Each sub-munition is slowed by a parachute, and then each sub-munition fires 4 hockey puck sized “skeets” over the target area. The skeets contain an infrared targeting system and a copper EFP (explosively formed penetrator, a type of shape charge). Once the skeet locks unto a vehicle it fires the EFP at the target, which essentially is a slug of molten copper that can deeply penetrate armor. One CBU-97 has the potential to destroy up to 40 armored vehicles. Please note that the CBU-97 is also referred to as the CBU-105.

See this Cluster Bomb Video

[youtube THZvZ6S4C14]

Israeli Defense Forces Merkava 4 Main Battle Tank – Merkava 4 Tank Video

Merkava 4
The Israeli Defence Forces recently implemented a modernization drive on their main battle tank program. Their newest design, uveiled in 2002, features some technological advances forged from the fire of the battlefields of the Middle East. This video of the Merkava 4 main battle tank displays the blast-proof ammunition container, and the ability to target and track multiple targets while on the move, even helicopters. Likely the best features of the Merkava 4 are that it has one of the smallest profiles on the battlefield, the sloped turret angles allow for this advantage. Additionally, the Merkava 4 actually has a rear hatch and extra rear space that can accomodate several fully-armed combat troops or can be used to protect the wounded in battle.

Check out this Merkava tank video. It really shows off the intensive training that the IDF undertakes.

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