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Challenger 2 Speeds, Armour and penetration.

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Guest Killjoy

Am I the only one who thinks the Challenger 2 is way underpowered than it should be?

I mean, it cant even keep up with some PCs in game and the armour strength is...well...abit lower than expected :\

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I think its slow and very weak compared to what I was taught in the military. From what I understand it was suppose to be on par with the top tanks in the world and on here its to weak to take on t-80 or anything better

That's funny, I wasn't taught a thing about the Challenger 2 in 10 years in the military. You guys were studying the wrong army. ;)

To answer the question though, just search for "Challenger 2" on the forum and you will find plenty of information on that topic. To make a long story short, there is reason why the British military is so secretive about it, and IMO, it isn't because they are worried about someone stealing some sort of awesome technology, they are protecting its flaws. SB, through some helpful information and educated assumptions from tankers, seemingly exposes those flaws (and strengths).

Am I the only one who thinks the Challenger 2 is way underpowered than it should be?

Really the only glaring issue with everyone seems to be the ammunition, but as Ssnake said, it is the best information we have available. Until the MoD or someone on the "inside" can give us better info, then the current estimates are as good as everything else.

...I understand this is a coordinate jab though.

I mean, it cant even keep up with some PCs in game and the armour strength is...well...abit lower than expected :\
Well, the Challenger 2 is one of the best protected tanks in SB - so I am not sure what more you are expecting. Sure there is the (realistic) Achilles heel driver's hatch area, but that is just a piss poor tank design decision. Why they didn't have the front slope continuous and have a hatch/vision block for the driver like all other tanks, who knows. As it stands, they put a thinly armored right angled shot trap there which just begs to be shot. It is a baffling decision to say the least :confused:, but it is not like the M1 doesn't have its own design flaws either (the turret ring shot trap for example) and the Leo2 (the exploding hull ammo and very short side skirts).

Anyway, make sure your Russian tanks are not using the "Refleks B" missile (1300 RHA I think). It is accidentally the default missile load on some Russian tanks, and this is probably making the Challenger 2 seem weaker (the Refleks B is tandem warhead which should only be used against enemy vehicles that have ERA on them, otherwise until ERA/Tandem warheads are improved in SB, there is a huge imbalance).

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  1. No vehicle in SB Pro is invulnerable.
  2. The terminal ballistic model in SB Pro, while good, does not claim to reveal "the truth". It is an approximation, based on publicly available information and "educated guesses". As such there may be substantial deviations in some cases just as well as surprisingly good results in other cases.
    Those who know if our model is good must not say (if they bothered to look at it, that is). Those who claim that our model "obviously" is seriously flawed probably have no clue (exceptions are possible).
  3. The terminal ballistic performance of ammunition in SB Pro is "reasonable", but like every model it has a number of simplifications which make it unsuitable for accurate performance predictions.
  4. Steel Beasts does not predict the outcome of future battles.
  5. Steel Beasts is intended as a training tool for tactical decision-making under (stressful) real-time conditions (and uncertainty), and for basic maneuver and crew combat procedures.
  6. When setting up a scenario to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a particular vehicle within the limitations of SB Pro because you happen to have no better tool available (I admit that the temptation to do so is always there); in this case one must clearly understand these modeling limitations.
    If round X is capable to occasionally defeat target Y at range Z
    - it may be that in reality it would consistently fail to do so, or
    - it might consistently defeat the target
    - or it might actually be correct, but still have too high or too low likelihoods for component damages

I would love to be more specific, but seriously: Just because SB Pro is usually "plausible" in its results, and just because we try to be as accurate as we can and other games are obviously playing in Fantasy League, it doesn't mean that our model would pass muster in a formal verification and validation for quantitative statistical analysis of virtual combat results as a predictor for reality.

To put it in other words: While other games have the accuracy if predicting combat results similar to rounding "Pi" to "four" and SB Pro might be the equivalent of saying "no, it's three" - the margin of error may be smaller, but it's still there, and the result of calculating the volume of a sphere as 4xr³ is just as wrong as 5.333xr³ (it's 4.18879....xr³). The error is just more subtle. But even a subtle error, when applied to a "live or die" type of question can be 100% wrong. ;)

Ugh. I hope this doesn't appear as a confused rant. I'm just asking for caution, and no over-interpretation of the results that SB Pro produces.

