a reply to: TrueBrit
If I remember correctly that gun was actually intended for the chasis that bugjet cut's denied our army back in the 70's and 80's, they had even
taken the chasis they were intended for to almost production stage when the government cancelled, as for our armour, well at it's base it is the
famous Chobham composite overlaying the steel hull of the tank and Chobham armour is yet to be bettered by anyone, even the Yank's use it on there
leopard chassis based abrams with the varient they incorporate depleted uranium into there licenced version of the armour which is a layer I am not
certain we use but it would not surprise me if we did.
The closest to equalling the stopping power of Chobham composite was the later development by the soviets of shaped reactive charge plating which you
will sometime's see also used today by the Yank's and other's, unlike composite which uses other method's to deflect or absorb the force of a shaped
charge the reactive armour plates actually use explosive against explosive to deflect the incoming shaped plasma cone of the standard type of anti
tank munition with a shaped charge blowing outward away from the under hull thus neutralizing the incoming plasma which would otherwise eat through
the hull and fill the vehicle interior with high temperature gas and vaporised hull material.
Other recent development's which we are unlikely to see deployed any time soon, also a british development was the use of a mutli skinned electrical
discharge armour, instead of the soviet development of reactive explosives this uses a high voltage capacitive layer, when the shaped charge pieces
the outer skin exposing one capacitive layer (at a time) it discharges an extreme high voltage blast of electron's which much like a lighting bolt if
you like discharged explosively into the incoming plasma, this has the effect of dissipating the plasma even more effectively than a shaped reactive
plate but is far more expensive to deploy (and far less re-usable) and hence we are as far as I know not yet using it.
But like I say you are correct, the Gun system and Targeting system (which can cope with a high speed moving vehicle crossing rough terrain while
maintaining target tracking) though copied by our allies were innovative and still are world leading as is the armor (not the only thing's the systems
on our harriers were better than those the Yank's still use as were our missile targeting systems and guidance systems) but the chasis to which they
were married was not the one they were intended for originally (at least not in there first incarnation but of course the challenger has seen heavy
modification and improvement since that time).
Also if I remember our original MBT which was cancelled had a lower profile (And the power plant in the challenger was also intended for that
chassis) than the challenger which is better for close range high speed tank battles as envisaged if the cold war had gone hot, remember this was the
original purpose and aim of our's and other nato tank's to play a part in a Cold war deterrence force and if necessary to form an effect fighting
force against the overwhelming soviet deployment numbers if Soviet aggression had occured and stayed non nuclear.
Of course the challengers high profile does have advantages over longer range, it is a superior view to many lower vehicles and like any tank it can
adopt a hull down posture exposing only it's main gun though against old T72's it was not even remotely challenged, especially when you consider those
T72's in Iraq were soviet export model's which were substandard to there own and especially the Russian's own army's version's.
Also YOU are correct about the importance of superior tank crew training, our soldiers do not and did not operate on the outmoded idea of
"Specialists" like the Yank's used too and maybe still do I don't know?, so each member can take over any of the role's in the tank effectively were
as the Specialist role mean's that an operator is only trained to one role, another similar point is a British sniper is trained to work Solo but can
use a spotter, a US sniper usually relies on a spotter but can work solo.
Though we have seen some degrading of the quality of our armed forces over the past twenty years due to the anti bullying regime now in effect (I
hate bully's don't get me wrong) and the namby pamby approach now taken in our armed forces they are still perhaps the best armed forces in the world
on a numbers by numbers basis with undeniably the very best in the world by far elite forces such as the SAS and SBS.
But remember how it went from Stormin Norman saying how fantastic our soldiers were to by the time of the Afghan campaign some of the US top brass
being less then impressed by our forces, this was not down to outmoded technology but a direct result of the anti bullying, namby pamby approach taken
today as opposed to that much harsher (and crueler) training our soldiers used to be subjected too.
I used to know a guy whom actually performed field work for the MOD's weapons research and back after the Iraqi's fled Kuwait city he was sent to
analyse some of the wreckage to study impact on the Iraqi T72's, being mild steel hull's they were easy to depopulate and one weapon used was a
stilletto typle dark which pierced the tank hull, a small explosive wrapped in liquid mercury would detonate, this would litterally liquify any
occupants as the metal would simply pass through them but leave the tank almost intact except for a few dials and plastic fitment's etc, he mentioned
that they litterally had to hose the inside of the tank's down to appraise the damage and see if they were salvable, not that we would use them but
the idea was so that you could turn enemy weapon systems against them, at the same time the yank's were apparently testing other far more effective
weapon systems on the iraqis including by some account's on this site EMP projector's.
edit on 13-2-2016 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)