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Challenger 1

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FV 4030 Challenger
Challenger 1MBT Mk 3 (7527916878).jpg
Challenger 1 at Tankfest 2009 at The Tank Museum
TypeMain battle tank
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service
  • UK: 1983–2001 (Repair and recovery derivative remains in service.)
  • Jordan: 1999–2022 (now stored)
Used by
WarsGulf War
Production history
ManufacturerRoyal Ordnance Factory
Unit cost£1.5 million (1987)[1]
No. built420
Specifications
Mass62 t (61 long tons; 68 short tons)
70 t (69 long tons; 77 short tons) with additional armour modules
Length11.5 m (37 ft 9 in) (gun forward)
Width3.51 m (11 ft 6 in)
Height2.95 m (9 ft 8 in)
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

ArmourChobham ceramic composite armour
Main
armament
Royal Ordnance L11A5 120 mm rifled gun
64 rounds
Secondary
armament
7.62 mm L8A2, 7.62 mm L37A2 machine guns
4,000 rounds
EnginePerkins CV12 26 litre diesel
1,200 hp (895 kW)
Power/weight14.4 kW/tonne
TransmissionDavid Brown TN37 transmission (4 fwd, 3 rev.)
SuspensionHydropneumatic (hydrogas)
Operational
range
280 mi (450 km) on road
Maximum speed 35 mph (56 km/h)

The FV4030/4 Challenger 1 is a British main battle tank (MBT) used by the British Army from 1983 to 2001, when it was superseded by the Challenger 2. The majority of the Challenger 1 fleet was subsequently sold to Jordan where it remained in service with the Royal Jordanian Army until withdrawals were announced in 2018.[2] Known locally as Al-Hussein, these vehicles received various Jordanian modifications before being replaced by French-made Leclerc tanks from the UAE and ex-Italian B1 Centauro 8x8 wheeled tank destroyers. The Jordanian Challenger 1 fleet had been retired by January 2023.[3][4]

Discover more about Challenger 1 related topics

Main battle tank

Main battle tank

A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the role of armor-protected direct fire and maneuver in many modern armies. Cold War-era development of more powerful engines, better suspension systems and lighter-weight composite armor allowed the design of a tank that had the firepower of a super-heavy tank, the armor protection of a heavy tank, and the mobility of a light tank, in a package with the weight of a medium tank. Through the 1960s and 1970s, the MBT replaced almost all other types of tanks, leaving only some specialist roles to be filled by lighter designs or other types of armored fighting vehicles.

British Army

British Army

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces along with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. As of 2022, the British Army comprises 79,380 regular full-time personnel, 4,090 Gurkhas, and 28,330 volunteer reserve personnel.

Challenger 2

Challenger 2

The FV4034 Challenger 2 is a third generation British main battle tank (MBT) in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. It was designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems, now known as BAE Systems Land & Armaments.

Jordan

Jordan

Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levant region, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north, and the Palestinian West Bank, Israel, and the Dead Sea to the west. It has a 26 km (16 mi) coastline in its southwest on the Gulf of Aqaba's Red Sea, which separates Jordan from Egypt. Amman is Jordan's capital and largest city, as well as its economic, political, and cultural centre.

Royal Jordanian Army

Royal Jordanian Army

The Royal Jordanian Army is the ground force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF). It draws its origins from units such as the Arab Legion, formed in the British Mandate of Transjordan in the 1920s. It has seen combat against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. The Army also fought the Syrians and the PLO during Black September in 1970.

Leclerc tank

Leclerc tank

The Leclerc is a third-generation French main battle tank developed and manufactured by Nexter Systems. It was named in honor of Marshal Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, a commander of the Free French Forces, who led the 2nd Armoured Division in World War II.

B1 Centauro

B1 Centauro

The Centauro is a family of Italian military vehicles originating from a wheeled tank destroyer for light to medium territorial defense and tactical reconnaissance. It was developed by a consortium of manufacturers, the Società Consortile Iveco Fiat - OTO Melara (CIO). Iveco Fiat was tasked with developing the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for developing the turrets and weapon systems.

