Jump to content
silent-one

Challenger 2 any good?

Recommended Posts

Guest Killjoy
As in patrolling with unarmoured 'Snatch Landrovers' in Afghanistan resulting in the unnecessary loss of so many lives? :(

They were Armour plated.

When we set out in Iraq, some of them were left overs from Operation Banner in Northern Ireland, and they had all been proofed to deal with most small arms.

Edited by Killjoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snatch was just 1 tool available in the box. It wasn't the only vehicle available. Was it adequate at the beginning of Telic once the war fighting had finished? Of course it was. It was up to the job in many areas of Iraq. When the threat began to rise other vehicles were available. By Telic 10, we wouldn't have a jolly into Basra in anything less than a Warrior and CR2 with the occasional Mastiff when they started to become available.

Its all about choosing the right vehicle for the environment and threat level. Unfortunately people were killed in Snatch. But the same can be said for Warriors, Bulldogs and a whole host of other vehicles.

My last tour in Helmand, the previous BG had requested patrolling in berets! Our area had become that benign. Snatch again could probably have been utilised again, but the stigma remains, plus we do have better vehicles, although much larger and couldn't get where a Snatch or jackal could go. But that's why we have feet!

Reference the Dog clutch, its other name is the grip switch, although you find references to the dog clutch in the AESP, I think its more of a hang over from days gone by.

And poo to all you none believers! I wouldn't swap my tank for any other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snatch was just 1 tool available in the box...Unfortunately people were killed in Snatch...Snatch could probably have been utilised again, but the stigma remains...couldn't get where a Snatch or jackal could go. But that's why we have feet!

Uh...heh heh...:biggrin:

...sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snatch was just 1 tool available in the box. It wasn't the only vehicle available. Was it adequate at the beginning of Telic once the war fighting had finished? Of course it was. It was up to the job in many areas of Iraq. When the threat began to rise other vehicles were available. By Telic 10, we wouldn't have a jolly into Basra in anything less than a Warrior and CR2 with the occasional Mastiff when they started to become available.

Its all about choosing the right vehicle for the environment and threat level. Unfortunately people were killed in Snatch. But the same can be said for Warriors, Bulldogs and a whole host of other vehicles.

My last tour in Helmand, the previous BG had requested patrolling in berets! Our area had become that benign. Snatch again could probably have been utilised again, but the stigma remains, plus we do have better vehicles, although much larger and couldn't get where a Snatch or jackal could go. But that's why we have feet!

Reference the Dog clutch, its other name is the grip switch, although you find references to the dog clutch in the AESP, I think its more of a hang over from days gone by.

And poo to all you none believers! I wouldn't swap my tank for any other.

If they keep cutting them up at Ashchurch, you might well have to. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Killjoy
If they keep cutting them up at Ashchurch, you might well have to. :(

Ah! Don't say that! I didn't read that! Ah! )x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So right. Two of my RAF colleagues in the 1970s were very bright, dynamic young men, one of whom was the youngest officer ever to be promoted to Squadron Leader (Major). They both went off to the MOD as bright young bunnies and came back as cautious, totally institutionalised bores. Any indications of rebellion or initiative had been beaten out of them. I think the MOD gets hold of people like this and tells them, 'Look, you could make it to the very top if you play your cards right - which means never, ever rocking the boat, always supporting the establishment, and doing exactly what you're told'.

One reached Air Marshall rank. The other left the service shortly after his MOD tour.

The "Boyd" biography by Robert Coram mentions a conversation culminating in the statement that at some point in everybody's life a decision must be made whether one wants to be someone or to do something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies for the thread necromancy, but this seemed like the best place for the following....

So, at the TGIF this past Friday, I crewed two different CR2's. Both took initial hits (both flank shots, IIRC) which killed 3 out of four crewmen, without damaging anything else. This got me thinking as to whether the CR2 (at least as modeled in SB) has crew protection features inferior to that of its western contemporaries. That, in turn, led me to thinking about the fact that, in Operation Variable 4, the CR2 has a replacement value of only half of the Leo2A5/M1A2(SEP), which was a surprised to me.

