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Challenger 1 MK.1

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Gameicon WEE Gameicon WAB Gameicon WRD
EE
ALB
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Challenger 1 MK.1
Wiki-wordmark
Info
Nation Flag United Kingdom United Kingdom
Class Main Battle Tank
Variant(s) Challenger 1 Mk.2, Challenger 1 Mk.3, Challenger 2
Cost 105 Supply
Specifications
Armor Front 17 / Side 9 / Rear 5 / Top 4
Icon WALB Strength 10
Size Big
Optics

Medium

Speed 55 km/h
Road Speed 110 km/h
Icon WALB Stealth Poor
Fuel Capacity 1950 L
Icon WALB Autonomy 550 km
Icon WALB Year 1983
Icon WALB Type Armored
Weapons
Main Gun L11A5 (120mm)
MMG L37 (7.62mm)

The Challenger 1 was the United Kingdom's main battle tank from 1983 to 1990. It was the first main battle tank equipped with Chobham armor.

Challengers can be thought of as slow moving fortifications. They are highly durable, and should be placed at chokepoints like bridges or to draw attention away from an outflanking force. They are best when supported by heavy hitters while they soak incoming enemy fire.

The Challenger 1's Main features are:

  • Heavy Armour. It is the most heavily armoured MBT available to NATO forces, its frontal armour equaled by the Leopard 2's variants, while keeping the best side, back and top armour.
  • Powerful Main Cannon. High accuracy, AP power, very good stabilizers, high rate of fire and large ammunition storage for sustained fire, even on the move.
  • Low speed. It's the slowest NATO MBT, although it can keep pace with a battleforce quite well.
  • Extreme Fuel consumption (4L/km).
  • High price. The Challenger 1 is the second most expensive tank available to NATO forces, at only 5 points less than the Leopard 2A4.
  • Availability of 6 units.
  • Big silhouette.

TacticsEdit

The Challenger 1 is best used in point defense. Positioned at a choke-point while supported by supply trucks, Challengers can block an impressive amount of fire, and if experienced enough prove to be almost unbreakable in tank-to tank battles. Their stabilizers make them great at counter-strikes after repelling an attack, or slowing down an enemy advance while retreating.

Thanks to its 55km/h speed the Challenger can sometimes work on the offensive, although it may still require support from faster units and AA weaponry.

Due to their price, Challengers are best used individually, supported by heavy hitters while it sustains the brunt of an attack. Using more than one Challenger requires supply vehicles constantly following them, and proves effective but extremely costly, and due to their speed are difficult to use in offense and have trouble evacuating areas pounded by artillery.

Because of their size, Challenger 1s are difficult to hide. Trees will only prevent them from being spotted by regular units, and hedges won't hide Challengers.

HistoryEdit

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The Challenger design by the former Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) near Chobham in Surrey originated in an Iranian order for an improved version of the Chieftain line of tanks in service around the world. These were the Chieftain Mk5(P)- FV4030/1, FV4030/2 Shir (Lion)1 and 4030/3 Shir With the fall of the Shah of Iran and the collapse of the UK MBT80 project, the British Army became the customer and the tank was further developed by MVEE to meet Western European requirements. For a short time the tank was named "Cheviot" before becoming "Challenger", a name reused from a cruiser tank of the Second World War.

The most revolutionary aspect of the Challenger 1 design was its Chobham armour which gave protection far superior to any monolithic Rolled Homogeneous Armour (RHA), which was the then standard of tank armour material. This armour has been adopted by others, most notably the American M1 Abrams. Additionally the Hydrogas suspension fitted provided outstanding cross-country performance through the long suspension arm travel and controlled bump and rebound behaviour offered.

The Challenger was built by the Royal Ordnance Factories (ROF). In 1986, ROF Leeds (and the Challenger production line) was acquired by Vickers Defence Systems (later Alvis Vickers).

Challenger 1 competed in the Canadian Army Trophy Competition in 1987. It scored more direct hits than its competitors, but the poor fire control system and sights caused it to be the slowest firer, and it was placed last in the league tables.

Despite this, the Challenger 1 proved to be quite a different animal in action. During the First Gulf War the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Thermal Observation and Gunnery System (TOGS) fitted to the Challengers proved to be decisive, allowing attacks to be made at night, in poor visibility and through smoke screens. British Challengers destroyed roughly 300 Iraqi tanks without loss in combat. The Challenger, in comparison with the M1A1 Abrams tank deployed by the US Army, was more fuel efficient and achieved far greater serviceability. The Challenger 1 also claimed the distinction of scoring the longest tank-to-tank kill in military history, when it destroyed an Iraqi T-72 at a range of 5.1 km (3.1 mi) a record that remains unbroken. Brigadier Patrick Cordingly, the commander of the British 7th Armoured Brigade, said afterwards that “Challenger is a tank built for combat and not competitions".

A requirement for a new MBT was later issued. Proposals put forward for the new specification included an improved Challenger from Vickers, the American M1 Abrams, the French Leclerc, and the German Leopard 2. The Vickers Defence Systems design, designated Challenger 2, was eventually selected. This tank was significantly more capable than its predecessor, based on the same basic MVEE-designed hull but with a new turret based on the Vickers Private Venture Mk7 design and improved Chobham armour known as Dorchester.

WeaponsEdit

European Escalation Edit

Weapons L44 Mg-3
Type Main Gun MMG No Weapon
Name L44 MG-3
Caliber 120mm 7,62mm
Ammo x 30 rounds x 5200 rounds
Range Ground = N/A m
Helicopters = N/A m
Icon WALB Airplanes = N/A m
Ground = N/A m
Helicopters = N/A m
Icon WALB Airplanes = N/A m
Accuracy 7 6
Icon WRD Stabilizer N/A N/A
AP Power 9 0
HE Power 3 1
Icon WALB Suppression N/A N/A
Rate of fire 7 r/min 2181 r/min

Red Dragon Edit

Weapons WRD Icon L11A5 WRD Icon L37
Type Main Gun MMG No Weapon
Name L11A5 L37
Caliber 120mmm 7.62mm
Ammo x 41 x 2000
Range Ground = 2275 m
Helicopters = N/A m
Icon WALB Airplanes = N/A m
Ground = 875 m
Helicopters = 525 m
Icon WALB Airplanes = N/A m
Accuracy 60% 20%
Icon WRD Stabilizer 50% 10%
AP Power 17 N/A
HE Power 4 .5
Icon WALB Suppression 138 55
Rate of fire 7 r/min 652 r/min

See AlsoEdit

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