History

Challenger 1 on display at The Tank Museum, Bovington. This vehicle was used for suspension testing.
Challenger 1 on display at The Tank Museum, Bovington. This vehicle was used for suspension testing.
Challenger 1 of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards with IFOR markings.
Challenger 1 of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards with IFOR markings.

The Challenger design by the former Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) near Chobham in Surrey originated in an Iranian order for an improved version of the Chieftain line of tanks in service around the world. These were the Chieftain Mk5(P)- FV4030/1, FV4030/2 Shir (Lion) 1 and 4030/3 Shir 2. With the fall of the Shah of Iran and the collapse of the UK MBT-80 project, the British Army became the customer and the tank was further developed by MVEE to meet Western European requirements. For a short time the tank was named "Cheviot" (the name of a hill range) before becoming "Challenger", a name reused from the Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger tank of World War II.

The most advanced aspect of the Challenger 1 design was its Chobham armour, which gave protection far superior to any monolithic Rolled Homogeneous Armour (RHA), then standard of western tank armour material. This armour was later adopted by other designs, including the American M1 Abrams. Additionally, the hydropneumatic suspension provided outstanding cross-country performance through the long suspension arm travel and controlled bump and rebound behaviour offered.

The Challenger was built by the Royal Ordnance Factories (ROF). Challenger 1 entered service with the British Army in 1983 and production ceased in 1990 at a cost of around £2 million each.[5] In 1986, ROF Leeds (and the Challenger production line) was acquired by Vickers Defence Systems (later Alvis Vickers).

The Ministry of Defence was keen to show off the capabilities of the Challenger 1 in the Canadian Army Trophy Competition (CAT '87), held at Grafenwöhr, West Germany, in June 1987. The best performing team in preparatory competitions had been the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, although its Challengers had not been fitted with Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight (TOGS), which would put them at a disadvantage. The Royal Hussars had a squadron fitted with TOGS; however, they had been training at BATUS in Canada with Chieftains, instead of training with Challenger and TOGS for CAT '87. Twenty-two new Challengers with TOGS were specially diverted from the production line for the competition, resulting in teething problems.[6] At the competition itself, the Hussars managed some creditable scores[7] but overall, their three "platoons" were placed last in the league table.[8] In a statement to the House of Commons on 14 July, Ian Stewart, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, said; "I do not believe that the performance of tanks in the artificial circumstances of a competition, such as the recent Canadian Army Trophy, is a proper indication of their capability in war."[9] Following poor results in 1985 with Chieftain, and in 1987 with Challenger, the British Army decided in December 1987 to withdraw indefinitely from the competition.[10]

A requirement for a new MBT was later issued. Proposals put forward for the new specification included an improved Challenger from Vickers, the American M1 Abrams, the French Leclerc, and the German Leopard 2. The Vickers Defence Systems design, designated Challenger 2, was eventually selected. This tank is significantly more capable than its predecessor: based on the same basic MVEE-designed hull, it features a new turret based on the Vickers Private Venture Mk7 design and improved Chobham armour.

Withdrawals of British Army Challenger 1 began in 1998 and it had been completely replaced by Challenger 2 by 2001.[5] The bulk of these vehicles were exported to Jordan (see below) with around 20 vehicles retained for testing, development, and museum display.

There was also a Challenger Marksman SPAAG version, equipped with the Marksman turret.

Use by Jordan

Jordanian Challenger 1 Al-Hussein tanks in 2017.
Jordanian Challenger 1 Al-Hussein tanks in 2017.

In the 1980s, Jordan had been interested in purchasing the original Shir 1 design, and subsequently ordered 274 Khalid tanks. The success of Kahlid maintained the Jordanian interest in British made tanks.

