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Chieftain 2000: The Last Chieftain


Chieftain 2000  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see the Chieftain 2000 in War Thunder?

    • Yes
      43
    • No
      0


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Chieftain 2000 at Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd in December 2009


The Chieftain 2000 is a very mysterious upgrade of the Chieftain MBT which doesn't have a lot regarding it both online and in books, the vehicle consists of the standard hull of a Chieftain Mk10/11(sources conflict) and a modified turret with an improved fire control system, commanders independent sight, thermal imager for the gunners sight, laser rangefinder and additional armour


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Chieftain 2000 at Lulworth firing range in 1993



History:
 

The story of the Chieftain 2000 goes back to the 80's with Chieftain 800, which was a private venture by royal ordnance to sell a Chieftain upgrade on the export market, it included a new Rolls-Royce/Perkins CV-12 Condor 800hp engine(Used on Challenger 1 and Challenger 2 but at 1200 hp) and automatic gearbox, it was displayed at the British army equipment exhibition (BAEE) in 1980 but had no success 

 

Then in late 1981 another project was started this time called Chieftain 900, which had the same engine but uprated to 900hp, a new fire control system of the customers choosing, mocked up with Chobham armour on the turret and hull, and other improvements, Chieftain 800 was also given the cosmetic Chobham cladding to simulate Chieftain 900 and both were sent to BAEE in 1982 but once again attracted no customers and the project was abandoned by 1986

 

At some point Chieftain 800 and 900 were allocated to SEME Bordon Technical Training Area in an attempt to reduce the number of Challenger 1s diverted for training, then in 1988 Chieftain 800 was donated to the Bovington tank museum and stayed there until 1990-1991 when it was sent to GEC-Marconi Radar and Defence Systems who modified it to be used as a testbed for the Marconi Centaur fire control system(used on the Vickers MBT Mk 7 and partly in Challenger 2), sometime later it was modified back to its original condition and returned to the Bovington tank museum where it still resides today

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Chieftain 800 with Marconi Centaur fire control system installed during trials at Bovington, January 1991


Chieftain 900 was not so lucky as it had its turret swapped for that of a Challengers 1s and then sent to the Lulworth firing ranges to be used as a hard target where it was presumably destroyed

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Chieftain 900 with Challenger 1 turret at Lulworth where it was used as a target

 

In the 1990's Pakistan was looking for modern tanks to replace their old T-54's/Type59/69's while they wait for their new Al Khalid to finish development, as a previous deal for Polish T-72M1s stagnated Britain saw an opportunity to sell surplus Chieftain tanks that were leaving service after decades of use, and so in 1993 a British consortium consisting of GEC-Marconi, Royal Ordnance, Vickers, and Perkins

Engines offered Pakistan up to 300 Chieftains

To have any hope of Pakistan buying Chieftains which were woefully obsolete by then, the consortium decided to upgrade them with The Marconi centaur fire control system which included thermal imaging, the same 800 hp CV-12 Condor engine used in Chieftain 800, commanders independent sight and additional armour, either Chobham or Stillbrew(sources conflict), possibly even ROMOR-B or C, the resulting upgrade was given the name Chieftain 2000

 

At some point in 1993(presumably before the offer) a single Chieftain, Serial number 03EB35 which started life in 01/05/1967 as a Chieftain Mk1/2(Sources conflict) and served with the Royal Armoured Corps centre at Bovington and with Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, 15/19th Kings Own Hussars and 1st Royal Tank Regiment and at some point was modified to Chieftain Mk11 standard, was sent to GEC-Marconi to have the Chieftain 900s turret and Marconi Centaur fire control system installed and then to Lulworth firing range

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Chieftain 2000 at Lulworth firing range in 1993

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Chieftain 2000 presumably at Lulworth firing range

When Chieftain 900s turret was installed onto 03EB35 it seems to have undergone modifications as there are some differences such as a deeper gunner’s sight recess and slightly different turret shape, it is unknown if Chieftain 2000 ever had the 800hp engine fitted

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Close ups of the turret showing its details, from Withams auction page December 2009

Once the conversion was finished it was sent to the Royal Navy & British Army Equipment Exhibition on 5-10th September 1993 located at Aldershot 

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Chieftain 2000 at the Royal Navy & British Army Equipment Exhibition 1993

 

However the deal seems to have fallen through by 1994-95 and the trail goes cold until around 2009 when Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd acquires the Chieftain 2000 and is then put up for auction where it is presumably sold in 2010, the Chieftain 2000 is probably in a private collection today somewhere in England

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Chieftain 2000 at Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd in November 2009





Vehicle specifications:
 

