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Thread: M1A2 vs Challenger 2 (intelligent debate)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Dave Angel ;longer barrel for faster projectiles" now i know what the wife means!!!lol.....I started on centurian 20 pounders in 66..through to Challenger,give me the cent anyday..ps.its not what you have its how you use it
    comparing Abrams vs Chally, is like asking your mom who her favorite child is. each has a few advantages over the other from slightly different takes on how to solve the same question.

    with much mor elimited terrain to fight from the American's allocated the bulk of the Abrams armor to the front so it could fight in reverse gear. But don't take this to mean that the Abrams has weak sides. During GW1 even the American silver bullet failked to penetrate the sides.

    The Facing the spectre of a massed attack across ideal tank country and the possibility of mutlipe Soviet breaches pouring troops through the flanks went with a more all around aproach to its armor package.

    In guns both can kill just about anythign they can see, although the british system of seperate charges is somewhat slower and more dangeorus (more exposure time) the guns gains an advantage in range.

    The M1 can move with a quickness and for its size is the fastest tank in the world (heavy tank weights) but it guzzels fuel. The Chally drives rathe rmore sedately, but likea grand old touring sedan will get there eventually and if the Abrams has to stop for fuel like the proverbial tortoise and the hare may beat the Abrams over a long stretch.

    As a fully intergrated combined arms assett he Abrams wins hands down, but then the chally isn't even in this race, yet. But if and when the Brits decide that they might need such a high level of battle feild cordination, the Chally will enter the feild as a partner to the Abrams not an inferior.

    The Abrams, Chally, leo and to an extent the leclerc and Areite and Type 90 all call the MBT-70 momma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave angel View Post
    echo Dalem's comment.

    both - when taken with their crews - are head and shoulders above anything they are ever likely to meet in anger.

    Tanks are usually rated on firepower, mobility and protection.
    The Chally main armament is very good with plenty of potential to fire future natures. It can also do bombardments because of it's rifled gun. Split ammo is safer but takes longer to load than the M1 one-piece. The M1 smoothbore defeats anything at present but would need a longer barrel to get faster projectiles. Infantry suppression is woeful on the Chally whereas the US have a total of three MGs and may be fitting a remote weapon system for the commander.
    The M1 wins hands down on mobility; it has a very powerful and reliable gas turbine which drinks like a fish but just goes on and on. Compare that to the train engine in the Chally. Chally can go much further on a tank of fuel, and even further with it's extra fuel drums.
    The bow of the M1 seems invulnerable while the sides are are weak. numerous M1A1 were lost to RPG attacks and i saw a SDG chally2 that took 8 direct RPG hits and a milan hit and still fought on. the only chally lost was due to a blue on blue incident from another chally2 (and that was a mess). Chally has a questionable bow-hence the ERA-but has fabulous add-on Dorchester on the sides. You are more likely to survive a turret strike in the Chally due to it's split ammo stowage and it's electric gun kit; ie no hydraulic fluid to explode.
    Hope I haven't missed/misrepresented anything as it's been a while since I've been near a tank.

    (Nearly forgot; Chally has a boiling vessel. )


    with thanks to ObnoviousJockGit and ArmySurplusSpecial for the technical gubbins....


    i think your information is a little out of date, becasue the latest variants of the Challanger 2 are being re-fitted with the same smooth bore gun that the abrams and leopard 2 have.
    The challanger is in one respect more manovarable than the abrams because it is faster cross country and in the long haul. It is also technoloically smarter because it is allot quicker to repair and replace the challangers susspention as it does not consist of 10's of metal rods, which also invloves taking apart a big sectiono of the abrams track, bogies and body work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    i think your information is a little out of date, becasue the latest variants of the Challanger 2 are being re-fitted with the same smooth bore gun that the abrams and leopard 2 have.
    Not yet - they're still talking about it and have fitted one tank with one for trials purposes. I doubt they have the cash however, and the HESH round is currently rather handy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    No it wasn't - it's an evolved version of Chieftain developed for the Shah of Iran. When he was deposed, the UK found itself with a shiny new tank.
    Lots of them Designation was ...... Khalid
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    My favourite thing about this thread is the title, it's very intellignet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug97 View Post
    My favourite thing about this thread is the title, it's very intellignet.
    ^^^^^^



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    There is one design flaw in the Challenger, its lack of separate ammunition storage behind armour with blow off panels. The HESH rounds are stored within the tank without the above, the charges are in an armoured bin, but without blow off panels. That apart, the power to weight ratio of the tank is somewhat unimpressive.

