For much of the Cold War, the British Army's main battle tanks (MBT) were first the Centurion and then the Chieftain. The question of the latter's replacement became urgent when in 1980 MBT80 was canceled. While the Royal Ordnance Challenger (originally the Shir 2) was acquired as a stop gap its design and capability limitations quickly became apparent.
Vickers then took over the Royal Ordnance tank building facility and against stiff foreign competition developed the Challenger 2.
This superbly researched and illustrated book tells the story of the evolution and subsequent successful career of Challenger 2 which has seen distinguished service in war and peace since 1990 and has proved itself one of the worlds most formidable fighting vehicles. The authors do not shy away from technical detail and make comparisons with competitors. The result is an objective and authoritative work which will delight military equipment buffs, modelers and wargamers.
About the Author
Robert Griffin joined the British Army as a 17 year old Junior Leader and served for many years as an AFV crewman in the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in BAOR, BATUS, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, the UK and Bosnia. He has written a number of books and articles on armoured vehicles of the Cold War period, including definitive works on the FV-214 Conqueror, Chieftain, Challenger 1 and FV432 and RAC in the Cold War (with Merlin Robinson). He lives at Hucclecote, Gloucestershire and is actively involved in the Army Cadet Force.
M P Robinson studied history at Torontos York University. He is interested in military history of all periods with a focus on 20th Century ground warfare. He has written four books on post-war armour in English and French in 2014 and has edited 3 of Robert Griffins previous works for Kagero Publishing. He co-authored, with Robert Griffin, RAC in the Cold War and Challenger 2.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Chieftain, MBT80 and the Shir 1
Chapter 2 Challenger 1 9
Chapter 3 The Vickers Mk.7 11
Chapter 4 GSR 4026, CAT 87 and the End of the Cold War 13
Chapter 5 The 120mm L30AI gun 18
Chapter 6 The New Vickers MBT 20
Chapter 7 Options for Change, Operation Granby and the Selection of the Vickers Challenger 2 24
Chapter 8 Challenger 2 Prototypes 28
Chapter 9 The Challenger 2 Described 29
Chapter 10 Early Service 33
Chapter 11 Saif Sareea II 48
Chapter 12 Operation Telic 54
Chapter 13 Occupation and Urban Combat in Iraq 68
Chapter 14 Challenger 2 Variants 83
Chapter 15 The Challenger 2's career since 2003 117
Chapter 16 The Future 136