Main armament: Ordnance BL Tk. L11 120mm(unknown how many rounds)

Secondary armament: 7.62 mm L8A1 machine gun (~6000 rounds)

Fire control system: Marconi Centaur

Protection: Standard Chieftain Mk 10/11 hull with Stillbrew in front of turret ring, regular Chieftain turret with steel cladding on front and sides to house additional armour(unknown what kind, thickness and if it was actually installed)

Weight: ~58-59 tons

Engine: Either Leyland L60 at 760 hp or Perkins CV-12 Condor at 800hp(unknown if installed)

Transmission: David Brown TN12 (6 forward and 2 reverse gears)

Power to weight ratio: Unknown

Top speed: Unknown

Suspension: Horstmann

Gunners sight : Unknown("Marconi thermal imaging system")

Commanders sight: Looking at the images it seems to be the SFIM VS 580, unknown which model




Sources:

Chieftain Main Battle Tank Owners' Workshop Manual
 

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Chieftain by Rob Griffin
 

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Jane's Defence Weekly 18th December 1993
 

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Jane's Defence Weekly 13th March 1993
 

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https://archive.org/details/JanesArmouredFightingVehicleRetrofitSystems199394/page/n429/mode/2up?view=theater&q=centaur


https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12720386.british-firms-have-high-hopes-of-middle-east-defence-orders/

https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA343648/page/n3/mode/2up?q=chieftain&view=theater

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Asia_Pacific_Defence_Reporter/IPwxAQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq="chieftain+2000"

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Jane_s_Defence/__oxAQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq="chieftain+2000"

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Strategic_Digest/0E_8WGm1eRsC?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq="chieftain+2000"

https://preservedtanks.com/Profile.aspx?UniqueID=2089

https://preservedtanks.com/Profile.aspx?UniqueId=2124

https://preservedtanks.com/Profile.aspx?UniqueID=2125

https://merlinarchive.uk/vehicle/03EB35

https://www.mafva.org/nanopdf.com_vehicle-registration-numbers-vrn.pdf

http://web.archive.org/web/20100125024350/http://www.mod-sales.com/auction/vehicle/home/27737/Chieftain_2000.htm#

https://hmvf.co.uk/topic/11425-what-is-in-the-background/

https://hmvf.co.uk/topic/11878-chieftain-2000/

https://www.keymilitary.com/article/chieftain-and-beyond

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Defense_Foreign_Affairs_Handbook/PTBEAQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=stillbrew

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Far_Eastern_Economic_Review/qfCzAAAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=pakistan+chieftain

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/MEED/sKxWAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=chieftain tank

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/British_Tanks_1945_to_the_Present_Day/GfzLDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=pakistan+chieftain+tank&pg=PT217

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Asian_Recorder/dYptAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=pakistan+chieftain+tank

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Strategic_Studies_Journal/m-BXH11-88cC?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=chieftain

https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep10910.6?seq=16#metadata_info_tab_contents

Bovington tank museum information panel for Chieftain 800
 

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Museum Ordnance: The Magazine for the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum July 1993
 

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https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/written-answers/1993/mar/30/pakistan-chieftain-tanks

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1993-04-30/debates/9d27c01d-32f1-4ba3-ade3-f29a0c93cff8/EquipmentExhibition

Jane's Armour And Artillery 2001-2002
 

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All in all I personally think the Chieftain 2000 would make a good premium or event vehicle while Chieftain 900 should go to the tech tree

As you can imagine with something barely known online, it was hard and very time consuming to find sources for this suggestion and even then there's a lot of questions that need answering, still I hope to see it in game one day

Thanks for reading my first suggestion :good:
 

Edited by ForeverAloneRage
  • Upvote 2
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  • Suggestion Moderator

Open for discussion:goodsnail:

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This Chieftan variant is fascinating and would make for an excellent addition to the game.  +1.  :salute:

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  • 2 weeks later...

+1, the UK tech tree requires more vehicles such as this

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 03/08/2022 at 06:27, ForeverAloneRage said:

Chieftain 900 was not so lucky as it had its turret swapped for that of a Challengers 1s and then sent to the Lulworth firing ranges to be used as a hard target where it was presumably destroyed

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Was the turret ever functional for testing or just plopped on it to be shot off?

 

Either way I want some sort of tech tree super chieftain. It's one of my favorite tanks.

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On 04/09/2022 at 11:48, hienapunk said:

 

Was the turret ever functional for testing or just plopped on it to be shot off?

 

Either way I want some sort of tech tree super chieftain. It's one of my favorite tanks.


Unknown, although probably the latter

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