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Main Battle Tank

Challenger 2

Challenger 2 main battle tank

Entered service in 1998
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight in combat order 62.5 t
Overall length 11 500 mm
Chassis length 8 300 mm
Width 3 500 mm
Height 2 500 mm
Armament
Main gun 120-mm L30 gun
Machine guns 2 x 7.62-mm
Combat load
Main gun 50 projectiles
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine Caterpillar CV12 diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 59 km/h
Autonomy on roads 450 km

The Challenger 2 is one of the most advanced main battle tanks the world. Currently it is in service with the British Army and the Royal Army of Oman. UK Army ordered 386 tanks since 1991 with the last MBT being delivered in 2002, while Oman operates approximately 38 Challenger 2E main battle tanks. Some other countries, including Greece, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have shown interest to purchase this MBT. The Challenger 2E was developed purely for export and has some certain systems and parts downgraded.

The Challenger 2 is a tough MBT, protected by a highly advanced Chobham armor. It is armed with an L30 smoothbore 120-mm tank gun. In 2006 Some vehicles were fitted for trial purposes with the Rheinmetall L55 120-mm smoothbore gun, similar to than on Leopard 2A6. Challenger combat load consists from 50 projectiles, including armor-piercing, high explosive squash head, or smoke. The L30 gun can fire depleted uranium rounds. New depleted uranium projectile is currently under development. It will be longer and will have increased penetration comparing with the older one.

This main battle tank has a digital fire control system, that has been developed in Canada and is one of the most accurate fire control systems fitted on the combat vehicle. The Challenger 2 is also a fine example of some of the best gadgets and systems that can be found in a MBT.

Challenger 2 main battle tank in Iraq Additional armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. On of them is located left from the main gun, while the another one is positioned on the roof for anti-aircraft defense. On the each side of the turret there are 5 L8 smoke grenade dischargers. Furthermore the Challenger 2 can launch a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the engine exhaust.

The Challenger 2 is powered by a Caterpillar CV12 diesel engine, delivering 1 200 horsepower. It has a maximum rod speed in 59 km/h, while the cross-country speed is 40 km/h.

In general the Challenger 2 main battle tank performs well even in harsh climatic conditions all other the world. It's current participation in the peacekeeping missions just proved that this is a superbly reliable vehicle.


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