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...and the armour strength is...well...abit lower than expected :\
Well, the Challenger 2 is one of the best protected tanks in SB - so I am not sure what more you are expecting.

I played LtGeorge's "Desert Fox 1990" scenario and was hammering away at some dug in Challengers with my Leo 2A4s. I used half my ammo to no effect when I decided to move around to a flanking position and only then was I able to force the enemy out of his prepared position to get a shot at the driver's hatch. He was returning the favors the whole time. So, I think position is crucial here.

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I dont know when you served but when we went to war there was also british tanks along with others and if we were going to be near them they discussed there strengths so that if they were needed we new there capabilities. But we did study our own military but if the tank is considered one of the best in the world why cant it kill anything above a t-72. And the tank is slow compared to reality the tank ranges for 37 to 42 mph so not much slower than my beloved abrams.

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Guest Killjoy

Let me put it this way:

6WFA_neoW8M

Now, that's public knowledge and I dont see any of that on the in game Challenger.

I'm not trying to start a full on fight in here, I just dont like seeing the Best of British treated like second rate.

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I dont know when you served but when we went to war there was also british tanks along with others and if we were going to be near them they discussed there strengths so that if they were needed we new there capabilities. But we did study our own military but if the tank is considered one of the best in the world why cant it kill anything above a t-72. And the tank is slow compared to reality the tank ranges for 37 to 42 mph so not much slower than my beloved abrams.

Well, what can I say? If you have an issue with the top speed, weight, and power to weight ratio of the Challenger 2 in SB (the variables that determine its speed) then take it up with Jane's, all vehicle info in this regard comes from them. The irony is, that all the values specified in that video are identical to those in SB. We have to keep in mind that "top speed" is the speed of a vehicle on a flat surface. Put the Challenger 2 on a road and I have no doubt that you will obtain the speed that everyone expects (37 mph).

I am confused exactly what the video proves is incorrect in SB, other than the phrase that "it is one of the best tanks in the world".

Edited by Volcano
typos

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Without doubt the Challenger is "one of the best". That doesn't mean it is "the" best (and by which criteria you would determine "the" best, anyway). "One of the best" doesn't say anything about the metrics that were used to determine the top group. In fact, it's rather meaningless. It is just a nice way to say that "obviously it's no shoddy piece of dirt and you can't prove me wrong on that statement". "One of the best" is something that you can probably say about any tank that was designed after 1975 without raising an eyebrow; even the T-90, a souped-up T-72, would belong to that group.

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Guest Killjoy

The point is that the Challenger in this simulation is nothing like the Challenger in reality.

Isnt that the point of a Simulation? To be as close to reality as possible?

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The Challenger is one of the best tanks in the world.

I watched a program about its performance.

A tank from the Scott's guard took a least ten Hits from RPG.s in GW2.

It lost its tracks and sights.but was recovered and repaired.as for the ammo.

With out MOD Clarence we will never know.i did read somewhere that they managed to combine the American silver bullet with a British powder charge in GW1 i will look for the Article.if the MOD had any sense they would contract Esim to model the vehicle and may be Even the warrior.but its unlikely the British army seems to accepted the immanent demise Of the heavy tank.and seems to be concentrating there resources on updating the Warrior.and wheeled APC.s

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I wouldn't base my views on a tank on videos such as that. I like the Chally 2 in game, it is a fun tank to play with. But it has a bit of a glass jaw and doesn't punch too hard. But for what it is designed to go up against it is pretty decent, and if you are going up against the type of equipment that the Iraqis had it is like the hand of God.

That said with accuracy of the main gun I have had some difficulty with it, occasionally a shell goes well short, I'm probably doing something wrong though. The placement of the TI sight is mind boggling to say the least and makes for challenging shooting.

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Documentaries on the discovery channel and military channel, while entertaining, are not great sources of reliable material....

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Guest Killjoy
But it has a bit of a glass jaw and doesn't punch too hard.

That said with accuracy of the main gun I have had some difficulty with it, occasionally a shell goes well short, I'm probably doing something wrong though. The placement of the TI sight is mind boggling to say the least and makes for challenging shooting.

