Currently, the Challenger 2 TES has incorrect armor protection values for its side ERA.
Despite the obvious striking visual difference of the Challenger 2 TES vs the Challenger 2F, moderator Smin said in a previous report " So it was decided to rename the protection, but not change the actual protection values as there was very little to actually go by.". I’m hoping the following research can change this opinion.
As of the current game version, the only difference to the TES and the 2F, is the addition of 5.8t of additional weight and a far larger profile, making the TES a substancially and objectively worse tank than it’s 2F counterpart with no benefit. As of right now, there’s no positive benefit to the Challenger TES and I believe the tank should be reviewed once more by the developers to make the vehicle worth it’s hefty high tier investment price of both RP and SL with my findings in mind.
The Challenger 2 TES uses armor made by “Rafael” using their “ASPRO-HMT” package, the same used on the modern Warrior IFV and Bulldog. (See attached “SOURCE1” and “SOURCE1A” for how that determination was made)
The ASPRO-HMT is a (in Rafaels own words) “spin-off of the ASPRO-H”. (See “SOURCE2” or Share - Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd - KNM Media LLP and “SOURCE3A”)and therefore the brochure of the ASPRO-H can be safely used to make determinations regarding HMT’s capabilities.
On the brochure of ASPRO-H (“SOURCE3”), the ballistics protection advertised is “STANAG LEVEL 5”, which according to page 6 of STANAG 4569 (DECLASSIFIED - SEE “SOURCE4”) which outlines the level requirements, is able to completely defeat “25MM APFSDS at 500m”, as well as all previous STANAG Levels (.50 caliber, artillery shrapnel, etc). Using the Italian IFV “Dardo” as our ingame 25mm auto-cannon example, the Composite / ERA bricks of the TES should be able to completely defeat these rounds at 500m of distance to achieve the advertised STANAG LEVEL 5 rating.
Given the Dardo’s APFSDS at 500m is rated at penetrating a non-angled target with 83mm of armor (SEE “SOURCE5”), this CLEARLY defines that the TES’ ERA armor (Not inclusive of the composite screen behind the bricks) should at the very least be 84mm of kinetic protection to defeat the round as per the Oerlikon KBA B02 (25 mm) represented in game. As well as this, the brochure of ASPRO-H also states it can successfully defeat EFP (Explosively formed projectiles i.e - HEAT) specifically mentioning the RPG as an example.
The standard, single stage Anti-Tank round for an RPG-7 (Most commonly referred to as just “RPG”) is the PG-7VL.
According to "Rosoboroneexport"s, (the sole state intermediary agency for Russia’s exports/imports of defense-related and dual use products, technologies and services), own website the PG-7VL can penetrate up to 0.5m of RHA making the absolute minimum value of chemical protection, higher than 500mm. (Source - Anti-tank Rocket PG-7VL | Catalog Rosoboronexport)
The more likely munition the brochure is referring to, especially given that the armor was deployed in 2008 to combat modern munitions, is the PG-7VR (in service since 1988), a Tandem warhead version of the VL. According to Rosoboroneexport, the VR is capable of 0.6m of raw penetration(https://roe.ru/eng/catalog/land-forces/strelkovoe-oruzhie/grenade-launchers/pg-7vr/), and is able to defeat ERA. The absolute minimum being higher than 600mm of protection, but more likely above 750mm of chemical protection given the ERA defeating frontal breaching charge. It would be up to the developers discretion whether or not to make the conclusion of which round the brochure is most probably mentioning, and to decide on exact figures for the armor chemical protection but this conclusively shows the TES should be able to withstand at least 500mm of chemical attacks at the very least, but most likely withstand a full tandem warhead attack making it ~750-800mm total, possibly even as high as 1200mm of chemical protection given modern tandem munition capabilities of 2008 which the UK MOD would have been designing the TES kit to counter.
The TES currently has incorrect ERA values for both Kinetic and Chemical at 30mm of Kinetic and 400mm of Chemical, making it incapable of even defeating the standard PG-7VL RPG round and only rated to STANAG level 3, completely unrealistic for a modern main battle tank designed for crew survivability in the modern era.
According to the sources provided, the correct values should be at MINIMUM ~84mm of Kinetic and ABOVE 500mm of Chemical ERA protection. This meets the STANAG LEVEL 5 kinetic protection requirements and satisfies ASPRO-H’s manufacturer claim of defeating RPGs, albeit single stage HEAT rounds that are no longer the primary AT munition for the RPG-7.
More realistically, the values of it’s ERA should be ~84mm of Kinetic and 800-1200mm of Chemical protection.
I believe this is not unrealistic, given the monsterous weight of the vehicle compared to its predecessor, and the size and shape of the ERA bricks themselves. This would not only satisfy the STANAG LEVEL 5 requirement but also provide protection against modern RPG-7 Anti-Tank munitions like the PG-7VR tandem HEAT round, that is the main AT munition fired from the RPG since 1988, long before the TES kit was designed and deployed in 2008.
What is however, entirely unrealistic to expect is the exact same protection values from an upgraded and far larger ERA package than the 2F at 5.8t more weight but no added protection, despite the years of difference and advancements between the two models and the obvious striking visual difference. As of right now, making the TES’ ERA the same makes no sense and renders the TES worse than the 2F in every way. This should be remedied.
I understand that without access to (currently classified) documentation, the TES’ armor is speculative, but an educated estimate can clearly be made from my sources, and there’s enough evidence to justify (even just from appearance and adoption of the armor package vs the 2F) the TES being superior to the 2Fs protection. It makes no sense to be giving an upgraded armor package the same values as the outdated armor package, because of a lack of solid line by line evidence. You can make a very educated guess at the very least to simulate the difference and provide justification as I had. Trying and possibly getting the values incorrect is better in my personal opinion, than getting them wrong on purpose and not being bothered to fix them.
Thanks for hearing me out.
Note: Book photographs obtained by Fireball_2020 on the forums, a well known british vehicle researcher by the forum moderators and technical moderators.