British Army - The Household Cavalry & Royal Armoured Corps - Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank - a4a7 - Armed Forces



Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank

Challenger 2 was manufactured by Vickers Defence Systems and production was undertaken at their factories in Newcastle Upon Tyne and Leeds. At 1999 prices Challenger 2 is believed to cost £4 million per vehicle.

Although the hull and automotive parts of the Challenger 2 are based upon that of its predecessor Challenger 1, the new tank incorporates over 150 improvements which have achieved substantially increased reliability and ease of maintenance.


Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank making smoke

The Challenger 2 turret is, however, of a totally new design. The vehicle has a crew of four commander, gunner, loader/signaller and driver and is equipped with a 120 mm rifled Royal Ordnance L30 gun firing all current tank ammunition natures plus the new depleted uranium (DU) round with a stick charge propellant system.

The design of the turret incorporates several of the significant features that Vickers had developed for its Mk 7 MBT (a Vickers turret on a Leopard 2 chassis).


Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank

The central feature is an entirely new fire control system based on the Ballistic Control System developed by Computing Devices Company (Canada) for the US Army's M1A1 MBT. This second generation computer incorporates dual 32 bit processors with a MIL STD1553B databus and has sufficient growth potential to accept Battlefield Information Control System (BICS) functions and navigation aids (a GPS satnav system). The armour is an uprated version of Challenger 1's Chobham armour.


Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank crossing a No 12 Close Support Bridge

Following the 2010 SDSR it is likely that the majority of the UK’ Challenger 2’s will be stationed in the UK following the return of British Forces from Germany.

We would eventually expect to see 5 x Regiments in the UK with a vehicle fleet of around 240-250 vehicles some of which will be stationed at an overseas training area (possibly Suffield in Canada).


CHALLENGER 2 Specifications
345 available - mid 2011
Crew 4
Length Gun Forward 11.55m
Hull Length 8.32m
Height 2.5m
Width 4.2m (with appliqué armour)
Ground Clearance 0.51m
Combat Weight 62.5 tonnes - MLC 76
Main Armament 1 x 120mm L30 CHARM Gun
Ammunition Carried APFSDS, HESH and Smoke max 50 rounds carried
Secondary Armament Co-axial 7.62mm Chain Gun
Loaders pintle mounted GPMG 7.62mm
Ammunition Carried 4000 rounds 7.62mm
Engine CV12 12 cylinder
Auxiliary Engine Perkins 4.108 4- stroke diesel
Gearbox TN54 epicyclic - 6 forward gears and 2 reverse
Road Speed 59km/h
Cross Country Speed 40km/h
Fuel Capacity 1,592 litres usable internal plus 2 x 175 litre external fuel drums