    The M1A2 doesnt have the above issues, though it has been said that its upper glacis (hull) is not well armoured,and is aweak spot, and that its sides are similarly more vulnerable than they should be. But I still consider it to be an overall better design, on account of its crew protection measures.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    There is one design flaw in the Challenger, its lack of separate ammunition storage behind armour with blow off panels. The HESH rounds are stored within the tank without the above, the charges are in an armoured bin, but without blow off panels.
    There are trade-offs all over the shop here. Any of the non-inert CR2 ammunition (i.e. everything apart from the APFSDS penetrator) is stored in the main hull, rather than the turret as (I think - if I've got this wrong my arguament falls flat on it's face) is the case with the M1 family. I'm not a tanker, but I would question exactly what chance the crew have of surviving any explosion in the hull big enough to set off the charges inside the armoured bins, even before the charges themselves go off. If any explosion big enough to set the charges off will kill them, blow-out panels are introducing a weak spot to the armour for no benefit.
    This line of thinking does not apply to the M1 series, due to the fact that ammunition stored in the turret bustle is inherently much more vulnerable to fire and arguably more likely to kill the crew if it cooked off without the blow out panels being present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    That apart, the power to weight ratio of the tank is somewhat unimpressive.
    Standard CR2 engine is 1200 BHP compared to the 1500 BPH of the M1 series. Weights are pretty comparable. There is an engine upgrade for the CR2 to a 1500 BHP diesel about - it's standard on the 2e variant - but HM Treasury are too tight fisted to pay for it on the standard tanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    But I still consider it to be an overall better design, on account of its crew protection measures.
    Ummm... I think you're taking a long step on a thin branch here. The three greatest crew protection measures are situational awareness, crew training and armour protection. Two of these are largely independent of the tank, while armour protection is classified and only known to be very good on both tanks. One minor niggle which as I have outlined above may be unnecessary on the CR2 for design reasons seems rather a thin basis to state one is better than the other.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    There are trade-offs all over the shop here. Any of the non-inert CR2 ammunition (i.e. everything apart from the APFSDS penetrator) is stored in the main hull, rather than the turret as (I think - if I've got this wrong my arguament falls flat on it's face) is the case with the M1 family. I'm not a tanker, but I would question exactly what chance the crew have of surviving any explosion in the hull big enough to set off the charges inside the armoured bins, even before the charges themselves go off. If any explosion big enough to set the charges off will kill them, blow-out panels are introducing a weak spot to the armour for no benefit.
    This line of thinking does not apply to the M1 series, due to the fact that ammunition stored in the turret bustle is inherently much more vulnerable to fire and arguably more likely to kill the crew if it cooked off without the blow out panels being present.
    You are mistaken here (imho), since the HESH rounds- even if claimed to be non inert, and the charge bins if penetrated still dont vent outside. The fact is that the Abrams hull & turret ammo, both are vented, that makes it arguably the best protected tank in terms of internal ammo crew protection measures.


    Standard CR2 engine is 1200 BHP compared to the 1500 BPH of the M1 series. Weights are pretty comparable. There is an engine upgrade for the CR2 to a 1500 BHP diesel about - it's standard on the 2e variant - but HM Treasury are too tight fisted to pay for it on the standard tanks.
    IIRC the Chally2 is a bit heavier and the wartime upgrade packages -ERA etc make it heavier still, which is where the production standard Abrams M1A2 has the edge.