This mutated into a test mission the next day pitting the CR2 against a variety of contemporary MBTs in one-versus-one stationary, frontal engagements at 2,000 meters on completely flat ground, during daylight and good visibility. In other words, a crude test of firepower and protection. Here are the results of 30 trials each against the Leo2A5, Leo2A5A2-DK, Leo2E, M1A2(SEP), T-80U, and T-72B, carrying the indicated KE round. (Note that the T-90A was unusable in light of an apparent bug rendering it unable to hit ANYTHING in the mission. I will post in the support forum). The results are expressed as the percentage of kills achieved by the CR2 against its (single) opponent, followed by the percentage of kills achieved by the opponent against the CR2. Note that these two percentages usually sum >100% because simultaneous kills occurred with some frequency. Note also that I did not perform BDA on surviving vehicles to determine how badly the winner was damaged. (Hey---I'm doing this for free:c:). In all cases, the CR2 is armed with CHARM3:

vs. Leo2A5 (DM33): 46.7% || 56.7%

vs. Leo2A5 (DM53): 26.7% || 83.3%

vs. Leo2A5A2-DK (DM53): 13.3% || 93.3%

vs. Leo2E (CL3143): 26.7% || 86.7%

vs. M1A2(SEP) (M829A3): 10.0% || 93.3%

vs. T-72B (BM42): 93.3% || 16.7%

vs. T-80U (BM42): 66.7 || 40%

Thus, for example, in a 1v1 engagement with a Leo2A5 (DM33), CR2 killed the Leo in 46.7% of the engagements, and the Leo killed the CR2 56.7%. The excess of the sum of the two figures over 100% is the fraction of mutual kills (or something like that; the math hurts my brain).

The results were eye-opening, to say the least. The CR2 was completely overmatched by the other modern western MBTs using up-to-date KE rounds (i.e., except for Leo2A5 (DM33)). As a sanity check, I also tested the M1A2(SEP) against the same array of vehicles:

vs. Leo2A5 (DM33): 100.0% || 12.5%

vs. Leo2A5 (DM53): 79.2% || 50%

vs. Leo2A5A2-DK (DM53): 91.7% || 54.2%

vs. Leo2E (CL3143)P: 91.7% || 50.0%

vs. T-72B (BK42): 100% || 0.0%

vs. T-80U (BK42): 100% || 0.0%

(Notably, I had originally designed the test mission as groups of 10 vehicles engaging each other, rather than discrete 1v1 engagements, and the results were even more lopsided due to "Lanchester" effects.)

Obviously, the test is an artificial one and the results probably don't translate directly to a more tactical situation. For one thing, because the terrain was absolutely flat (the default terrain in the mission editor), vehicles were completely exposed. In a real engagement, the CR2 can find a hull down position, shielding the weak armor around the driver's hatch and leaving only the very heavily-armored turret exposed. Also, all shots in the test mission were frontal. In battle, the CR2 will achieve at least some flank or rear shots; while CHARM3 has trouble penetrating frontal armor relative to other modern rounds, it will achieve overkill against MBT side armor, negating any penetration advantage the M829A3, et al. hold vis-a-vis frontal shots. This change in the total "mix" of armor strikes will accordingly reduce the kill disparity.

Anyway, I hope this offers some food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MDF, you might notice that most frontal CR2 kills result from a hit at a certain weak spot in the armour model.

Unfortunately this spot is right a center-mass, so it is exactly where the enemy aim-point lies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Note that the T-90A was unusable in light of an apparent bug rendering it unable to hit ANYTHING in the mission. I will post in the support forum).

