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Thursday, 23 May 2013

British Challenger 2 Tank tested in Action

British Challenger 2 Tank

British Army tanks have evolved since British WWII tanks. Modern British tanks are of course much more complex with dynamic instrumentation to make them more effective. To drive a tank in this day and age is probably more agreeable then during WWII.

Challenger 2 saw its first combat in March 2003 during the invasion of Iraq. One hundred and twenty Challenger 2 tanks went into action around Basra and saw action during the siege of Basra where the covered with fire support for British forces.

During part of this conflict within an urban area a Challenger 2 came under attack from irregular forces. Machine guns and rocket propelled grenades were used were used upon this one particular Challenger 2. The driver's sight was damaged and while attempting to back away, the other sights were damaged and the tank threw its tracks entering a ditch. It was immobilised by the group of resisters who surrounded the stricken vehicle.

The Iragi irregulars fired the weaponray at the Challenger 2 from various directions. It was hit directly by fourteen rocket propelled grenades at close range, plus a MILAN anti-tank missile.

Inside the Challenger 2, the British crew survived until the tank was recovered for repairs by relieving British forces who drove the Iraqi irregulars off. The worst damage was to the tank's sighting system. 

The same Challenger 2 was back in operation, six hours later after repairs. 

Another Challenger 2 operating near Basra was hit by 70 RPGs during a different incident and survived with crew intact. The Challenger 2 was proving good in tight situations. 


In August 2006 at a place called al-Amarah in Iraq, a Challenger 2 was penetrated by an old Soviet RPG-29. The frontal hull of of the tank was ruptured through ERA in the area of the driver's cabin.

The driver lost part of his foot and two more of the crew were injured. However, the driver was able to reverse 1.5 miles to an aid post. 

I can't help thinking that if two technologically advanced nations came head to head. How long could such nations keep up fighting with such expensive tanks? How often could they be replaced There are many fine examples of good tanks but how would they fare against more resourceful opposition?

By this, I imply that any force with the durability to endeavour and keep fighting and with ability to destroy such vehicles; how long before a nation begins to run out of financial resources to replace or repair such technically advanced vehicles. Imagine better RPGs that can cause such damage - easier to produce on the mass market then such tanks that must cost so much.

I think some of the tanks of today are truly awesome machines, but I can't help thinking that smaller intricate and less expensive technology might cause such warfare to be too costly for tank providers in a more prolonged war and against a more determined enemy.




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