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Challenger II is underpowered


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Honestly, if it were me, I would just add a few other Sabot rounds to the Chally 2's ammo list, perhaps ones with performance equivalent to M829, 829A1, and 829A2 (Give them names like "Future KE1, Future KE2", etc.

State in the manual that those rounds are NOT an accurate representation of existing ammunition and are included solely to allow users to test the Challenger 2 with ammo that performs better than Esim estimates, to simulate potential future improvements, to provide play-balancing in head to head scenarios, and to address user complaints about the "underpowered" (even if accurately modeled) ammunition.

From then on, you can always just say "Hey, look, if you don't think we modeled the L27/L28 correctly, select this option that we gave you and stop complaining about it"

I've done similar stuff in the past. Since we don't have an M900 or M900A1 available for the M1/IPM1, I've used the DM63C PPTFS round as a substitute in scenarios where I wanted a powerful 105mm Sabot round.

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Now I'm American so M1A2 Abrams ├╝ber alles but I find it hard to believe that our British comrades would select a weapon rather insufficient against modern MBTs. HESH is no good against the front of such targets, and the available APFSDS seems rather lacking if these numbers are accurate. As far as I'm aware they don't have a HEAT round available either.

I can understand why the single piece ammunition design would enable the latest 105mm APFSDS to best the two piece ammunition for the 120mm L11A5, but the L30A1 was supposed to be a major improvement resulting from an entire program to select an armament for the UK's future MBT.

I know you guys work only with whatever information you have access to but I do hope the estimates you're given are lower than the actual figures.

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I know you guys work only with whatever information you have access to but I do hope the estimates you're given are lower than the actual figures.

The fact of the matter is that trials were conducted swapping for the Leo 2A6 Rheinmetall smoothbore gun on the Challenger 2 some years ago. This would seem to imply recognition by the UK that the German gun/ tungsten ammunition combination might offer better characteristics than the rifled gun and Charm 3 depleted uranium rounds, there must have been some reason they thought was worthwhile to try it. As far as I know, it's been claimed that the German characteristics were better. There is no data publicly available to dissect, however. By some analogy I might say that although the Russians have developed 125 mm depleted uranium rounds, they don't necessarily outperform their 125 mm tungsten rounds.

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One thing that's often overlooked in these discussions is the role a given tank is expected to fulfill on the battlefield. Unlike the M1 and Leopard, which were expressly designed to kill Russian tanks at typical European combat ranges while conducting a retrograde defense, the Challenger 2, as with all British tanks, is first and foremost intended to support infantry in the assault and defense. Does this mean it isn't a capable tank killer? No, of course not, but killing tanks is secondary. 120mm HESH is great for blowing the bejesus out of most any non-tank target, and you won't find 120mm WP smoke rounds for any smoothbore for good reasons. Honestly, even though I was an M1A2 tanker, if I had to choose a tank to roll into any type of close knife fight and I've got competent crunchies at my back, I'd pick the 'Chally first.

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The Challenger is designed around the L30 2 piece ammunition, both parts of which are shorter than the single part ammo of the Rheinmetall.

Which would need a complete redesign of the interior of the Challenger 2

As Op variable proved the CR2 is not designed to take on M1A2s and Leo 2A6s but upgraded T-80s and T-72s while considering the budget.

I personally see the CR2 as an infantry tank (think turreted assault) gun like the old Churchill, its primary role is to support infantry (HESH, Smoke) with the anti armour capability thrown in.

After all, we have allies and the Apache to deal with tanks. :)

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One thing that's often overlooked in these discussions is the role a given tank is expected to fulfill on the battlefield. Unlike the M1 and Leopard, which were expressly designed to kill Russian tanks at typical European combat ranges while conducting a retrograde defense, the Challenger 2, as with all British tanks, is first and foremost intended to support infantry in the assault and defense. Does this mean it isn't a capable tank killer? No, of course not, but killing tanks is secondary. 120mm HESH is great for blowing the bejesus out of most any non-tank target, and you won't find 120mm WP smoke rounds for any smoothbore for good reasons. Honestly, even though I was an M1A2 tanker, if I had to choose a tank to roll into any type of close knife fight and I've got competent crunchies at my back, I'd pick the 'Chally first.

Very good point, Looking at the combat tanks have engaged in in the 21st and late 20th century, the C2 may be a better design. Yes if the Russians start throwing T-90A's into the Ukraine and then into Poland then the C2 may have issues at ranges where they can not throw that L28 into the lower hull or drivers hatch reliably. I don't see it any time soon.

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People also try to compare Warrior with the Bradley when using in scenarios. The British Army doctrine is different in their use. Just think of them as M113 with a gun. They sit at the back in an advance and come forward to assault. In the defence, the grunts dig in at the MDA and the Warriors go play on the flanks

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One thing that's often overlooked in these discussions is the role a given tank is expected to fulfill on the battlefield. Unlike the M1 and Leopard, which were expressly designed to kill Russian tanks at typical European combat ranges while conducting a retrograde defense, the Challenger 2, as with all British tanks, is first and foremost intended to support infantry in the assault and defense.