The replacement of Challenger 1 tanks in British service by the Challenger 2 coincided with the accession of Abdullah II as King of Jordan. The new king had strong links with Britain, having begun his military career, while a prince, as an officer cadet at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, serving for a year as a troop commander in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, a British armoured cavalry regiment, before returning to Jordan. As a member of the Royal Jordanian Army where he became a tank company commander.[11] Abdullah had thought he would spend his life in the military, but to his surprise, on 24 January 1999, weeks before his father's death, he replaced his uncle Hassan as heir apparent.[12]

In March 1999, after Abdullah II had ascended to the throne, the British Government, in a show of support of Abdullah's foreign policy, and in response to a request from the new king, announced an agreement to supply Jordan with up to 288 Challenger 1 tanks as they came out of British service. These tanks had an average in-service book value of £750,000 per unit, that would reduce to zero upon withdrawal. The tanks were therefore supplied to Jordan at no cost, with the Jordanian Government agreeing to cover any transfer costs arising.[13] The deal also included 112 support vehicles.[14] This first tranche of vehicles were supplied to Jordan over a three-year period from 1999 to 2002 and enabled the replacement of the Jordanian Centurion fleet (known locally as Tariq).[5] In late 2002 after a further 114 Challenger 1 MBTs and 19 training tanks were 'gifted' to Jordan. These vehicles had an in-service book value of £385,000 per unit but were also supplied to Jordan for the cost of the logistics of transfer.[15]

The 402 Jordanian Challenger 1 tanks received substantial local modifications and were known in Jordanian service as Al-Hussein. Plans to upgrade Jordanian Challengers with a locally designed unmanned turret called Falcon were unveiled in 2003 and prototypes were produced. However, the design never reached full production and by 2016 had been shelved.[16] The Jordanian Challenger 1 fleet was retired by January 2023.[2] being replaced by French-made Leclerc tanks from the UAE and ex-Italian B1 Centauro 8x8 wheeled tank destroyers.[17]

The withdrawn Jordanian vehicles are now in storage. In light of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is speculation that these vehicles could be acquired from Jordan and refurbished for Ukrainian use.[3][18]

Discover more about History related topics

Bovington Camp

Bovington Camp

Bovington Camp is a British Army military base in Dorset, England. Together with Lulworth Camp it forms part of Bovington Garrison.

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) is a regiment in the Royal Armoured Corps of the British Army. Nicknamed The Welsh Cavalry, the regiment recruits from Wales and the bordering English counties of Cheshire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire, and is the senior cavalry regiment, and therefore senior regiment of the line of the British Army.

Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment

Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment

The Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) was a British defence research unit on Chobham Lane, Chertsey in Surrey. It was responsible for many innovations in armoured vehicle design, including ceramic Chobham armour.

Iran

Iran

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, by Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the south. It covers an area of 1.64 million square kilometres, making it the 17th-largest country. Iran has an estimated population of 86.8 million, making it the 17th-most populous country in the world, and the second-largest in the Middle East. Its largest cities, in descending order, are the capital Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz, and Tabriz.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah (King) of the Imperial State of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow in the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. Owing to his status, he was usually known as the Shah.

MBT-80

MBT-80

The FV4601 MBT-80 was a British experimental third-generation main battle tank, designed in the late 1970s to replace the Chieftain tank. It was eventually cancelled in favour of the Challenger 1, itself an evolution of the Chieftain design.

Cheviot Hills

Cheviot Hills

The Cheviot Hills, or sometimes The Cheviots, are a range of uplands straddling the Anglo-Scottish border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. The English section is within the Northumberland National Park. The range includes The Cheviot, plus Hedgehope Hill to the east, Windy Gyle to the west, and Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge to the south.

Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger

Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger

The Tank, Cruiser, Challenger (A30) was a British tank of World War II. It mounted the QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun on a chassis derived from the Cromwell tank to add anti-tank firepower to the cruiser tank units. The design compromises made in fitting the large gun onto the Cromwell chassis resulted in a tank with a powerful weapon and reduced armour. The extemporised 17-pounder Sherman Firefly conversion of the US-supplied Sherman was easier to produce and, with delays in production, only 200 Challengers were built. The Challenger was able to keep up with the fast Cromwell tank and was used with them.

Chobham armour

Chobham armour

Chobham armour is the informal name of a composite armour developed in the 1960s at the British tank research centre on Chobham Common, Surrey. The name has since become the common generic term for composite ceramic vehicle armour. Other names informally given to Chobham armour include Burlington and Dorchester. Special armour is a broader informal term referring to any armour arrangement comprising sandwich reactive plates, including Chobham armour.