Exactly.

Also, a Challenger currently holds the record for the longest ever tank to tank kill at 5200 meters. Now, this being a sim, why did I just bounce 4 Sabot rounds off of a T72 at 2000 meters?

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Let me put it this way:

YouTube

Now, that's public knowledge and I dont see any of that on the in game Challenger.

Okay, so let's have a look at the factual statements in that video:

  1. It topped it out against Saddam Hussein's huge armored fleet in the Gulf war.
    Well, fine - most of that were MTLBs, BTRs, BMP-1s, T-55, and only in the case of the Republican Guards also T-72M and T-72M1s. Many of the tanks sent to the front line in Kuweit were loaded with training ammunition. Where actual war ammo was issued, it were mostly obsolete rounds lime BM-15 or older, and HEAT rounds of similar vintage.
    Please set up a scenario in SB Pro with T-55s and T-72s with old ammo, and put them into static defense and dug-in emplacements. Then roll in the Challenger and come back and tell me with a straight face that in SB Pro it wasn't a turkey shoot.
  2. [in 2003] it again proved itself nearly indestructible
    The 2003 Challengers were equipped with reactive armor, which our model in SB Pro currently doesn't have. That alone will render pretty much all RPGs useless.
    One can assume that most insurgents in Iraq were equipped with old RPG-7 (in SB Pro we still don't have that, only the much more powerful RPG-7L; an acceptable stand-in would be the German "lePzF" with similar performance). Try this against the Challenger even as it is, and I'm sure you will report that it survived most of its attacks. With reactive armor, the vulnerability would indeed drop to near zero, and it stands to reason that the Chally as it is offers a similar or better degree of protection as other first line tanks, e.g. Abrams or Leo 2.
  3. "I spoke to a gunner from the Scot's Dragoons and he thought it was the best tank he'd ever been in" says Defence Analyst Paul Beaver.
    (Later repeated in different words of essentially the same quality by Military Historian Aryeh Nusbacher, another ... expert)
    Wow. Now I'm convinced.
    In how many tanks other than a Challenger 2 has that unnamed gunner ever been, received in-depth training, and been briefed about their armor protection and terminal ballistic performance?
    Likely answer: None. Even if he has been "inside" some other tank, gunners never get briefed about the armor package (or only in the most cursory manner: "this government-issued piece of equipment is the best" (omitting the closure that you will ever get.) ;)
    Tank crews know shit about their vehicles (I've been one, I must know) - except, of course, how to work with the equipment.
    Armor thickness? Classified - keep that measure tape at home, son.
    Armor materials? Classified - don't even ask.
    Results of test firings? Classified - but trust us, this is the best kit in the world.
    Ammo performance? Classified.
    Power output of stabilization system? Classified.
    Taking pictures? Forbidden.
    Crypto module on radio set? Classified - forget that you even asked.
    This isn't an attempted sleigh at the British Army. They all are like this. And of course every tank crew member that you will ever happen to ask will be proud of being in the best tank of the world (because it's mine!) - unless they happen to know that it's a hopeless case (but even then they won't admit that to an outsider).
  4. "That vehicle claimed to hit at 5200m"
    No shit, Watson.
    Sure it's possible to hit targets at that range. To reliably hit and kill at that range is an entirely different matter. That doesn't take away any of the credit of that tank, or its crew, but the fact that this one episode gets quoted again and again indicates that it was a rather unusual stunt. Maybe a dozen other crews tried and failed?
    If so, they won't tell the story, and their story won't be told by others. But the one time that it worked is the case that will be famous.
    Be it as it may be, you too can try it out in Steel Beasts Pro PE 2.640. Line up a couple of T-55s at that range and see if you can hit them. I bet you will. So again, SB Pro confirms reality.
  5. "The latest model Challenger can attack a moving target the size of a football three miles away"
    I can "attack" an ant at that range. :debile2:
    More seriously though, what's the longest diameter of a football, about 71cm? Three miles, that's 5370 yards, or 4828 meters. In other words, a target .14 mil in diameter. Which happens to be about one standarddeviation of the ammunition dispersion ... radius. That's not untypical quality journalism. They can't do math and have no clue about statistics.
    I'm not saying that they were deliberately false reporting here, but the figures got mangled nevertheless. Anyway, even if a crew could make out a target that small without help, no matter how good they are they could hit it in only 30% of all cases, assuming that the ball was moving in a predictable speed and that there was absolutely no aiming error and that the range to target was known with high accuracy (all of which would be unlikely in reality).
    Again, don't get me wrong: A dispersion SD radius of .14 mil is about as good as it gets (though other tanks are similar in their capability) even if the given example is ludicrous if taken at face value.
  6. The crew can fire at three different targets in just fifteen seconds.
    In other words, 7.5 seconds loading time. So can do you in a Challenger in SB Pro - it conforms to reality.
    ...and you can do it also in the Abrams, or the Leopard. The Challenger is no worse than other "top of the line" tanks, and above all, SB Pro doesn't let it appear worse than what the claims are in this video.
  7. "I believe the Challenger is the best MBT in the world" ... because the Americans lost a handful of Abrams tanks and the British lost none
    It's a valid metric, though maybe a bit narrow, and certainly not from a controlled experiment.
    The Abrams tanks may have been confronted with different attack types, (different weapons, different attack angles, a lot more incidents in total, ...) but essentially we've been through this above when I suggested using the lePzF against the Challenger in SB Pro. I predict a low success rate which will be further reduced once that we add a Challenger with ERA to our virtual vehicle park.
  8. "This durability is thanks to Challenger's top secret, high-tech armor that protects the crew even from high explosive shells"
    That statement, taken at face value, is another example of "quality journalism".
    High Explosive shells happen to be the weakest threat against armor. They probably meant to say "High Explosive Anti Tank", and they probably want to hint at the combination of explosive reactive armor combined with Dorchester armor.
    There's nothing in Steel Beasts that suggests that this would not be a reliable form of protection. Unfortunately you can't apply it everywhere. The driver still needs to see the street, hatches can't be made so thick that they can't be operated by the crew, and you can't apply the thickest armor everywhere. So it is only natural that if you fire against it often enough in simulated battle, some weak spots may eventually be revealed.
    Like I wrote before, no tank in SB Pro is invulnerable. Some are more vulnerable than others, but in the end we're talking about trade-offs in engineering, not absolutes.
  9. "The rifled 120mm gun is a record breaker"
    If reduced to this specific context, it is.
    But tanks have been used in the 1964...1967 Israeli-Syrian "Water War" in ranges of up to 10,400m against bulldozers (with the help of indirect fire/artillery observers). Arguably these are the longest range tank engagements known.
    Note that the video doesn't speak about terminal ballistic performance (because it's classified).

