Challenger 2

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Tank, Combat, 120-mm Gun, Challenger 2
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
62.5 tWeight
6 forward
2 back
Gear box
120 mm L30A1 cannonWeapon 1
50 roundsAmmunition
-10° / 20°Vertical guidance
7.62 mm L37A2 machine gunWeapon 2
1 700 roundsAmmunition
100 roundsBelt capacity
650 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm L94A1 machine gunWeapon 3
2 300 roundsAmmunition
2 000 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
390 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
1 020 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png6 900 / 11 019/6 200 / 9 901/6 000 / 9 582Repair
290 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 020 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2 100 Ge icon.pngAces
x 2.32 Rp icon.pngReward for battle
This page is about the British medium tank Challenger 2. For other uses, see Challenger (Disambiguation).


GarageImage Challenger 2.jpg

The Tank, Combat, 120-mm Gun, Challenger 2 is a rank VII British medium tank with a battle rating of 10.0 (AB/RB/SB). This tank was introduced in Update 1.87 "Locked On".

General info

Survivability and armour

The Challenger 2 shares the same weak spots as her predecessor. Your lower front plate is very weak and will not stop any kinetic or chemical round. This makes you vulnerable when you are playing in city maps. If an enemy tank sees you first, you're pretty much guaranteed to get shot. Now, you won't be instantly destroyed because of your driver getting knocked out, but the APFSDS or other kinetic rounds will go to the middle of your tank and hit the charged bags. This problem is not too big when playing in bigger maps with ridge lines. You can park your tank behind them so the enemy can't see and hit your LFP (lower front plate).

Then we have a bigger weak spot on the gun mantlet compared to the Challenger 1. So if the enemy gets a lucky shot, they may shoot through your gun mantlet, knocking out both the gunner and the loader. Though it's not the same problem you got on the M1A1, where a lucky shot can incapacitate every crew member in your turret, losing your gunner and commander is pretty bad. The turret ring is quite okay, not too many shells are going through here so that's not too big of a deal. But still, be careful because it's not impossible to penetrate the turret ring. The roof top of the turret of the Challenger 2 is a big weak spot; not because tanks can penetrate it with APFSDS, but rockets and HE/HEAT can do massive damage to your turret crew. The Russian T-64A/T-64B and T-80B/T-80U do possess a very strong HE shell and got missiles. A well-placed shot can knock out every crew member in the turret. When you encounter a helicopter, the same problem occurs, but the chance of a fatal hit becomes bigger since the helicopter player can aim his missile and rockets directly into the turret roof. The side of the Challenger 2 is also very weak. Even lightly armoured infantry fighting vehicles can penetrate your side with their 30mm rapid-firing guns. When an enemy is smart, he will shoot an APFSDS under your turret into the middle of the tank, and if it hits the charged bags, the Challenger is done for.

This all might sound like the Challenger 2 has weak armour, but that's certainly not the case. The turret cheeks are very strong. Also, the UFP (upper front plate) is way better compared to the previous Challenger 1. Both the cheeks and UFP are impenetrable for the strongest APFSDS shell in the game. The tank is good in a hull down position because enemies can't aim for your LFP. The tank can take a punch and the armour on the front is really good. If you learn to play it to its strengths and try to hide your side and your LFP, the Challenger 2 is quite a beast.


The Challenger 2 is fitted with a Perkins CV12-6A V12 diesel 26.1-litre engine which produces 1,200 bhp. This gives the Challenger 2 a forward speed of 66 km/h (41 mph) in AB and 59 km/h (37 mph) in RB. The transmission is a David Brown TN54E epicyclic transmission, with 6 gears forward and 2 gears backwards. The tank has a mass of 62.5 tons, which gives the tank a horsepower-to-ton ratio of 19.2. This means that your manoeuvrability is worse than most of the other MBTs because of the fact that most other MBTs are having a 1,500 hp engine with less mass. Also, the neutral steering of this tank exacerbates the already low mobility. You get forced into neutral steering at low speeds and because of your low hp-to-ton ratio, neutral steering is really slow.

So the Challenger 2, like other British tanks beforehand, is one of the heaviest MBT that is mated with a weak engine. The stock manoeuvrability makes the tank feel a bit sluggish. However, when you research the manoeuvrability upgrades, the tank has some decent mobility and will get you from A to B quite effectively; but again, not as quickly as some other MBTs, so be careful when the game starts and don't rush to caps and take care of the flanks.


Main armament

Main article: L30A1 (120 mm)

The main gun is an L30A1 120 mm rifled gun. The reload of this gun is 6.5 seconds, which makes this one of the best reloading rates of the MBT's. The angle of elevation allowed by the gun is 20 degrees up and 10 degrees down. The stock turret rotation of this tank is 14.3 degrees per second. However, the vertical aiming speeds are really bad. The gun is accurate and combined with the armour makes the Challenger a good sniper. Because the gun can fire and reload very quickly, enemies can't shoot you as quickly as you can shoot them. You get the L23A1 stock APFSDS shell. This is a good shell but not special.

The gun fires three-staged ammunition (the loader only puts in the charged bag and round, but because of the firing mechanism it's called three-staged ammunition) which means you have charged bags. This makes the tank very vulnerable against ammunition explosions. It is recommended to take 25 shells max because of the charged bags that can be detonated. When you get the L26 shell, you'll receive 77 mm extra penetration at 500 m. This means you can shoot the upper front plate of a Leopard 2A5 without trouble meaning you can penetrate 2A5s more effectively.