M1 Abrams

M1 Abrams

The M1 Abrams is a third-generation American main battle tank designed by Chrysler Defense and named for General Creighton Abrams. Conceived for modern armored ground warfare and now one of the heaviest tanks in service at nearly 68 short tons, it introduced several modern technologies to US armored forces, including a multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated Chobham composite armor, a computer fire control system, separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment, and NBC protection for crew safety. Initial models of the M1 were armed with a licensed-produced 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, while later variants feature a licensed Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44.

Hydropneumatic suspension

Hydropneumatic suspension

Hydropneumatic suspension is a type of motor vehicle suspension system, designed by Paul Magès, invented by Citroën, and fitted to Citroën cars, as well as being used under licence by other car manufacturers, notably Rolls-Royce, Bmw 5-Series e34 Touring, Maserati and Peugeot. It was also used on Berliet trucks and has more recently been used on Mercedes-Benz cars, where it is known as Active Body Control. The Toyota Soarer UZZ32 "Limited" was fitted with a fully integrated four-wheel steering and a complex, computer-controlled hydraulic Toyota Active Control Suspension in 1991. Similar systems are also widely used on modern tanks and other large military vehicles. The suspension was referred to as fr:Suspension oléopneumatique in early literature, pointing to oil and air as its main components.

ROF Leeds

ROF Leeds

Royal Ordnance Factory Leeds, first opened as a munitions factory in December 1915 and opened as an ROF in January 1936, was one of a number of Royal Ordnance Factories created at the start of the Second World War.

Operational service

A Challenger 1 tank during the Gulf War
A Challenger 1 tank during the Gulf War
Challenger 1 of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards near Kuwait City during the Gulf War.
Challenger 1 of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards near Kuwait City during the Gulf War.
A Challenger 1 tank of the 7th Brigade Royal Scots during Operation Desert Storm
A Challenger 1 tank of the 7th Brigade Royal Scots during Operation Desert Storm
A preserved Challenger 1 displayed at RAF Manston in 2007 wearing KFOR markings.
A preserved Challenger 1 displayed at RAF Manston in 2007 wearing KFOR markings.

221 Challenger tanks[19] were deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Granby, the UK operation in the 1991 Gulf War. In the original deployment, the 7th Armoured Brigade included two armoured regiments, the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, both equipped with 57 of the latest Mark 3 version of the Challenger 1. They were modified for desert operations by a REME team and civilian contractors at the quayside in Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia. This fit included additional Chobham Armour along the hull sides and explosive reactive armour (ERA) on the nose and front glacis plate. Modifications also included the provision of extra external fuel drums and a smoke generator.

There were major concerns about the reliability of the vehicle.[20] In addition there were serious worries about how a tank designed to perform in temperate climates would stand the rigours of desert warfare.[20] Before the commencement of the Gulf War deployment only 22% of Challenger 1s were operational because of faults and lack of spares.[21]

On 22 November 1990, it was decided to add the 4th Armoured Brigade to the force, under the umbrella of 1st (UK) Armoured Division. The new brigade had a single Challenger regiment, 14th/20th King's Hussars, equipped with 43 Challenger 1 tanks and reinforced by a squadron of the Life Guards. They were equipped with the Mark 2 version of the tank, which was upgraded by armouring the storage bins for the 120 mm charges as well as the additional armour fitted to the Mark 3's.

During Operation Desert Shield it was decided that the 1st (UK) Armoured Division would be placed under the command of the US VII Corps. This corps would form the armoured fist of the Coalition forces, tasked with destroying the bulk of the Iraqi forces. The forces of VII corps crossed the Saudi border into Iraq, and then crossed into Kuwait. The 1st (UK) Armoured Division was the easternmost unit in VII Corp's sector, its Challenger tanks forming the spearhead of the advance. The division advanced nearly 350 km within 97 hours, destroying the Iraqi 46th Mechanised Brigade, 52nd Armoured Brigade and elements of at least three infantry divisions belonging to the Iraqi 7th corps in a series of battles and engagements. They captured or destroyed about 300[22] Iraqi tanks and a very large number of armoured personnel carriers, trucks, reconnaissance vehicles, etc.[23]

The main threat to the Challenger was deemed to be the Iraqi Republican Guard's T-72M tanks; each British tank was provided with twelve L26A1 "Jericho" depleted uranium (DU) shells specifically for use against T-72Ms, but during the course of the Coalition's ground campaign none were encountered as the division was withdrawn beforehand.[24]

