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.

Specifications

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!

[youtube TZ_PrD-ge1E]

Click here to see other main battle tanks

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