These criteria British government has decided to launch a tender to replace the British Army tanks "Chieftain". By this time in the UK at the company "Vickers" had no rivals in tank because the competition were made by foreign companies. The Germans offered "Leopard 2", the Americans — "Abrams" M1A1, the Brazilians have proposed tank EE-T1 "Osorio", and was considered a promising French tank "Leclerc".
Selection of at least some non-English machine threatened to collapse around the British tank industry, monetary collapse, "Vickers" is also a huge number of firms, subcontractors, because in 1988 the creation of the "Challenger" for the army of England was coming to an end, and export orders for the tank was not expected. Adopting a foreign army tank could thus affect the languid all English tank building for the coming 20-30 years. As a result of this to the British faced a choice not only and not so much tactical and technical as political and economic. The result of this choice was clear to all in advance.
The winner of the contest was a tank "Challenger-2" production of "Vickers", with all this in 1987, this tank existed only on paper. Presentation of the project was held in 1987. The main emphasis was made on the ready newest tower guns and fire control system (FCS). In fact, the project foresaw fix everything "nedomodernizirovali" to "Challenger" in comparison with "Chiftenom." First, in 1988 the company "Vickers' own funds made 8 experienced towers, the first of which was ready in the fall of 1988. In December, the UK Ministry of Defence signed a contract for the production and performance of the demo test prototypes of the tank. Total 9 was the most experienced tank "Challenger-2" and 2 towers, which were shot on ballistic tests. To test the tank began in 1989. A final selection of favorite "contest" in 1991 — the tank "Challenger-2" — miraculously coincided with the end of his demo tests. "Highlight" of the project was its tower newest design, the design of which the experts at the office "Vikkres" took into account the experience of developing the turret Vickers Mk.7 tank and the Brazilian EE-T1, a tower which was produced by the British.
Tower went a more conventional form in comparison with the tank turret "Challenger", with all this, it has the lowest visibility in the radar spectrum. With the rise in the armies of the world aircraft radar reconnaissance of ground targets makers of tanks began to pay more attention to decrease their visibility. The tower installed a new 120-mm rifled tool L30 with a barrel length of 55 calibres. In order to extend the life of the bore guns made brilliant. Widths of the pins and sockets under them have been increased, which positively affected by vibrations of the barrel in elevation and azimuth, and has increased the accuracy of fire. Ammunition gun consists of 50 rounds of separate charges. Projectiles and charges are stored in the broken combat pack. During the design of the tower to be erected in her autoloader, but for various reasons (design complexity vulnerability in battle, decrease reliability) from the idea of installing it all the same abandoned.
Drives pointing guns and turret completely electronic, angles pointing guns in the vertical plane is from -10 to +20 degrees. The gun is stabilized in the tank 2-planes. To the left of the gun is placed coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun, such as another set on the turret hatch in the loader, machine guns, ammunition is 4000 shots. In front of the tower is set to 5 smoke grenade. Inside the tower is placed on the right of the gun gunner and commander (workplace tank commander somewhat elevated above the gunner), the charge is placed on the left of the gun. Instrumentation and Electrical Equipment in the tower in relation to the "Challenger" was replaced by one hundred percent. The first time the British tank received data bus Mil Std 1553 — NATO standard interface used on military helicopters. The military said that the transition to a single interface, and the standard equipment of them different combat systems will allow significantly increase the speed of communication between all the techniques involved in the fighting.
Combined stabilized in the 2-planes sight Gunner created by Barr End Stroud, in collaboration with the French SAGEM. Fiber Optic Sight Day is approaching 2 — 4 — or 10-fold, the night has a 4 — or 11.4-fold approach. In the integrated laser rangefinder sight. In the role of the sensor is used for night-channel imager TOGS-2, made on the basis of thermal TOGS tank "Challenger." The sensor is installed on the gun barrel and is covered by a special armored flap that opens only at night channel activation. As a subsidiary of the tank is used telescopic sight NANOQUEST L30.
Tank commander is in his own possession stabilized panoramic periscope sight SFIM, which consists of a lightweight sight "Leclerc" (in the British version is no night channel). Fiber Optic Sight has two approaches — 3 — or 8-fold. In view of this scope is informed about the course of the tank and its location. For an embodiment of the fighting during the night there is video monitoring unit to which the image is displayed with a night sight channel gunner. Also, around the perimeter of the commander's cupola has 8 observational devices that provide radial field of view. Armament control system created by the Canadian company CDC and is a modernized version of the computer's South American tank M1A1 "Abrams".
Using the MSA, the tank commander may, without the help of others to produce and maintain a tip-off gun fire, mark the detected targets or completely transfer control gun gunner, realizing at that time an independent search for new targets. A typical cycle of aiming to hit a target in just 8 seconds. For example, in tests of prototypes highly trained crews could hit 8 goals in 42 seconds. Hous
ing tank "Challenger-2" is actually no different from its predecessor, but its interior has been updated, though not as drastic as Tank tower. Corps combat vehicle, as well as its tower and the screens are made of superior armor "chobhem" which is inflated in comparison with the armor of the "Challenger" snaryadostoykost. In the front part of the body of the "Challenger-2" are nodes, allowing to hang on him bulldozer equipment.
Initially, the designers want to equip tank 1,500-horsepower diesel engine, but the military found it likely to throw the old 1200-horsepower engine. By the way, of all modern MBT Western states British tank has the weakest engine which car accelerates weight of 62.5 tons to a speed of 52 km / h on the highway. The main British motor used 12-cylinder V-shaped four-stroke "Condor" of Perkins. This diesel engine is turbocharged. To his left is installed auxiliary diesel H30 offices Coventry Klaymeks having a capacity of 37 liters. s. Auxiliary diesel is used to start the main diesel engine, an electric drive, heating and battery recharging. Both engines sharing a common liquid cooling system, which is able to provide them with reliable operation at an ambient temperature does not exceed +52 ° C.
Box TN-54, which received the "Challenger-2" has previously been run-in to the "Challenger" and ARV latest releases. In total, the design of the engine block of the "Challenger-2" was made 44 different configurations. For example, a tank were installed air filters latest design. Improved cooling system, starter and generator, lubrication box, came bolting gain block. Did the creators of the "Challenger-2" and a nod to the Russian tankostroitelnoy school. In the first western tank got 2 external fuel drop tanks (each a capacity of 204.5 liters) that were previously very critical of various professionals. In order to do around the chimney Zahav, tank, apart from the usual smoke grenades can use a device injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust system.
First serial "Challenger-2" was made in 1994, only the British army meant to acquire 386 similar tanks. In December 1995, the first tanks began to come into service. Their first received Royal Scots Dragoon Guards regiment. Operation of machines are also identified a "bouquet" of gaps, which priemuschestvenno was associated with MSA and sights. As the Ministry of Defence signed a "Vickers" fixed contract, having discussed the wholesale cost in advance, eliminating gaps company started its own expense. For a long time these shortcomings were only "locked", so that by 1997 the army was only 36 of those tanks Dragoons, which were used for the preparation of priemuschestvenno tank crews, while another 114 cars were stored in the warehouses of the manufacturer, in anticipation of modernization.