In action, the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Thermal Observation and Gunnery System (TOGS) fitted to the Challengers proved to be decisive, allowing attacks to be made at night, in poor visibility and through smoke screens.[25] In total, British Challengers destroyed roughly 300 Iraqi tanks without suffering a single loss in combat.[22] Patrick Cordingley, the commander of 7th Armoured Brigade, said afterwards that "Challenger is a tank built for combat and not competitions."[26]. On 26 February 1991, a Challenger achieved the longest-range confirmed kill of the war, destroying an Iraqi tank with an armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (L26A1 APFSDS) round fired over a distance of 4100 m[27] by callsign 11B, the CO of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards tank.

Challengers were also used by the British Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Operation Joint Guardian, the NATO-led drive into Kosovo.

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Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and the senior Scottish regiment. The regiment, through the Royal Scots Greys, is the oldest surviving Cavalry Regiment of the Line in the British Army. The regiment is based at Waterloo Lines, Leuchars Station, as part of 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, a light adaptable force brigade.

Kuwait City

Kuwait City

Kuwait City is the capital and largest city of Kuwait. Located at the heart of the country on the south shore of Kuwait Bay on the Persian Gulf, it is the political, cultural and economical centre of the emirate, containing Kuwait's Seif Palace, government offices, and the headquarters of most Kuwaiti corporations and banks. It is one of the hottest cities in summer on earth, with average summer high temperatures over 45 °C (113 °F) for three months of the year.

RAF Manston

RAF Manston

Royal Air Force Manston or more simply RAF Manston is a former Royal Air Force station located in the north-east of Kent, at grid reference TR334663 on the Isle of Thanet from 1916 until 1996. The site was split between a commercial airport Kent International Airport (KIA), since closed, and a continuing military use by the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre (DFTDC), following on from a long-standing training facility for RAF firefighters at the RAF Manston base. In March 2017, RAF Manston became the HQ for the 3rd Battalion, Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (PWRR).

Kosovo Force

Kosovo Force

The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Its operations are gradually reducing until Kosovo's Security Force, established in 2009, becomes self sufficient.

Operation Granby

Operation Granby

Operation Granby, commonly abbreviated Op Granby, was the code name given to the British military operations during the 1991 Gulf War. 53,462 members of the British Armed Forces were deployed during the conflict. The total cost of operations was £2.434 billion (1992), of which at least £2.049 billion was paid for by other nations such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia; £200 million of equipment was lost or written off.

7th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

7th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 7th Armoured Brigade was an armoured brigade formation of the British Army. The brigade is also known as the "Desert Rats", a nickname formerly held by the 7th Armoured Division, of which the brigade formed a part of during the Second World War until late 1941.

Queen's Royal Irish Hussars

Queen's Royal Irish Hussars

The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, abbreviated as QRIH, was a cavalry regiment of the British Army formed from the amalgamation of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars and the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars in 1958. The regiment saw active service against insurgents in Aden; during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation and during the Gulf War, as well as regular service in West Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine. The regiment was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Hussars to form the Queen's Royal Hussars on 1 September 1993.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), making it the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world, and the largest in Western Asia and the Middle East. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the west; Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait to the north; the Persian Gulf, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the east; Oman to the southeast; and Yemen to the south. Bahrain is an island country off the east coast. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northwest separates Saudi Arabia from Egypt. Saudi Arabia is the only country with a coastline along both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland, steppe, and mountains. Its capital and largest city is Riyadh. The country is home to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in Islam.

Reactive armour

Reactive armour

Reactive armour is a type of vehicle armour that reacts in some way to the impact of a weapon to reduce the damage done to the vehicle being protected. It is most effective in protecting against shaped charges and specially hardened kinetic energy penetrators. The most common type is explosive reactive armour (ERA), but variants include self-limiting explosive reactive armour (SLERA), non-energetic reactive armour (NERA), non-explosive reactive armour (NxRA), and electric armour. NERA and NxRA modules can withstand multiple hits, unlike ERA and SLERA. A second hit in exactly the same location may potentially penetrate any of those, as the armour in that spot is compromised.