I'm not trying to start a full on fight in here, I just dont like seeing the Best of British treated like second rate.

Neither do I want to come across as confrontational. It's just that I have heard not a single statement in the video that directly contradicts what Steel Beasts Pro shows. We are agnostic about any combat vehicle that we model in our software. We try to be as diligent and careful in our modeling as the available information allows us to be. The Challenger proved to be a tougher nut not because it is such an exceptional vehicle but simply because it's difficult to make sense of the scarce (and occasionally conflicting) information that is publicly available.

Is our model free of errors? Hell, no!

Can we make it better? We will gladly welcome any feedback that is based on verifiable facts ... or at least high plausibility. Until then I don't think that we have to hide in shame. I'd like to see anyone doing a better job under similar circumstances.

:)

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The point is that the Challenger in this simulation is nothing like the Challenger in reality.

Isnt that the point of a Simulation? To be as close to reality as possible?

That's a rather sweeping statement. Define exactly what is "Nothing like reality".

Also, a Challenger currently holds the record for the longest ever tank to tank kill at 5200 meters. Now, this being a sim, why did I just bounce 4 Sabot rounds off of a T72 at 2000 meters?
I've seen a lot of quotes of that but nothing of the facts. What was the target?. What was the elevation difference. What ammo type was used. How many rounds were fired and missed or failed to penetrate.

At 5000+ meters the round is following a very high arc. Maybe the round dropped in on the roof or a flat surface. Its very different than nearly flat shots at 2000m. Also what type of T-72 and where were you hitting it?.

