Challenger 2 is known as the safest MBT line in the world and has never been destroyed by enemy fire on the battlefield.

The world is witnessing a powerful rise of new generation modern tanks, the US and Russia are still the leading countries in this field. With the massive development of current technology, the main battle tanks are becoming more and more dominant. In addition to the main battle tanks that have been fought in the field, some are still in the trial process. With its combat and technological characteristics, these tanks will remain the mainstay weapons of the armies for the next decade. While American and Russian tanks both fought and some were destroyed in the Middle East, on the contrary, another beast that had fought here without ever being shot down – the British Challenger 2. This tank has a unique record of a tank that has never been shot down in any battle, including in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.

During the Gulf War, a Challenger 2 was reported to have been hit with up to 70 anti-tank shots but still safe and protected the crew.

The FV4034 Challenger 2, also known as CR2, is a British third generation main battle tank, developed by Vickers Defense Systems in 1986, now BAE Systems Land & Armaments. The design of the tank is a further development of the Challenger 1 tank, a groundbreaking design with the vast majority of improved parts. Although these two generations of tanks look similar, only about 3% of the components are interchangeable. Mass-produced since 1993, officially in service with the British army in 1998 with more than 400 units, Challenger 2 also served in the Royal Omani Army with a total of 38. These tank has fought in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. At 1999 prices Challenger 2 is believed to cost £4 million per vehicle.

In addition to excellent defense, the firepower of the Challenger 2 tank is also very formidable when it is equipped with 120 mm L30 main gun, along with two 7.62 mm coaxial machine guns.
In addition to excellent defense, the firepower of the Challenger 2 tank is also very formidable when it is equipped with 120 mm L30 main gun, along with two 7.62 mm coaxial machine guns.

The hull design was generally still faithful to the original Challenger 1, with the same stretched chassis, glacis slope, welded RHA assembly. The driving position remains the same in the front center. The turret in the center of the hull remains in shape but the overall protection was further enhanced with the generation of Chobham 2e armor. The engine was arranged at the rear. The crew consists of four people with the driver in the hull and commander, loader and gunner in the turret. The running gear consists of six double-tired road wheels to a track side with the drive sprocket at the rear and the track idler at the front. The upper areas of the running gear and hull are protected in thin skirt armor.

Challenger 2 has a length of 8.3m excluding gun barrel, 3.5m wide, 2.49m high, weighing about 69 tons and 75 tons if equipped with enhanced armor module. The tank uses Perkins CV12 TCA Condor diesel providing a capacity of 1,216 horsepower, 8-speed gearbox and air suspension system that allows to reach 60km/h on a flat road, 1,592 liters of fuel reserve for Itinerary 550km. The Challenger 2 engine is less powerful than the Western rivals, but this tank is famous for its mechanical reliability. It is known as one of the most modern main battle tanks in the world today, and is the safest tank on the planet.


The maneuverability and stability of the Challenger 2 tanks have also been demonstrated over long periods of operation throughout the Middle East battlefield.
The maneuverability and stability of the Challenger 2 tanks have also been demonstrated over long periods of operation throughout the Middle East battlefield.

With the philosophy of sacrificing maneuverability to enhance crew protection, Vickers has developed for Challenger 2 the special second generation Chobham complex armor system called Dorchester. Challenger 2 armor is made up of many different layers of materials, with top-secret technology that is still unknown to the present. Chobham Armor has the ability to suppress the penetration energy of anti-tank shells, completely neutralizing the High-explosive anti-tank warhead – a nightmare weapon with many other armored tanks. Unofficial information revealed, Chobham armor is twice as durable as steel, and is a mixture of porcelain and metal, so it is much more effective than other armor. Explosive reactive armor kits can be fitted for added protection.

Challenger 2 is completely different from other NATO tanks, it uses 120 mm rifled gun instead of smoothbore guns.
Challenger 2 is completely different from other NATO tanks, it uses 120 mm rifled gun instead of smoothbore guns.

Also for better collective protection, the NBC generators and systems were moved to the turret bustle. Some tests were performed with various coating and camouflage nets to reduce both thermal and radar signatures. For active protection, a modernized set of L8 smoke dischargers was also fitted, five per side. They could fire various Frag projectiles, smoke and infrared flares. The engine was also fitted with the injection system in the exhaust manifolds to create additional smoke.

The difference in the main gun makes the ammunition carried is not NATO standard, making it impossible for other countries to use.
The difference in the main gun makes the ammunition carried is not NATO standard, making it impossible for other countries to use.

Challenger 2 uses a 120mm L30A1 rifled gun, although it has the advantage of a high muzzle velocity, accurate firing but is prone to abrasion, harder to make than a smoothbore cannon. The turret is capable of rotating 360 degrees in 9 seconds. The L30A1 main gun is armed with a variety of ammunition, has proven effective in anti-conflict, anti-terrorism and peacekeeping missions. Secondary armament consisted of a 7.62mm L94A1 coaxial machine gun to the left of the turret with a rate of fire of more than 500 rounds per minute. A 7.62mm L37A2 machine gun above the turret, which can be controlled from inside the vehicle. In addition to being equipped with the platform battlefield information system application provided by Computing Devices of Canada, including a display for the commander, an inertial navigation system, Challenger 2 is also integrated with a range of electronic combat support systems, allowing crews to operate more efficiently.

The Royal Army has recently decided to eliminate up to 1/3 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks due to budget difficulties.
The Royal Army has recently decided to eliminate up to 1/3 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks due to budget difficulties.

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, no Challenger 2 was completely destroyed, while American M1 Abram tanks were destroyed by Iraqi fire. A Challenger 2 received 14 RPG-7 hits at close range with a MILAN anti-tank missile damaging the reconnaissance system. The crew remained safe after the attack, and the tank was quickly repaired with a tracking system before returning to service.

According to the announcement of the Ministry of Defense, the British military has decided to overhaul and upgrade 148 of 227 Challenger 2 due to cost constraints.
According to the announcement of the Ministry of Defense, the British military has decided to overhaul and upgrade 148 of 227 Challenger 2 due to cost constraints.

The most incredible legend to date was still a Challenger 2 tank that had been hit by 70 RPG-7 anti-tank shells at all distances without damage near Basra province, this tank even just 6 hours of repair before getting ready to return to the battlefield.

However, in August 2006, an RPG-29 broke through the front armor of Challenger 2, injuring four crew members. The driver lost part of his foot in the blast but the shells in the vehicle were not detonated. It is hard to believe that the British tank has been able to move 2.5 km back to a safe location, handed over to repair technicians.

Challenger 2 of C Squadron 1 Queens Royal Lancers, on patrol on the outskirts of Basra.
Date: 28 March 2003 – Challenger 2 of C Squadron 1 Queens Royal Lancers, on patrol on the outskirts of Basra.

The only Challenger 2 that was ever destroyed was due to being mistakenly shot by another Challenger 2. The incident happened on March 25, 2003, when all anti-tank weapons were helpless before Challenger 2, a Challenger 2 itself only needed a single shot to destroy his teammates. Thus, if not counting the aforementioned false shot, this tank has never been destroy by any other tank or anti-tank weapon – showing the ability of the current 26-year-old tank is serving this British Royal Army.

Challenger 2 tank
Challenger 2 tank

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here