Challenger II MBT

A development of the Challenger I, Vickers Defence Systems commenced deliveries of an ordered 386 Challenger II MBTs to the British Army in 1994. Production was undertaken at the Vickers factories at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Leeds.

Although similar in appearance to the earlier tank the Challenger II includes many improvements, notably a new turret (developed by Vickers for its Mk.7-Leopard 2 based MBT) with the latest 120mm L30 rifled tank gun firing the new APFSDS-T (Armoured Piercing Fin Discarding Sabot Tracer) projectile with a depleted uranium penetrator, In addition the Challenger II has a new computerised fire control system (developed by Computer Devices Company of Canada for the U.S.Army's M1A1 MBT), all electric gun control and stabilising system, and stabilised sights for the commander and gunner giving a high percentage of first round hit probability under both day and night conditions.

Standard equipment includes a thermal camera over the mantlet which provides a picture for gunner and commander, as well as full NBC protection system, and mounting points for additional fuel drums at the rear and for the fitting of a Combat Dozer Blade on the hull front.

The Challenger II is powered by a 1,200 hp Perkins Condor V-12 diesel engine coupled to a David Brown TN54 transmission. This gives the Challenger a maximum road speed of 34.8 mph.

The Challenger II currently equips five British Tank Regiments based in the United Kingdom and BAOR (A sixth Regiment having recently converted to a Scimitar armed Formation Reconnaissance Role). Eighteen Challenger IIs have also been acquired by the state of Oman.

With its uprated Cobham armour the Challenger II provides one of the best protected tanks on the modern battlefield.

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