Quite right Sir! It was desigined to protect our Empire, and has done a damn fine job of it - as you can see. :clin:

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One thing that's often overlooked in these discussions is the role a given tank is expected to fulfill on the battlefield. Unlike the M1 and Leopard, which were expressly designed to kill Russian tanks at typical European combat ranges while conducting a retrograde defense, the Challenger 2, as with all British tanks, is first and foremost intended to support infantry in the assault and defense. Does this mean it isn't a capable tank killer? No, of course not, but killing tanks is secondary. 120mm HESH is great for blowing the bejesus out of most any non-tank target, and you won't find 120mm WP smoke rounds for any smoothbore for good reasons. Honestly, even though I was an M1A2 tanker, if I had to choose a tank to roll into any type of close knife fight and I've got competent crunchies at my back, I'd pick the 'Chally first.

I think people really need to check their source of info.

CR2, as with all post war British Tanks, has as its primary role "The defeat of enemy armour".

Also could anyone please enlighten me on what "Op Variable" was??

Irish

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"Op Variable" was a multi sided, multi player, H2H activity conducted here earlier this year with teams from UK, Can, US and Denmark.

http://www.steelbeasts.com/sbforums/showthread.php?t=20178

As for the history of UK tank development I thought it was pretty clear that up until say Centurion there were two streams.

Infantry support: Mark I - VIII, Matilda, Churchill, etc.

Cavalry: Whippet, The various "Cruisers" (Crusaders, Cromwell, Comet, ...), etc.

Then merged into the MBT concept with Centurion, Chieftain and Challenger.

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... tanker, if I had to choose a tank to roll into any type of close knife fight and I've got competent crunchies at my back, I'd pick the 'Chally first.

Irish Hussar needs no crunchies...he goes out to give OPFOR AT-teams a personal shoeing if he gets pissed ;-)

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Why do they love the HESH round so much anyway? 105mm HEP in US service has generally been used as a generic HE round. For actually destroying vehicles HEAT was preferred.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) is like a Plastic Explosive shell. When it contacts the target, it spreads the explosives over a wider area than it's just impacted, and then detonates. I suppose, because of the wider area covered by the Squash Head, it creates a larger amount of damage and/or spalling.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) is like a Plastic Explosive shell. When it contacts the target, it spreads the explosives over a wider area than it's just impacted, and then detonates. I suppose, because of the wider area covered by the Squash Head, it creates a larger amount of damage and/or spalling.

Agree. I've always understood that the design principle behind the HESH round was to disable an enemy tank by putting the crew out of action without having to actually penetrate the armour. But as KJ says, 'correct me if I'm wrong'.

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Sorry for the OT noobish question,but what is the advantages/disadvantages of a smoothbore Vs rifled barrel?

I was under the impression that rifled was better as it "spun" the round making it more stable in flight.

Is this now not needed,so employ smoothbore barrel,if so why?

Cheers,

Mick. :)

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Rifled guns are good to stabilise full bore ammunitions.

But the spin has a negative impact on the penetation performances for both shaped charges and APFSDS.

If you got a rifled gun, you can still deal with it, with a shaped sharge mounted on ball bearings and use slipping belts for APFSDS.

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Basically, HESH generate a shockwave within the armor. At the armor-crew compartment interface, part of the shockwave goes into the air shaking the crew and another part is sent back into the armor, creating shear zones, generating spall.

Yes but HESH has the same "terminal effect" on any solid surface, not just armour.

So it will do the same thing to concrete with a similar adverse effect on the occupants of say a concrete or masonry bunker or other hardened structure.

HEAT not so much.

HESH will also give you a good HE effect if you hit say a rock or solid object. Again its more reliable in producing that effect then firing HEAT at the same type of target (get the angle wrong and HEAT will either ricochet or break the stand off rod, HESH will "work" over a boarder angle of impact).

Also HESH is not impacted adversely by spin so it does take advantage of a rifled gun.

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HESH will also give you a good HE effect if you hit say a rock or solid object. Again its more reliable in producing that effect then firing HEAT at the same type of target (get the angle wrong and HEAT will either ricochet or break the stand off rod, HESH will "work" over a boarded angle of impact.

There was a problem with that that the Scots DGs ran into in Iraq.

Some of the buildings the Fedayeen and local Militia groups were using as cover to attack them were made of such "soft" building material, that the HESH rounds were actually passing through the walls like they were firing CHARM, and not detonating, so they had to switch to the Chain gun.

"Main Battle Tank". Good read! :)

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Sorry for the OT noobish question,but what is the advantages/disadvantages of a smoothbore Vs rifled barrel?

I was under the impression that rifled was better as it "spun" the round making it more stable in flight.

Is this now not needed,so employ smoothbore barrel,if so why?

Cheers,

Mick. :)

Hey Mick,

In addition to what DarkLabor mentioned, smoothbore guns in general also impart less resistance on the rounds as they're fired, meaning higher muzzle velocities. A well designed slip-ring belt for a rifled round can minimise this effect, but in general APFSDS rounds from smoothbore guns have a 100m/s advantage over rifled guns of the era. Not to imply that the L30 is inferior, it's just a design/doctrine decision which adds an extra hurdle to APFSDS performance.

Basically, HESH generate a shockwave within the armor. At the armor-crew compartment interface, part of the shockwave goes into the air shaking the crew and another part is sent back into the armor, creating shear zones, generating spall.

DL, I imagine any composite armour- ceramics, plastics, rubber spacers, etc- are likely going to interfere with this shockwave? It seems to me that HESH is going to struggle against the composite-armoured portions of, say, a T-72B?

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