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Osprey New Vanguard 23 : Challenger Main Battle Tank 1982-1997

The successor to the Chieftain from the 1960s, work began in 1976 on development of a new MBT specifically for the Iranian army, who needed a more capable tank than the Chieftain to suit their climatic and geographical conditions. However once the revolution occurred in 1979 the British army was reluctantly forced to accept this new design themselves. Once in service there were technical problems resulting in various modifications. However, the Challenger would go on to great success in the Gulf War, playing crucial roles in both Desert Storm and Desert Sabre operations. Simon Dunstan examines this tank, evaluating its performance both on the test range and in the field of battle. The Challenger's improvements and its different variations are examined, and much technical data is supplied. Great detail is given on both the Challenger's strengths and its shortcomings, in particular both the development and success of Chobham armour are looked at as are the problems with the fire control system, and some comparison is made with the other leading battle tanks. Dunstan analyses the tank's poor performance at CAT '87 and its subsequent success during Operation Desert Sabre, with the resulting conclusion that, in the words of Brig. Patrick Cordingley DSO, Commander 7th Armoured Brigade, 'Challenger is a tank built for war and not competitions.'. Illustrations by Peter Sarson.

    Contents
  • Design and Development v Challenger Technical Description
  • Canadian Army Trophy 1987
  • Challenger to Challenger 2
  • The Gulf War - Operation Desert Sabre

 

Osprey New Vanguard


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