Yes, don't forget to post this please. I went looking for it but couldn't find the post. ;)

And regarding the CR2, yes, if only they would develop some add on wedge module that covers up the driver's spot. Of course the driver wouldn't be able to open his hatch any more (it would be sealed up) but he can crawl out through the turret like other tanks. The hatch and vision port was just badly designed. A nice approach would have been to slope the whole front there, and just have a periscope mounted on that spot, like the M1, rather than the 90 degree flat side. Then a hatch would be like the M1's driver hatch, it raises up, then rotates downward. The M1's driver's hatch is a marvel of modern MBT design IMO.

Perhaps the MoD doesn't really know how vulnerable that spot is against modern MBTs until they buy Steel Beasts for training. ;)

But really, as you can see by your experiment, the CR2 was designed to destroy T-72s, which it is pretty good at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how much one could, or should read out of this test. How many test runs did you actually use in order to derive the figures, you might actually want to shoot each pair at least 30...50 times for the numbers to consolidate, and it will in the end boil down to a question of how much vulnerable area each tank's silhouette shows frontally. The test also doesn't say much about how many rounds were needed to actually kill the opponent, or how the numbers change with different ranges and shooting from different angles.

If for example in 50% of all your tests the Challenger was destroyed, but it took on average eight hits or so, in reality that means that the crew would have ample warning and time to react to the threat by breaking the line of sight. In other words, it would actually be pretty safe. If the kills usually occur with the first shot - well, that'd paint a much different picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It suprises me that the Challenger 2 is being consider the best protected main battle tank in NATO or even the world by many. The weak front hull and fairly large centermass weak zone is a serious design flaw. The Challenger 1 (and 2) hull design is based on a 1974 design originally ment for the Iranian Shir 2 tank, also known as FV4030/3 in British circles. I guess the British just went the short route and didnt bother to design a more appropriate front hull armor profile.

The Abrams hull design is ok, particularly the lower glacis "beak" is a pretty neat design feature. What i do not like is the exposed turret ring.

The front hull design I like the most is probaly the Leclercs. A large composite block in the center glacis with a very thick upper glacis. The right-center driver hatch/driver position is hidden and recessed in the upper hull front and level to the horizon. I find this upper glacis setup superior to the one featured on the Abrams. In Abrams tanks I have been hit in the driver area multiple times before. In off center driver hatch tanks like the Leopard 2 i rarely had this problem.

Maybe the best front hull design would be a mix of the Leclec upper glacis and Abrams lower glacis beak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MDF, you might notice that most frontal CR2 kills result from a hit at a certain weak spot in the armour model.

Unfortunately this spot is right a center-mass, so it is exactly where the enemy aim-point lies.

Yes, this is definitely part of the problem. The few times I checked the AAR video after the mission, it was clear that the AI always achieves center-mass hits, the only variation in point of impact being due to in-flight round dispersion. In other words, AI gunners' aim is perfect, at least in stationary engagements against stationary targets on flat terrain. (I should clarify that I have the "Difficulty" setting at medium, and "Realism" at high.) Clearly, this is unrealistic. I know that when I am gunning (and especially in the T-72, where the gunner's optic does not have a high magnification) a 2,000m target is far too small to allow me to reliably aim at the exact center of the target. And even if it were possible given enough time, you don't have that extra time in combat.

And, unfortunately for the CR2, the driver's hatch is within the center mass area that the AI is so good at hitting. So, that probably explains some of the kill disparities in my test results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The impression I have is that the CR2 when facing modern armor is like a T-72, and that you have to fight with it like a T-72. In some ways the T-72 is superior, particularly in terms of the power of the main gun. But the CR2, as with the T-72, if you have nothing better and are facing it, it is like the finger of God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way the uparmored Challenger 2 TES weighs 74,48 metric tons according to the Tankograd Challenger 2 book.

The Challenger 2 featured in SB should actually be technically called "Challenger 2 with Dorchester Level 2E" (addon armor) and it should weigh 64,95 metric tons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, don't forget to post this please. I went looking for it but couldn't find the post. ;)

I'll do some more investigation after work today, and post my findings. based on what I saw, the T-90 was engaging (both with KE and ATGM). The KE was falling well short. Couldn't quite tell what was happening with the ATGM.