    Ummm... I think you're taking a long step on a thin branch here. The three greatest crew protection measures are situational awareness, crew training and armour protection. Two of these are largely independent of the tank, while armour protection is classified and only known to be very good on both tanks. One minor niggle which as I have outlined above may be unnecessary on the CR2 for design reasons seems rather a thin basis to state one is better than the other.
    Not really- I was speaking of post penetration and bringing tank training is a cop out, when comparing designs alone, since a Brit tanker and an American one are comparable. In terms of SA, the M1A2 has the edge in terms of situational awareness since the commander gets an independent thermal viewer iirc and the latest TUSK upgrade even gives the gunner one on his external MG. If the Chally has these too, I'd be glad to be corrected.

    I am yet to come across a deturreted (if the word exists) Abrams, but even the Chally has flipped its lid on occasion (friendly fire, when a HESH round impacted on the turret).

    The Abrams basic design means that it can field up armour packages to reduce its vulnerable areas, but its basic design itself ensures that its crew dont have to worry about the ammo cooking off if penetrated and killing them.

    I'd say the Chally2 is good, but the Abrams sets the benchmark.
    Last edited by Archer; 30 Jan 07, at 01:53.
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    At least one Abrams has lost it's turret when being rolled back over after being flipped down a ravine by an anti-tank mine.

    I don't know wha the fixation with HESH is it is not used as an anti-tank round. All modern MBT's are equipped with anti-spall linings and a spaced armor package. Also HESH is not inert it is a warhead that is very simply plastic explosive (High Explosive Squash Head knownin the US as HEP High Explosive Plastic) when it hits it deforms and conforms to the target then detonates using the shock waves to cause spalling to mince the crew and start fires explode ammos. It was developed to defeat Panther and Tiger tanks. It would never be stored in the turret but in armored bins in the hull.

    As a former Abrams tanker I must confess that in combat the Abrams record is awesome, but the CR1 and 2 are undefeated.

    If I had to go into combat in something other than an Abrams, it would be a Chally

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    At least one Abrams has lost it's turret when being rolled back over after being flipped down a ravine by an anti-tank mine.
    But not due to ammunition explosion, right?

    I don't know wha the fixation with HESH is it is not used as an anti-tank round. All modern MBT's are equipped with anti-spall linings and a spaced armor package.
    HESH is useful against light armour and devastating against fortifications.

    Also HESH is not inert it is a warhead that is very simply plastic explosive (High Explosive Squash Head knownin the US as HEP High Explosive Plastic) when it hits it deforms and conforms to the target then detonates using the shock waves to cause spalling to mince the crew and start fires explode ammos. It was developed to defeat Panther and Tiger tanks. It would never be stored in the turret but in armored bins in the hull.
    So HESH would be vulnerable to burning fragments/ any ammo penetration, right?The HESH in Chally 2 afaik, is not stored in bins iirc.


    As a former Abrams tanker I must confess that in combat the Abrams record is awesome, but the CR1 and 2 are undefeated.

    If I had to go into combat in something other than an Abrams, it would be a Chally
    Why not the Merkava 4? Seems to be a modern design, and arguably the only tank that includes both top attack and anti-mine protection as part of its basic design itself. Plus it is stated to have the most advanced fire control system in the world today.
    Last edited by Archer; 30 Jan 07, at 06:55.
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    Why not the Merkava 4? Seems to be a modern design, and arguably the only tank that includes both top attack and anti-mine protection as part of its basic design itself. Plus it is stated to have the most advanced fire control system in the world today.
    1- its even slower than the Chally

    2- While no Merkava IV has been destroyed in combat, several were disabled by frontal shots that fried the final drives or som eothe rpart of the mobility system.. In fact the Merkava is mor evulnerable to mobility kills becuase of the front mounted engine, transmission, and final drives bear the brunt of mines. As no Abranms or Chally has suffered a penetration from the front the dubious increase in protection is not worth the massive increased risk of mobility kill.

    3- harder to repair, with the powertrain under signifigant armor it takes longer to repair

    4- I was raise don ceramics not steel apligue, I trust what I know.

    5- It's fire control is not any better than the Chally's which holds the world record at 5.1KM

    HESH is useful against light armour and devastating against fortifications.
    true, but I was talking anti-tank.