120 mm L30A1
Capacity Vertical
50 -10°/+20° ±180° Two-plane
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 29.50 _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Realistic 18.40 _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
6.50 _.__ _.__ _.__
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Shot L23A1 APFSDS 396 394 387 376 367 357
Shell L31A7 HESH 152 152 152 152 152 152
Shot L26 APFSDS 471 469 464 457 450 443
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
Shot L23A1 APFSDS 1,535 3.89 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 75° 78° 80°
Shell L31A7 HESH 670 17.10 0.4 0.1 4,100 +0° 73° 77° 80°
Shot L26 APFSDS 1,550 4.10 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 78° 80° 81°
Smoke characteristic
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
L34 670 17.1 20 5 25 50

Machine guns

The Challenger 2 possesses two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them being the coaxial L94A1, and one roof mounted L37A2 machine gun. These machine guns are weak against aeroplanes but can shoot down a helicopter. However, you should not use them for AA purposes as the chances of shooting down aircraft/helicopters are relatively small and you will just be giving your position away. These machine guns are also not effective against infantry fighting vehicles. The best way to use your machine guns is to spot enemies for your teammates.

Usage in battles

The Challenger 2 should be played as a support tank. Try not to rush to capture points without knowing where the enemy is. The Challenger 2 really is not a street fighter or a rusher, the tank is designed for defensive game play so it should be played defensively.

When playing in city maps, try to find a spot where you can aim at enemies but that they can't get behind you very easily. Taking an enemy to the front is the best chance you got in a knife fight. Some enemies may forget that the Challenger 2 has a weak LFP and often try to take out your gun and gun breech, but since it's a knife fight, enemies will screw up their shots so you may have a chance winning. Taking a shot on the side is never a good option.

Try following the American or Russian tanks and give them support since the Challenger 2 won't be able to do a lot on its own. Take good care of the mini-map and try to predict where the enemy will go or come from. If you see a lot of team members being destroyed, take note since there is a big chance that a Leopard 2 may come from that direction. This precaution must be considered due to the Challenger 2s lack of mobility. The Challenger 2 is not slow, it's just not the fastest tank. The German and Russian tanks will get to the capture point much faster than any Challenger 2. Play with this thought in mind and if you need to go for a cap, try to scan the area really well before going in.

In open maps, try to find a good hull-down position. Don't give the enemy a chance firing at your weak spots. You don't want to play a fair fight, this is not a tank which can win a game on its own. It can do a lot more than the previous Challenger 1, but it's not able to carry games. The best usage in battles is to find the best spots and find your own way. But every way will be the same: defensive.

Pros and cons


  • Very accurate gun with good optics
  • Good gun depression
  • Fast reload rate
  • Strong turret cheeks and hull's upper frontal armour
  • More powerful engine than Challenger 1
  • Good reverse speed
  • Has ESS, smoke shells and smoke grenades


  • Ammo storage can be hit very easily, like in previous Challenger 1
  • Weak frontal lower glacis
  • Big weak spot near the gun breach
  • The upper part of the turret is vulnerable to HEAT shots
  • No reactive armour
  • Poor manoeuvrability compared to other main battle tanks of the rank


Work on developing a successor to the Challenger 1 began only a short time after the vehicle entered service with the British armed forces. Already by the mid-1980s, the Vickers company had developed a new MBT as part of a private venture. After requirements for a next-generation MBT have been issued, Vickers immediately submitted their design on the new Challenger 2 to the Ministry of Defence. Having briefly considered the adoption of the M1 Abrams, the Ministry decided to proceed with the Vickers design by ordering the construction of a prototype Challenger 2 for testing and evaluation. The Challenger 2 passed the evaluation and met expectations even when put through comparative testing against contemporary MBTs of other nations, such as the American M1 Abrams and German Leopard 2. Satisfied with the test results, the Ministry of Defence adopted the Challenger 2 and placed the first production order in 1993, with the initial batch consisting of 127 tanks in addition to 13 trainer vehicles. The first Challenger 2 tanks were delivered to the tank regiments by 1994. The Challenger 2 participated in several operations during the ‘90s and into the 2000s, ranging from peacekeeping missions on the Balkans to military interventions in Iraq. A number of Challenger 2 MBTs have also been exported to Oman, with this nation being the only operator of the Challenger 2, besides the UK. Production of Challenger 2 tanks seized in 2002 after all pending production orders were fulfilled, with close to 440 vehicles being produced. Since 2008, Challenger 2 tanks have constantly been undergoing modernization work, with a number of upgrade packages being developed. Thanks to these upgrades, the Challenger 2 MBT is expected to serve with the British Army well into the future.

- From Devblog


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Britain medium tanks
Valentine  Valentine Mk I · Valentine Mk IX · Valentine Mk XI
Cromwell  Cromwell I · Cromwell V · Cromwell Mk.V (RP-3)
Based on Cromwell  A30 Challenger · Comet I · Iron Duke IV
Foreign  Grant I · Sherman II · A.C.IV · Strv 81 (Rb.52)
Firefly (M4)  Firefly "Scorpion" · Sherman Firefly
Centurion  Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · FV4202
Chieftain  Chieftain Mk 3 · Chieftain Mk 5 · Chieftain Mk 10 · Vickers MBT
Challenger  Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger 2