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[Datasheet] Challenger Historical References





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:









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.


2_7a5dc693f17b0962a97bb7426d5a57c0.jpg 3_759a849481ff8110a9d1b93777f0af4a.png

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

4_2826f026b3a45082be6bdefcae7910fe.png 5_fc129367f80ae126395adf420a7699ab.png


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




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



e_d16ed666ed00a92739cbb07f7a5f545c.png r_dcadcbf82ec8d5991464cc7ed9e3c34b.png

t_0d253ffe5cfe72d62eeee7be8afc347d.png h_e3f291d27c5d3eee97ad7d7a0b160ad8.png



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.





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.



You can discuss it here!

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  • Stona changed the title to [Datasheet] Challenger Historical References

Ok, few MI6 agents tried to sabotage the article and break the pictures. Now everything should works fine. Funny, they thought they can stop us :lol2:

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