    So HESH would be vulnerable to burning fragments/ any ammo penetration, right?The HESH in Chally 2 afaik, is not stored in bins iirc.
    yes it would be vulnerable, but it is stored in the hull not the turret. from PDF27- Any of the non-inert CR2 ammunition (i.e. everything apart from the APFSDS penetrator) is stored in the main hull,

    [quote]But not due to ammunition explosion, right?/quote] the flying frying pan is not somethign you will see an Abrams do, expce tto inflict it on others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    1- its even slower than the Chally
    suspension is said to be optimised for the golan iirc, slower but can take more punishment from rough, very rocky terrain

    2- While no Merkava IV has been destroyed in combat, several were disabled by frontal shots that fried the final drives or som eothe rpart of the mobility system.. In fact the Merkava is mor evulnerable to mobility kills becuase of the front mounted engine, transmission, and final drives bear the brunt of mines. As no Abranms or Chally has suffered a penetration from the front the dubious increase in protection is not worth the massive increased risk of mobility kill.
    fair point

    3- harder to repair, with the powertrain under signifigant armor it takes longer to repair
    agree, but are there figures? they'd design it to be modular iirc and field replaceable, even if at the safe bivouac once recovered

    4- I was raise don ceramics not steel apligue, I trust what I know.
    but isnt the merk armour classified? iirc only the outer armor has been shown to be NERA, steel and rubber (?)

    5- It's fire control is not any better than the Chally's which holds the world record at 5.1KM
    this is debatable...apparently acc. to israeli tankers the merk features a learning FCS that improves with use/ rounds fired, and is unique to each tank, making it super accurate and a true long range sniper, since israeli doctrine insists on the same. also, the fcs has autotracking, which allows even conscripts to man it effectively.


    true, but I was talking anti-tank.
    ok, i was just adding to why hesh is used


    yes it would be vulnerable, but it is stored in the hull not the turret. from PDF27- Any of the non-inert CR2 ammunition (i.e. everything apart from the APFSDS penetrator) is stored in the main hull,
    but if the hull is penetrated, boom!

    the flying frying pan is not somethign you will see an Abrams do, expce tto inflict it on others.
    which is why i think the abrams is the better design
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    suspension is said to be optimised for the golan iirc, slower but can take more punishment from rough, very rocky terrain
    and 62 tons charging across Ft Irwin at 45mph can get rougher on metal if its in the Golan? Same applies to the Chally. These tanks feature state of the art suspencion systems and I don't buy that argument.

    agree, but are there figures? they'd design it to be modular iirc and field replaceable, even if at the safe bivouac once recovered
    Nothing is easier than killing the crew of a tank that can't move. set it on fire and when they egress to avoid being bar b-qued gun them down. Sure the tank cna be recovered and repaired, but the crews risked being toasted.

    but isnt the merk armour classified? iirc only the outer armor has been shown to be NERA, steel and rubber (?)
    Not really. cermaic based armor uses slab sides to focus the impact of enemy rounds on as few tiles as possible. The steep angualr almsot ballistic shaping of the Merkava would spread the force of blows across the surface of the armor. This implies a steel applique aproach where protecting ceramic tiles is not an issue.

    this is debatable...apparently acc. to israeli tankers the merk features a learning FCS that improves with use/ rounds fired, and is unique to each tank, making it super accurate and a true long range sniper, since israeli doctrine insists on the same. also, the fcs has autotracking, which allows even conscripts to man it effectively.
    smart FCS or not the Brits hold the record at 5.1KM. The Merkava may or may not be able to do this, the Chally obviously can.

    which is why i think the abrams is the better design
    Differing ideas. Abrams has less side protection so a penetratign shot is more likely. Sure the ammo cooking off won't cook the crew, but what if the shot misses the ammo and goes into the crew compartment? Kind of a mute point then ehh... The Chally ha smore side armor on the principle tha tit is better to resist the hit, than resist the effects of a hit.

    The Abrams was designed to fight in reverse gear with its front facing hordes of soviet armor.As such armor was maximized forward (althought he sides are still very tough) The restricted nature of the terrain in the American sector of Germany made flanking by Soviet tanks less of a possibiliy.