14th/20th King's Hussars

14th/20th King's Hussars

The 14th/20th King's Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was created by the amalgamation of the 14th King's Hussars and the 20th Hussars in 1922 and, after service in the Second World War, it amalgamated with the Royal Hussars to become the King's Royal Hussars in 1992.

Life Guards (United Kingdom)

Life Guards (United Kingdom)

The Life Guards (LG) is the senior regiment of the British Army and part of the Household Cavalry, along with the Blues and Royals.

VII Corps (United States)

VII Corps (United States)

The VII Army Corps of the United States Army was one of the two principal corps of the United States Army Europe during the Cold War. Activated in 1918 for World War I, it was reactivated for World War II and again during the Cold War. During both World War II and the Cold War it was subordinate to the Seventh Army, or USAREUR and was headquartered at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, West Germany, from 1951 until it was redeployed to the US after significant success in the Gulf War in 1991, then inactivated in 1992.

Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CRARRV)

A CRARRV on exercise on Salisbury Plain in 2008.
A CRARRV on exercise on Salisbury Plain in 2008.

In 1985, the UK MoD ordered a derivative armoured recovery vehicle from Vickers Defence to replace those based on the FV4204 Chieftain ARV/ARRV. The Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CRARRV) is an armoured recovery vehicle based on the Challenger 1 hull, is designed to repair and recover damaged tanks on the battlefield. Eighty vehicles were delivered to the British between 1988 and 1993. Four vehicles were ordered by and delivered to Oman in conjunction with their purchase of Challenger 2 tanks.[28]

The CRARRV has five seats but usually carries a crew of three soldiers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), of the recovery mechanic and vehicle mechanic/technician trades. There is room in the cabin for two further passengers (e.g. crew members of the casualty vehicle) on a temporary basis.

The size and performance are similar to the MBT, but instead of armament it is fitted with:

  • A main winch with 50 tonnes-force pull in a 1:1 configuration or 98 tonnes-force pull using an included pulley in a 2:1 configuration and anchor point on the vehicle, plus a small auxiliary winch to aid in deploying the main winch rope.
  • Atlas crane capable of lifting 6,500 kg (14,300 lb) at a distance of 4.9 m (16 ft) (this is sufficient to lift a Challenger 2 power pack).
  • In order to improve flexibility and supplement the transportation of power packs around the battlefield, the British Army procured a quantity of dedicated CRARRV High Mobility Trailers (CRARRV HMT). Each CRARRV HMT enables a CRARRV to transport a single (Challenger, Titan or Trojan) power pack or two Warrior power packs, by altering the configuration of dedicated fixtures and attachment of fittings.
  • Dozer blade to use as an earth anchor/stabiliser, or in obstacle clearance and fire position preparation.
  • Large set of recovery and heavy repair tools including a man-portable ultrathermic cutting system with an underwater cutting capability and a man-portable welder.

CRARRVs have subsequently been upgraded to use the updated Challenger 2 powertrain consisting of a CV12-5C/6C engine[29] with TN54E transmission.

CRARRVs were first deployed in action in the lead up to the First Gulf War, Operation Granby in 1991. They were subsequently deployed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Operation Telic in 2003.

An unspecified number of CRARRVs are to be donated to Ukraine alongside a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks in 2023.[30]

Discover more about Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CRARRV) related topics

Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering 300 square miles (780 km2). It is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and largely lies within the county of Wiltshire, but stretches into Hampshire.

Armoured recovery vehicle

Armoured recovery vehicle

An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is typically a powerful tank or armoured personnel carrier (APC) chassis modified for use during combat for military vehicle recovery (towing) or repair of battle-damaged, stuck, and/or inoperable armoured fighting vehicles, such as tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Most ARVs have motorized tracks, like a tank or bulldozer, enabling the ARV to operate on uneven ground. The term "Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle" (ARRV) is also used.

Vickers plc

Vickers plc

Vickers plc was the remainder of Vickers-Armstrongs after the nationalisation of three of its four operating groups: aviation, shipbuilding and steel. It was purchased by Rolls-Royce plc in 1999, and the Vickers company name became defunct in 2003 as Rolls renamed the company Vinters Engineering.

