Challenger 2 Tank
Challenger 2 Tank || Specifications
The Challenger II Tank
The Challenger 2 Tank is a British main battle tank (MBT) currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. The Challenger 2 tank is designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems (now known as BAE Systems Land and Armaments). The manufacturer of the Challenger 2 tank advertises it as the world’s most reliable main battle tank. As of January 2011, only two Challenger 2 tanks have been damaged in combat, and one destroyed by another Challenger 2 tank in a friendly fire incident.
The Challenger 2 tank is an extensive redesign from Challenger 1, the MBT from which it was developed. It uses the basic hull and automotive parts of its predecessor but all other components are new. Fewer than 5% of components are interchangeable. Challenger 2 Tank has now replaced Challenger 1 Tank in service with the British Army and is also used by the Royal Army of Oman. It has seen operational service in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq the Challenger 2 tanks operating in the Gulf suffered no losses to enemy fire.
Challenger II Tank Desertised is equipped with a 120 millimetres (4.7 in) 55 calibre long L30A1 tank gun, the successor to the L11 gun used on Chieftain and Challenger 1. The gun is made from high strength Electro Slag Remelting (ESR) steel with a chromium alloy lining and, like earlier British 120 mm guns, it is insulated by a thermal sleeve. It is fitted with a muzzle reference system and fume extractor, and is controlled by an all-electric control and stabilization system. The turret has a rotation time of 9 seconds through 360 degrees.
Uniquely among NATO main battle tank armament, the L30A1 is rifled, because the British Army continues to place a premium on the use of high explosive squash head (HESH) rounds in addition to APFSDS armour-piercing rounds. HESH rounds have a longer range (up to 8 kilometres / 5 miles) than APFSDS, and are more effective against buildings and thin-skinned vehicles.
Forty-nine main armament rounds are carried in the turret and hull; these are a mix of L27A1 APFSDS (also referred to as CHARM 3), L31 HESH and L34 white phosphorus smoke rounds, depending on the situation. As with earlier versions of the 120 mm gun, the propellant charges are loaded separately from the shell or KE projectile. A combustible rigid charge is used for the APFSDS rounds, and a combustible hemispherical bag charge for the HESH and Smoke rounds. An electrically-fired vent tube is used to initiate firing of the main armament rounds. (The main armament ammunition is thus described to be “three part ammunition”, consisting of the projectile, charge and vent tube.)
The Challenger 2 tank is also armed with a L94A1 EX-34 7.62 mm chain gun coaxially to the left of the main gun, and a 7.62 mm L37A2 (GPMG) machine gun mounted on a pintle on the loader’s hatch ring. 4,200 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition are carried.
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The Challenger 2 tank is produced in kitform by many kitmanufacturers. I own the 1/35 Tamiya tank with kitnumber #35274