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Challenger Historical References


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The British Rank VI Challenger has been the topic of hot discussion since its introduction with update 1.77 Advancing Storm. The Challenger is one of the iconic tanks Britain has produced and quite rightfully too. Featuring a 120mm main armament, improved mobility and agility over its predecessors and sturdy defensive capabilities, it can best be described as a mixture of all the core MBT characteristics that are shown throughout the various top rank machines we have in game. We would like to discuss and break down some of the concerns raised by players through bug reports as well as give an insight into the Tanks creation in game.

 

Armour protection

The introduction of main battle tanks with more complex armour, brought on a significant set of unique challenges for the development team. Accurately modelling tanks with very sophisticated and in some cases classified armour profiles is not an easy feat, never mind considering how to go about relaying that information to players in a clear and comprehensive way.

 

The previous system for displaying the equivalent protection of more advanced armour in the hangar gave only the general protection ratings; usually at the maximum value. However, the real tanks and their game embodiments have a more complex armour design and may have certain zones with more or less protection. Previously, it was difficult to reflect this, but with the introduction of the new "Protection Analysis" feature it became possible.

 

In the specific case of the Challenger, we constructed the tank based on British archive primary sources which were shared with us for our use only. As such, we have the closest and most accurate sources available on the tank.

 

Sources/Documents used on Challenger Armour / Construction:

Spoiler

 

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The Challenger's turret armour should be considered taking into account the used ammunition and the point of the hit. With regards to the turret, the Armour protection falls the lower down the turret the shell hits due to the decrease in the angle of inclination.

 

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As you can see from the image above, the slope of the turret face changes towards the lower section. Since the main contribution to resistance of armour against kinetic shells is made by the steel component of composite armour, the armour is much weaker at this location.

 

The Challengers full protection can be fully deconstructed in the hangar using the “Protection Analysis” feature and X-ray functions.  But as with all composite armour protection, this must be evaluated shell by shell, case by case, as that is how the armour is defined. At the moment we have archive sources in which the armour protection of the Challengers hull is estimated at 275mm RHA equivalent of protection.
 

1.Future tank policy (pre and post 1995)               2.Analysis in support of future tank policy study

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Protection against HEAT ammunition was determined on the basis of British assessments of the defensive capabilities of the "Challenger" tank. In the case of the turret, British estimates indicate that the"Challenger" tank could be destroyed by the AT-5 "Spandrel" (“Конкурс”) and the AT-6 “Spiral"(“Штурм”) with penetration ratings in the range of 600 -700mm. Based on this data, the cumulative protection value of the turret in the game will be 600-650mm.

 

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ATGM and armor penetrator assessment. 26 June 1981

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Ammunition

Sources used for the 120mm ammunition:

  • 120mm Report for Preliminary Acceptance Annex J

  • Tank APFSDS BD26 Unsolicited Proposal

  • GSR 3758 Acceptance Part 9 RARDE Supplement

  • GSR OE 3758 Acceptance

 

Spoiler

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With regards to the Challengers ammunition, when constructing shells of similar types to the L23, great importance was given to the penetration of obstacles at large angles, since it was believed that such an obstacle well imitated the armor of Soviet MBTs, to which angle was known from intelligence data.

 

However, because of the effect of the back layer (when the penetrator approaches the rear wall of the plate, the resistance of the material in the lower part of the plate decreases, because behind it is less metal, as a result, the channel of penetration is bent downwards), the penetration of the plate at a large angle can not be calculated with the penetration of the projectile on a normal plate.

 

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Knowing the dimensions of the core and assuming that it is made of high-quality tungsten nickel iron alloy and its entire length is a core, and not based on a real design, ie used the most favourable indicators for the projectile (using a temperature of 21°C ), one can obtain the following figures when using the calculator here:

 

71 degrees we receive 490mm

60 degrees we get 448mm

0 degrees = 385-390mm

 

All of the above values are indicative of the length of the penetration channel and result in the ability to penetrate a 159mm plate at an inclination of 71 degrees - With a penetration channel of 490mm.

 

A plate thickness of 224 mm at a slope of 60 degrees creates a penetration channel of 448 mm and for 0 degrees 390mm thickness of plate.

 

It should be taken into account that the real L23A1 projectile is made of a tungsten nickel copper alloy, which has somewhat worse indicators, so the figures are likely to be somewhat lower.

 

Taking into account all this information, we plan to change the penetration of projectiles in the future, both L23 and L23A1, as well as the L15.

 

Fire control

One point often raised is that the tank sighting has the wrong magnification and should be factor 11.5, quoting “ British Army 120mm gun tank Challenger Part 2 Fighting Systems” as the source. This exact source is referencing the Thermal Imaging system and not the primary sight when it refers to a factor 11.5 magnification. The Primary sight is laser rangefinder, periscopic, AV, No.10 Mk.1 which we have correctly modeled with the correct magnification in game.

 

 

Future plans for the Challenger

Q. Do you plan to introduce any new shells for the Challenger?

A. We don't have any plans for new shell types at the moment. We discussed the changes to the L23 and L15 ammunition, for now, we think that ammunition is entirely suitable for the Challenger.

 

Q. Are its current armour values final?

A. Values of armour protection will be final only if we receive comprehensive information based on primary sources about the detailed structure of armour and the results of testing it with all types of ammunition. At the moment, we don't have what we consider to be “conclusive” evidence and we dont believe we will be able to receive any such data soon, if at all. So, as new sources of information are discovered, the armour protection of both Challenger  and other vehicles can change.

 

Q. When you exceed 25 mph, the gun stabilizer stops working, is this correct?

A. Yes this is indeed correct, as it is for many tanks in the game. Higher speed equates to degraded stabilizer performance.