Chieftain (tank)

Chieftain (tank)

The FV4201 Chieftain was the main battle tank of the United Kingdom during the 1960s–1990s.

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers is a corps of the British Army that maintains the equipment that the Army uses. The corps is described as the "British Army's Professional Engineers".

Operation Granby

Operation Granby

Operation Granby, commonly abbreviated Op Granby, was the code name given to the British military operations during the 1991 Gulf War. 53,462 members of the British Armed Forces were deployed during the conflict. The total cost of operations was £2.434 billion (1992), of which at least £2.049 billion was paid for by other nations such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia; £200 million of equipment was lost or written off.

2003 invasion of Iraq

2003 invasion of Iraq

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a United States-led invasion of the Republic of Iraq and the first stage of the Iraq War. The invasion phase began on 19 March 2003 (air) and 20 March 2003 (ground) and lasted just over one month, including 26 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq. Twenty-two days after the first day of the invasion, the capital city of Baghdad was captured by Coalition forces on 9 April 2003 after the six-day-long Battle of Baghdad. This early stage of the war formally ended on 1 May 2003 when U.S. President George W. Bush declared the "end of major combat operations" in his Mission Accomplished speech, after which the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established as the first of several successive transitional governments leading up to the first Iraqi parliamentary election in January 2005. U.S. military forces later remained in Iraq until the withdrawal in 2011.

Operation Telic

Operation Telic

Operation Telic was the codename under which all of the United Kingdom's military operations in Iraq were conducted between the start of the invasion of Iraq on 19 March 2003 and the withdrawal of the last remaining British forces on 22 May 2011. The bulk of the mission ended on 30 April 2009 but around 150 troops, mainly from the Royal Navy, remained in Iraq until 22 May 2011 as part of the Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission. 46,000 troops were deployed at the onset of the invasion and the total cost of war stood at £9.24 billion in 2010.

Operators

Map of Challenger 1 operators. Current operators of CRARRV in blue. Future operators of CRARRV in orange. Former operators of Challenger 1 in red
Map of Challenger 1 operators. Current operators of CRARRV in blue. Future operators of CRARRV in orange. Former operators of Challenger 1 in red

Current operators

CRAARV

  • United Kingdom United Kingdom - 80 in service, subsequently received Challenger 2 powertrain upgrades.
  • Oman Oman - 4 in service.

Future Operators

CRAARV

  • Ukraine Ukrainian Army - an unspecified number to be donated alongside a squadron of 14 Challenger 2 tanks.[31]

Former operators

Discover more about Operators related topics

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated 2020 population of more than 67 million people.

British Army

British Army

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces along with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. As of 2022, the British Army comprises 79,380 regular full-time personnel, 4,090 Gurkhas, and 28,330 volunteer reserve personnel.

Oman

Oman

Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country located in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and spans the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Oman shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, while sharing maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast, and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the United Arab Emirates on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries. Muscat is the nation's capital and largest city.

Royal Army of Oman

Royal Army of Oman

The Royal Army of Oman is the ground forces component of the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces. It was founded in 1907 as the Muscat Garrison. It has a current strength of 35,000 personnel.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders to the east and northeast. Ukraine covers approximately 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi). Prior to the ongoing Russian invasion, it was the eighth-most populous country in Europe, with a population of around 41 million people. It is also bordered by Belarus to the north; by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; and by Romania and Moldova to the southwest; with a coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south and southeast. Kyiv is the nation's capital and largest city. Ukraine's state language is Ukrainian; Russian is also widely spoken, especially in the east and south.

Armed Forces of Ukraine

Armed Forces of Ukraine

The Armed Forces of Ukraine, most commonly known in Ukraine as ZSU or anglicized as AFU, are the military forces of Ukraine. All military and security forces, including the Armed Forces, are under the command of the President of Ukraine and subject to oversight by a permanent Verkhovna Rada parliamentary commission. They trace their lineage to 1917, while the modern armed forces were formed after Ukrainian independence in 1991.

Jordan

Jordan

Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levant region, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north, and the Palestinian West Bank, Israel, and the Dead Sea to the west. It has a 26 km (16 mi) coastline in its southwest on the Gulf of Aqaba's Red Sea, which separates Jordan from Egypt. Amman is Jordan's capital and largest city, as well as its economic, political, and cultural centre.