But really, as you can see by your experiment, the CR2 was designed to destroy T-72s, which it is pretty good at.

This was my first thought. Unfortunately, the CR2 does not have the same overmatch against the T-80U.

Moreover, after my post last night, I ran a number of 1 x CR2 v 3 x T-72/80 engagements, which is likely an improvement in realism given the Pact's numerical superiority. The outcomes were much less favorable for the CR2 (although I did not run 30 engagements, so perhaps the results are less reliable). The CR2 achieved only a 19:13 exchange rate vs 3 x T-72 (that is, 19 T-72s killed, for the loss of 13 CR2s). That dropped to 9:15 against 3 x T-80. :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure how much one could, or should read out of this test. How many test runs did you actually use in order to derive the figures, you might actually want to shoot each pair at least 30...50 times for the numbers to consolidate, and it will in the end boil down to a question of how much vulnerable area each tank's silhouette shows frontally. The test also doesn't say much about how many rounds were needed to actually kill the opponent, or how the numbers change with different ranges and shooting from different angles.

If for example in 50% of all your tests the Challenger was destroyed, but it took on average eight hits or so, in reality that means that the crew would have ample warning and time to react to the threat by breaking the line of sight. In other words, it would actually be pretty safe. If the kills usually occur with the first shot - well, that'd paint a much different picture.

The mission is structured as follows. A CR2 sits on the 19 Northing facing due south. 2,000 meters to its (more or less) direct south, an adversary vehicle faces due north. There are two identical pairings approximately 6,500m and 13,000m, respectively, to the east. Thus, there are three 1v1 engagements per mission. The pairs are sufficiently distant from each other that no cross-engagement occurs. I ran the mission ten times for each CR2 v. X pairing, for a total of 30 1v1 engagements for each pairing.

I actually did record the time of each mission. The median time to complete the missions was:

vs. Leo2A5 (DM33): 44.5 secs

vs. Leo2A5 (DM53): 20 secs

vs. Leo2A5A2-DK (DM53): 23 secs

vs. Leo2E (CL3143): 18 secs

vs. M1A2(SEP) (M829A3): 19 secs

vs. T-72B (BM42): 22.5 secs

vs. T-80U (BM42): 32.5 secs

I give the median, not mean, time because in a number of engagements, vehicles popped multispectral smoke, and the two antagonists sat there for several minutes until the smoke dissipated. These outlier mission times skewed the mean too much.

Note that this was the time required for all three 1v1 engagements in the mission to be resolved (one or both tanks in the engagement killed). So, many of the 1v1 engagements in a given mission run were resolved prior to the indicated time.

The minimum time between mission start and impact of the first round on a tank was 12 secs. You can determine from the M1A2 and Leo2E times that first-round kills were the norm in those pairings, but they were also common in the others.

You're absolutely correct, however, in observing that combat situations will introduce many other variables greatly reducing these kill rates. I would have created a more tactically-realistic test -- for example, using real, not perfectly flat, open terrain, with vehicles moving on a variety of routes against a variety of moving and stationary opponents -- but the required time to conduct a sufficient number of such mission runs would be far greater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, no, one main flaw here is that any competent CR2 crew would always be in a hull down defensive position in a situation where it was fighting at 3:1 odds. Place your CR2 in a nice BP and your T-72 and T-80s in the open and you will have a more plausible result - this is what the tank was designed for. If both sides are in the open then it implies there is no defender and that doesn't make a lot of sense really (because no sane commander would execute a meeting engagement at 3:1 odds).

But yes, in a tactical situation with minefields, artillery, infantry, terrain, visibility, movement, surprise all factored in then these results aren't really useful anyway, and it always comes down to the situation and how any of these tanks are used. Just saying that any kill % evaluation should be taken with a ton of salt. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... (because no sane commander would execute a meeting engagement at 3:1 odds).

...