 

Q. Do you plan on correcting the Challengers name to “Challenger Mk 2”? Do you also have plans to add the Mk 1 and Mk 3 variants?

A. Yes, we do plan to adjust the name. Currently we have no plans for the Mk 1 or Mk 3 variants as separate variants.

 

Q. Do you have any plans for upgrades (like the T-64BV)  that can maybe increase protection or defensive capabilities?

A. It is possible that the current tank will be upgraded to a Mk.3 standard. First of all this version is distinguished by the additional protection of its ammunition, wet stowage was eliminated and armoured boxes for the storage of charges and shells were introduced instead. We may also look at a defensive upgrade with an ERA kit and additional side skirt armour.

 

We would like to say a special thanks to Fu_Manchu for providing the material and documents to make this blog possible.

 

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  • Stona changed the title to Challenger Historical References

You will - we want to do this as much as possible but it is, as you can imagine, quite time consuming for all involved.

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As a USMC Tank Officer I did development work on modifications to the M1A1 FEP.  I can say that, largely, there is so much information, disinformation, and missing (i.e classified) information, that the modern MBTs in this game are what they should be, extremely educated guesses.  None of them are going to be perfectly right.  I always suspected so, but reading this article confirms, that Gaijin has a meticulous and exhaustive method for providing the best educated guess possible.  It is as real as any of us can expect.  If you aren't happy with the end product that is on you.

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1 minute ago, Conte_Baracca said:

As a USMC Tank Officer I did development work on modifications to the M1A1 FEP.  I can say that, largely, there is so much information, disinformation, and missing (i.e classified) information, that the modern MBTs in this game are what they should be, extremely educated guesses.  None of them are going to be perfectly right.  I always suspected so, but reading this article confirms, that Gaijin has a meticulous and exhaustive method for providing the best educated guess possible.  It is as real as any of us can expect.  If you aren't happy with the end product that is on you.

Many thanks for your confidence. It isnt always easy to see how much work goes into these models.

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Thank you for making your sources public.

This still leaves a question as to why the Challenger Mk 2 in-game has access to the L15A5 APDS ammunition which it never used (according to pretty much anyone I've talked to about the Challenger).

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2 minutes ago, Scarper said:

Many thanks for your confidence. It isnt always easy to see how much work goes into these models.

Good to see all that money I have dumped into Golden Eagles going to good use. :DD

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If your not planning to add the Mk3 version will you add the Era and Armour package the Mk3 got like you did to the t-64B As this is also a different variant of the T-64B being the T-64BV, I mean it is only fair if your not adding all the minor variants to add the additions like armour addons.

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Regarding penetration the numbers shown represent performance against a 300BHN. The numbers against a 260BHN target which from what I've been told by tech mods is the what is used in game for armour the numbers for penetration would be higher. So like 239mm against a 60° plate.

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Thank you for sharing. I appreciate all the effort to get that information.

 

So that T-72 round with 480 mm of penetration is the 3BM22 correct? The one with the non-monoblock penetrator rod and poor performance at steep angles?

 

One more question: do you have any information on the thickness of the casting of the flat part of the turret cheeks? Or whether the spacers used were armoured?

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Just to add to what you guys have done I used the projectile dimensions with the tungsten nickel copper alloy density and here we go. The 300BHN number for a 68° is 483.7mm. At 260BHN 68° it's 506.9mm. 300BHN at 60° is 453MM so again pretty much spot on for what you guys have But against a 260BHN target it's 475.2mm. So can you clarify if your penetration numbers are against a 300BHN target or a 260BHN target which again I will say I've been told by tech mods 260BHN is what you use as the standard in game. These numbers don't count for temperatures etc so this would be optimal performance for the round.IMG_20180701_004625.thumb.jpg.ea769d819fIMG_20180701_004739.thumb.jpg.e6538553bf

Edited by *oppsijustkilledu
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Very good to see evidence of thorough research. Confidence in the historical nature of models (as far as is possible to know) is a key reason to play this game over certain others where the armour and other stats change on a whim.

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Thank you for sharing all the info, its really appreciated. At least it lets us know how much and what type of info you guys have to work with when creating these models. I know they may not always be perfect but I can see you try to make it as close to the really thing as possible based on the info you are able to obtain.

 

Thanks again :salute:

 

 

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Quote

 

Q. Do you have any plans for upgrades (like the T-64BV)  that can maybe increase protection or defensive capabilities?

A. It is possible that the current tank will be upgraded to a Mk.3 standard. First of all this version is distinguished by the additional protection of its ammunition, wet stowage was eliminated and armoured boxes for the storage of charges and shells were introduced instead. We may also look at a defensive upgrade with an ERA kit and additional side skirt armour.

 

 

 

 

So when do we get this wet stowage that its supposed to already have?

 

@Stona there really needs to be some serious consideration to having the Mk3 as a separate vehicle, expecting the chieftain mk10 to play backup to the Chally given it is so far away from what the actual meta is is bordering on absurd. Abrams will end up with another Abrams, T64B gets T64A, Leo2A4 gets Leo 2k etc etc

Edited by TurretHead
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I was happy with the tank after I worked out the armour is good against the Russians, I just saved my itch to play it for the sim event, where it was very competitive. 

 

Now that the French have been added to the Russian team in Sim though, the armour is moot in Sim too because the AMX-40 can defeat it from any angle pretty much, which is a shame because I felt the T64B and the Challenger were quite a good match for each other. 

 

Can you explain why this change was made? I assume queue times? Are there plans to reverse the change and put the French back on the other team?

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