Just my opinion the people in the video are so called experts and they rate the challys fire power off the charts.

So called experts on a sensationalized POS TV show!. And fire power compared to what?. Iraqi T-55's or T-55 enigma. The Iraqi's certainly didn't have T-72B's or T-80's etc.

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Exactly.

Also, a Challenger currently holds the record for the longest ever tank to tank kill at 5200 meters. Now, this being a sim, why did I just bounce 4 Sabot rounds off of a T72 at 2000 meters?

About the 5.2k kill, all you need is some superelevation and lots of ammo. IIRC the actual Gulf War kill was on a T-62.

56e83cb188307_gunnerytest3lr_010712THOMA

gunnery test3lr _010712THOMAS-PC1830.rar

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Just my opinion the people in the video are so called experts and they rate the challys fire power off the charts. So why on this sim does a leo as1 have better ammo than the newest british ammo.:confused:

If you have some data to share with us please do, other wise what we see on you tube or TV is just speculation.:frown:

Give us the data...:eek2:

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Firstly, it is a waste of time debating that video.

Secondly, what I find funny about this thread, subject, video, arguments, is that not a shred of evidence has been provided to contradict what is currently in place in SB. The ammunition power is debatable, but there is the undeniable fact that the British themselves attempted to fit the gun from the M1A1/Leo2 into the Challenger 2 recently, and I doubt it was because they wanted to stream line the ammunition manufacturing costs. Anyway, we have said it several times already; we actually WANT better data; we welcome it with open arms, yet there hasn't been any substantial submissions as of yet. All the vehicles in SB have the same level of detail, research and professional opinion. For some reason, all the vehicles in SB are good, but the Challenger 2 is apparently way under armored, way under powered and way too slow. So, we have a very vague entertainment show, backed up with more vague words of "defense analysts" and this apparently means that we should ditch all of our data, research and professional opinions and instead add 20% to the frontal armor, double the penetration of the ammo, increase the speed by 2x, etc?

The sad fact is, we have information from without and within on the Challenger 2. The amount of research that was put into Challenger 2 in SB would sure blow the typical person's mind. We make the same level of detail with it as all the other vehicles in SB, and I guarantee that anyone who has used the Challenger 2 in SB and read the SBwiki page about it knows more about that tank than the average defense analyst. You can assume that, just like all the other vehicles in SB, the Challenger 2 is as close to reality as it can get at this point. What we really require is the scientist on the inside at this point, no tanker, video or book can provide more information that we have already gathered.

I wouldn't base my views on a tank on videos such as that. I like the Chally 2 in game, it is a fun tank to play with. But it has a bit of a glass jaw and doesn't punch too hard. But for what it is designed to go up against it is pretty decent, and if you are going up against the type of equipment that the Iraqis had it is like the hand of God.

Exactly. The tank was not designed to oppose other western tanks, it was designed during the Cold War after all. Of course it is reaching on the gun side of things against the T-80U and T-72B, but those tanks were not in large numbers in the WP at the time. But this has been said so many times before. The problem here however, is that the ones doing the complaining are looking at it from a Challenger 2 versus M1A1/A2 - Leopard 2 perspective and they are possibly facing those tanks off head to head. This is NOT what the Challenger 2 was designed for, but still, if you give the M1A1/Leo2A4 M829/DM33 ammo then I don't see how you cannot make the match work well enough.

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And what experience do you have 12Alfa just wondering:confused:

Experience in what?

Be precise and I'll gladly respond the best I can.

Thanks

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Am I the only one who thinks the Challenger 2 is way underpowered than it should be?

I mean, it cant even keep up with some PCs in game ...

Well even your later supporting "video evidence" talks about it being marked down due to its power to weight ratio.

But pretty much in line with the UK's post Second World War preference for protection and gun at the cost of mobility (refer Centurion, Conqueror, Chieftan, ...)

Also, a Challenger currently holds the record for the longest ever tank to tank kill at 5200 meters. Now, this being a sim, why did I just bounce 4 Sabot rounds off of a T72 at 2000 meters?

So did you try HESH (the nature that accounted for the kill at 5,200) instead of "fin"?

In addition, IIRC, that hit was on T-55 or T-62, not T-72.

Edited by Gibsonm

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