Well, I would :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attached is a simple firing range I tossed together for you, MDF. It has lots of separate firing lanes, all with berms to allow vehicles to remain hull down while firing.

The test_range.hgt file goes into C:\ProgramData\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\maps\height

The test_range.ter file goes into C:\ProgramData\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\maps\terrain

test_range_zip.8a057ebb6858510b11ec9112f

test_range.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're very focussed on the centre mass vulnerability of the Challenger's driver's station here, which is indeed a problem, but I would say these results are as influenced by the inadequate penetrative power of the CHARM3 round. This is really only equivalent to late 105 mm round and certainly left behind by modern 120 mm and 125 mm smoothbore APFSDS rounds. With CHARM3 it's difficult to achieve a first round kill in the frontal aspect against any contemporary opponent, unless lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're very focussed on the centre mass vulnerability of the Challenger's driver's station here, which is indeed a problem, but I would say these results are as influenced by the inadequate penetrative power of the CHARM3 round. This is really only equivalent to late 105 mm round and certainly left behind by modern 120 mm and 125 mm smoothbore APFSDS rounds. With CHARM3 it's difficult to achieve a first round kill in the frontal aspect against any contemporary opponent, unless lucky.

Well arguably you shouldn't be shooting at his glacis plate.

Ideally you have used your mobility to approach him from a flank. :)

But more generally the CR2 isn't perfect, no MBT is. You just need to maximise its advantages and minimise its vulnerabilities.

So the CR2 has a "poorly" designed driver's hatch, try wherever possible to be hull down and conceal that weakness behind some protective terrain feature.

If you choose to remain static with your vehicle fully exposed and just plink away then you are asking for trouble - and a bunch of people will no doubt help you on your way. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're very focussed on the centre mass vulnerability of the Challenger's driver's station here, which is indeed a problem, but I would say these results are as influenced by the inadequate penetrative power of the CHARM3 round. This is really only equivalent to late 105 mm round and certainly left behind by modern 120 mm and 125 mm smoothbore APFSDS rounds. With CHARM3 it's difficult to achieve a first round kill in the frontal aspect against any contemporary opponent, unless lucky.

In a more tactically-realistic test, I would agree with you that the CHARM is the main culprit. In my very simplified test mission, it seems the kill disparity is considerably exacerbated by the AI's preternatural ability to place every single round exactly on the target's center mass, affected only by round dispersion -- and that center mass grouping happens to encompass the CR2 driver's hatch. If that peculiar vulnerability was located in the turret, for example, it would have been irrelevant here because, IIRC, none of the hits I viewed in the AAR occurred on the turret. ALL were glacis or prow hits.

I just ran a mission. Attached are the images showing all four hits on the three CR2s (2 were killed with the first round; the third required two rounds to kill). Notice the shot placement.

56e83cfd79250_Hitno.11-4-Asm.jpg.d89c289

56e83cfd7f85e_Hitno.21-4-Asm.jpg.a34f1a6

56e83cfd88513_Hit2-3-Asm.jpg.e8caca2b3fd

56e83cfd8d38e_Hit2-5-Asm.jpg.38352ddf989

56e83cfd79250_Hitno.11-4-Asm.jpg.d89c289

56e83cfd7f85e_Hitno.21-4-Asm.jpg.a34f1a6

56e83cfd88513_Hit2-3-Asm.jpg.e8caca2b3fd

56e83cfd8d38e_Hit2-5-Asm.jpg.38352ddf989

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Attached is a simple firing range I tossed together for you, MDF. It has lots of separate firing lanes, all with berms to allow vehicles to remain hull down while firing.

The test_range.hgt file goes into C:\ProgramData\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\maps\height

The test_range.ter file goes into C:\ProgramData\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\maps\terrain

That's excellent, thanks! Are those berms/depressions placeable "items" in the map editor, or can you actually deform the heightmap?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Set your difficulty to "Easy" and then check the AAR, I think it might make the AI be less perfect in center of mass weapon placement.

Not sure though, but it seems that way in my case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...