B1 Centauro

B1 Centauro

The Centauro is a family of Italian military vehicles originating from a wheeled tank destroyer for light to medium territorial defense and tactical reconnaissance. It was developed by a consortium of manufacturers, the Società Consortile Iveco Fiat - OTO Melara (CIO). Iveco Fiat was tasked with developing the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for developing the turrets and weapon systems.

Leclerc tank

Leclerc tank

The Leclerc is a third-generation French main battle tank developed and manufactured by Nexter Systems. It was named in honor of Marshal Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, a commander of the Free French Forces, who led the 2nd Armoured Division in World War II.

Source: "Challenger 1", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 31st), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_1.

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See also
Sources
  • McManners, Hugh, Gulf War One Real Voices From the Front Line, Ebury Publishing, 2010, ISBN 9780091935986
References
  1. ^ Hamilton, Archie (12 January 1987). "Challenger Tank (Cost)". House of Commons Debates. HMSO. 108. Column 95W. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b Foss, Christopher (22 February 2018). "Jordan restructures its armoured formations". Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Clark, Robert (16 January 2023). "Britain is sending the Ukrainians the wrong tanks". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  4. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (20 October 2020). "Jordan exercises new Leclerc tanks". Janes Defence Weekly. Janes. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Classic Military Vehicle Magazine, Issue 46, March 2005
  6. ^ Dunstan, Simon (1998). Challenger Main Battle Tank 1982-97. Osprey Publishing Ltd. p. 18. ISBN 1-85532-485-7.
  7. ^ "Ron Mihalko - CAT '87 Scoreboard". Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Ron Mihalko - CAT '87 Teams". Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Hansard: House of Commons Debate 14 July 1987. Vol 119 c437W: Tank Gunnery (Standards)". Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  10. ^ Jane's Defence Weekly: Volume 12, Jane's Publishing Company, 1989 (p.7)
  11. ^ "His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein". kingabdullah.jo. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  12. ^ Tucker, Spencer; Roberts, Priscilla (2008). The Encyclopedia of the Arab–Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. p. 25. ISBN 9781851098422. Archived from the original on 6 February 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Written Answers: Defence". House of Commons Debates. HMSO. 336. 27 October 1999. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  14. ^ Hencke, David (29 October 2002). "UK gives 400 tanks to Jordan". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  15. ^ Hencke, David (29 October 2002). "UK gives 400 tanks to Jordan". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  16. ^ "Falcon Turret". Fighting-Vehicles.com. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  17. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (20 October 2020). "Jordan exercises new Leclerc tanks". Janes Defence Weekly. Janes. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  18. ^ Meiritz, Annett; Murphy, Martin; Specht, Frank; Waschinski, Gregor (20 January 2023). "Deutsche Industrie bietet mehr als 100 Kampfpanzer für Ukraine an". Handelsblatt. Handelsblatt. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  19. ^ "1 (British) Armoured Division". Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  20. ^ a b McManners p36
  21. ^ McManners p18
  22. ^ a b "Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank". Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  23. ^ Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: final report to Congress. United States. Dept. of Defense. 1992.
  24. ^ Dunstan (pp.37–39)
  25. ^ Dunstan (p.39)
  26. ^ GlobalSecurity.org
  27. ^ Dunstan, Simon (1998). Challenger Main Battle Tank 1982-97. Osprey Publishing Ltd. p. 40. ISBN 1-85532-485-7.
  28. ^ Morrison, Bob. "REME CRARRV ON IRON CHALLENGE 2022". Joint-Forces.com. Joint-Forces.com. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  29. ^ "Challenger Tanks: Engines (Qs.1)". TheyWorkForYou. UK Parliament. 22 April 2022. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  30. ^ Wallace, Ben (16 January 2023). "Oral statement to Parliament by the Defence Secretary on war in Ukraine". GOV.UK. HM Government. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  31. ^ Wallace, Ben (16 January 2023). "Oral statement to Parliament by the Defence Secretary on war in Ukraine". GOV.UK. HM Government. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  32. ^ "Jordan restructures its armoured formations | Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
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