Challenger 2 Commanders Sight Question
As there is not an "off topic" thread here on the forums, i thought i would post my question here.
Now i used to the idea that in Leopard, Abrams, Leclerc etc, in their latest guises have commanders independant thermal viewers. So the turret can be looking one way with the gunner using his thermal sight, while the TC is scanning in another arc, also with TIM. The following is an extract from the frapdo website, a good armour info source.
The commander has a Gyrostabilized site, model VS 580-10, from SFIM Industries of France. The upper unit of the VS 580, containing the Gyrostabilized panoramic sight and electronics, is mounted on the turret roof. A neodinium yttrium aluminium garnet, Nd:YAG, laser rangefinder is incorporated into an intermediate assembly which joins the upper unit to a lower telescope assembly inside the turret. The telescope assembly houses the optical viewing system, hand controls, electronics and the sight stabilization system. The sight provides all round vision without the commander having to move his head. The elevation range is plus or minus 35 degrees. The field of view with x 3.2 magnification optics is 16.5 degrees, and with x 10.5 magnification optics, the field of view is 5 degrees.
A thermal imager, the Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight II, TOGS II, from Pilkington Optronics of Glasgow, UK, provides night vision. The sensor is the UK TICM 2 thermal imager. The imager is mounted inside an armoured barbette above the gun. An on-board compressor and gas bottle pack provide cooling for the imager. Symbols are overlaid on the thermal image to show the aiming marks and system status data. The thermal image, with magnification x 4 and x 11.5 is displayed in the gunner's and commander's sights. The thermal image is also displayed on relaxed-viewing monitors in the commander's and gunner's stations.
The gunner has a stabilized Gunner's Primary Sight, GPS, from Pilkington Optronics of Glasgow, UK. The sight consists of a sight body with a visual sighting channel, a head unit with a stabilized aiming mirror, a 4 Hz neodinium yttrium aluminium garnet Nd:YAG laser rangefinder and a display monitor with a monocular eyepiece. The laser rangefinder with wavelength 1.064 microns, operates over the range 200 meters to 10 kilometers. The range accuracy is plus or minus 5 meters and the discrimination is 30 meters The gunner is also equipped with a reversionary mode telescope, model L30, from Nanoquest, mounted coaxially with the main gun.
Now this seems to suggest that in the case of the Challenger 2, the commanders independant sight is a daysight alone, with no TIM capeability, and it is the TOGS II system mounted over the guns manlet that provides the thermal capeability to the gunner and commander on a seperate display. Does this therefore mean in the British Army's version of the Challenger the commander has no indepedant TIM capeability like al other western contemporary TC's?
I believe this was a an addition to the Challenger 2E, but i am sunsure, as sources mix information.
On a final note, does anyone know what that status of fitting Challenger 2 with the L55 Rheinmetal smoothbore is. All info seems to dry up after 2006.