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Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank

Challenger is a development of the Centurion/Chieftain line, modified to produce the Shir/Iran 2 originally planned for service with the Iranian forces. After the Iranian Revolution the Shir Iran 2 project was taken over by the British Army and the end result was Challenger later redesignated as Challenger 1. The main differences between Challenger 1 and its predecessor Chieftain are the Challenger engine, which produces 1,200bhp at 2,300rpm, far more powerful than the Chieftain engine, and the Chobham Armour, which gives very high protection levels against anti armour weapons.

The Challenger 1 has been in service with the British Army since 1983. It was originally produced by the Royal Ordnance Factory in Leeds, which was acquired by Vickers Defence Systems in 1986. It is planned to begin withdrawing the Challenger 1 from service in 1998 and it should be completely replaced by Challenger 2 by 2002. Challenger 1 took part in Operation Desert Storm where the Iraqi forces failed to take a single vehicle out of combat while Challenger destroyed roughly 300 Iraqi tanks.


Armament 1 x 120mm L11A5 gun; 2 x 7.62mm Machine Guns; 2 x 5 barrel smoke dischargers
Engine Rolls-Royce CV12
Ammunition Capacity Typically 44 rounds of 120mm; 6000 rounds of 7.62mm
Engine Capacity 26.1 litres
Max Road Speed 56kph
Weight Loaded 62,000kg
Length Hull 9.8m
Length Gun Foward 11.5m
Height 2.95m
Width 3.5m
Ground Clearance 0.5m
Crew 4

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Friday, June 18, 1999 8:19:18 AM