    The Chally was designe dto fight on the North German plains where the bulk of the WGSF was located. In this area beign flanked by massive armore dthrusts was much more likely creatign a threat enviroment that required a wider spectrum of armor placement. As a result frontal protection was reduced, evne though it is still massive, and sides were increased.

    The Gemran Leo is the other design to emerge form the era. It uses steel aplique to reduce cost and stresses mobility over protection 9although it is still well armored). Where the Brits and American's each had desingnate dareas to fight in the Germans were NATO's only real mobile reserves until French and Reforger units arrived. German AFV development post WW2 stresses mobility Panzer Luchs, Leo II ect or anti-tank like the jagdpanzer kanone. reflecting the dual needs of thier military.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    and 62 tons charging across Ft Irwin at 45mph can get rougher on metal if its in the Golan? Same applies to the Chally. These tanks feature state of the art suspencion systems and I don't buy that argument.
    dont shoot the messenger! this was actually quoted by an israeli tanker..his point was that the merk suspension would start to smoke on a different surface, but on the golan it was a plush ride, even tho' its very rocky..since it was customized for that..


    Not really. cermaic based armor uses slab sides to focus the impact of enemy rounds on as few tiles as possible. The steep angualr almsot ballistic shaping of the Merkava would spread the force of blows across the surface of the armor. This implies a steel applique aproach where protecting ceramic tiles is not an issue.
    very interesting! so the merk basically features alloys and NERA? why do you think they went for this approach, and not the ceramic one? also, the leo2 is slab sided, (A4 mark) so if i read you correctly, the a4 armour was ceramic based, and you were referring to the wedge on the A5 as the steel applique, which is an add on.


    smart FCS or not the Brits hold the record at 5.1KM. The Merkava may or may not be able to do this, the Chally obviously can.
    well the israelis wouldnt release the actual figures, but it became a flame war on tanknet- y'know the usual US subsidizes israel and the IDF is showing off by goldplating its eqpt stuff..the key things said to make the merk3/4 FCS unique are that it actively takes into account the unique attributes of the tank itself, ie minute differences in its behaviour, historical record, and stuff like that and end result is that if you feed in these parameters, the FCS "learns" over time..the israeli tankers were categorical that it was the most advanced system of its kind, with most parameters still classified, and that it was far superior to the M1A2 FCS, and the Chally system is basically similar to the M1s, in terms of performance..so, my comment/s.

    Differing ideas. Abrams has less side protection so a penetratign shot is more likely. Sure the ammo cooking off won't cook the crew, but what if the shot misses the ammo and goes into the crew compartment? Kind of a mute point then ehh... The Chally ha smore side armor on the principle tha tit is better to resist the hit, than resist the effects of a hit.
    fair point, but i still think they should have gone for blow off panels..it would have made the design that bit, perfect. besides you can always festoon the M1 with more modular side armour..

    The Abrams was designed to fight in reverse gear with its front facing hordes of soviet armor.As such armor was maximized forward (althought he sides are still very tough) The restricted nature of the terrain in the American sector of Germany made flanking by Soviet tanks less of a possibiliy.

    The Chally was designe dto fight on the North German plains where the bulk of the WGSF was located. In this area beign flanked by massive armore dthrusts was much more likely creatign a threat enviroment that required a wider spectrum of armor placement. As a result frontal protection was reduced, evne though it is still massive, and sides were increased.

    The Gemran Leo is the other design to emerge form the era. It uses steel aplique to reduce cost and stresses mobility over protection 9although it is still well armored). Where the Brits and American's each had desingnate dareas to fight in the Germans were NATO's only real mobile reserves until French and Reforger units arrived. German AFV development post WW2 stresses mobility Panzer Luchs, Leo II ect or anti-tank like the jagdpanzer kanone. reflecting the dual needs of thier military.
    excellent post..but one quibble...the chally features frontal protection equivalent/ greater to abrams (bar the latest SEP) provided whom one reads..so they just made a mobile pillbox then, if i read you correctly? and the US concentrated more on frontal armour and mobility, whereas the Leo did likewise, but skimped a wee bit on armour for even more mobility..
    Last edited by Archer; 30 Jan 07, at 23:59.
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