The Challenger 2E Tank was an export model of the Challenger 2 Tank marketed by BAE Systems Land. The vehicle offered several upgrades over the Challenger 2 Tank in British Army service. It was trialed, but failed to attract any orders and is no longer offered to the export market.
Challenger 2E Tank Firepower
The Challenger 2E retained the L30 rifled 120mm main gun, but had improvements to its Fire Control System, namely a gyro stabilised panoramic SAGEM MVS 580 day/thermal sight for the commander and SAGEM SAVAN 15 gyro stabilised day/thermal sight for the gunner.
This eliminated the bulky thermal sight above the main gun and gave a better Hunter-Killer capability at night, with the Commander having his own thermal channel, rather than relying on the Gunners.
Challenger 2E Tank Mobility
The Challenger 2E had a new engine, the German 1500hp MTU MT 883 diesel, which is also known as the “Euro Powerpack”. The MTU engine gave the vehicle an increased Road Range and overall improved performance.
Challenger 2E Tank Potential Operators
It is believed (or rumored) that prior to the Australian Army purchasing reconditioned surplus M1A1 AIM V2 tanks from America, Australia had approached the UK about purchasing the Challenger 2E. No official agreement or deal was ever made and Australia took delivery of its M1A1 tanks in 2007.
In late 1998, the Hellenic Army (Greece) conduct tests of the firepower and mobility (not the armoured protection) of the French Leclerc, the Leopard 2 A5 (they used the Swedish Strv 122) Russian T-80U, Ukrainian T-84 and the British Challenger 2E.
The Greeks scored the Leopard 2A5 – 78.65% the M1A2 Abrams – 72.21% the Leclerc – 72.03%; and the CR2E – 69.19%
The Leopard 2A5 was the only one with a demonstrated deep fording capability, while the M1A2 had the best firing results during hunter/killer target engagements. The 1500hp MTU EuroPowerPack of the Leclerc and CR2E gave the best cruising range and lower fuel consumption. The Greeks were already operating the Leopard 2 A4 (reduced cost 2nd hand) and in 2000 the Leopard 2 A6 was selected as their new principal MBT.
When the Challenger 2E was returned the FCS was tested and found in good order. It was found that the main gun had soot and debris in the barrel. This was because the Greeks had been supplied with the old Challenger 1’s L23 APFSDS for the trials and as such the old L14A2 case charge, which was a modified for desert weather L14A1 and had been so hurriedly manufactured that WNC-supplied L8 combustible cases were modified to meet urgent deliveries for the Gulf War. It was the old L14A2 case charges that had been responsible for the debris in the barrel and fouling the shots fired in Greece.
Challenger 2E Tank Status
BAE Systems stopped marketing the Challenger 2E around 2007 to 2008 following the end of the 120mm L55 smoothbore trials and project. The Challenger 2E is not in service.
Challenger 2E Tank Specifications
|Main Gun||120mm, calibre Length 55 Rifled L30 CHARM
Elevation -10 to +20
|Secondary Weapons||x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 7.62mm MG|
|Ammunition Storage||x50 120mm, x4,000 7.62mm|
|Engine||MTU MT 883 1500hp Diesel|
|Transmission||Renk HSWL 295TM automatic|
|Top Road Speed||72 km/h (estimated Governed)|
|Road Range||500 km|
|Fuel Capacity||1592+ Litres|
|Length Gun Forward||11.55m|
|Height||2.49m (roof top)|
|Weight||62,000+kg aka 62 tonne combat|
|Active Protection Systems||No|