Challenger Mk.2

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Tank, Combat, 120-mm Gun, Challenger Mk.2
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
62.0 tWeight
8 forward
6 back
Gear box
120 mm L11A5 cannonWeapon 1
52 roundsAmmunition
-10° / 20°Vertical guidance
7.62 mm L37A2 machine gunWeapon 2
3 600 roundsAmmunition
100 roundsBelt capacity
650 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm L8A2 machine gunWeapon 3
2 400 roundsAmmunition
200 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
250 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
690 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png6 200 / 9 343/4 000 / 6 027/6 600 / 9 946Repair
200 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
690 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2 100 Ge icon.pngAces
x 2.26 Rp icon.pngReward for battle
This page is about the British medium tank Challenger Mk.2. For other uses, see Challenger (Disambiguation).


GarageImage ChallengerMk.2.jpg

The Tank, Combat, 120-mm Gun, Challenger Mk.2, or just Challenger Mk.2, is a Rank VI British medium tank with a battle rating of 9.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm".

General info

Survivability and armour

Like the Chieftain Mk 10, the Challenger has a very strong turret front, with composite armour protecting the entire front and part of the sides. The turret front can resist up to 470 mm of rolled homogenous armour equivalency (RHAe) against long-rod kinetic (~550 mm RHAe against rounds without the long-rod slope modifier) and up to 600 mm against chemical penetrators. This theoretically makes the strongest part of the turret frontally invulnerable to all top-rank kinetic ammunition in the game. In practice, however, there is a weak spot on the lower leading edge of the turret front, where the backing plate of the composite inside the turret flattens to a 90° angle. This reduces the effective thickness of the lower turret cheeks by approximately 100 mm, making it vulnerable to most long-rod APFSDS. The turret front's painfully average chemical protection means that it is vulnerable to most top-rank ATGMs and HEAT shells (e.g. the prominent Rheinmetall L44 (120 mm)'s DM12 with 650 mm of penetration). A small portion of the turret front, the area just around the gun, is unprotected by composite armour and is 200 mm of CHA with a 50 mm RHA spall liner. This area extends above the gun and transitions to 60mm CHA at 60°. While these areas are small and unlikely to lead to catastrophic damage when hit (the gun breech will tend to soak up shrapnel), they are important to be wary of.

The Challenger's turret sides are similar to many top-rank MBTs - they can only resist enemy fire at relatively high angles of attack. Protection is 140 mm RHAe against kinetic and 300 mm RHAe against chemical shells, meaning that the armour can only resist autocannon fire and low-caliber HEAT when struck dead-on.

Compared its turret, the Challenger hull is significantly weaker against kinetic projectiles with only 220 mm of RHAe (~300 mm for projectiles without the long-rod slope modifier) on the UFP. Chemical protection in this area is similar to the turret at 600 mm RHAe. An exception to these numbers is the area directly above the driver's hatch, which is not covered by composite armour and is vulnerable to essentially any anti-tank ammunition. The lower frontal plate is also lacking composite and is comprised of a single 70 mm RHA plate at a slight angle, providing ~80-90 mm of effective thickness. Shots to the LFP will at least incapacitate the driver, or more likely catastrophically detonate the hull ammunition. British tankers should be quite used to this weakspot by this point, as the weak LFP is present on the entire Chieftain line. However, the upper third of the LFP shares some of the UFP's composite protection due to its design. This means that the upper third of the LFP has slightly more protection than the lower sections.

Hull sides are generally very weak, as is typical of top-rank MBTs. The upper hull (above the tracks) is comprised of a 20 mm RHA + fuel tanks + 25 mm RHA array. The lower hull (around the tracks) is comprised of 19 mm aluminium side skirts and 34 mm RHA.

Armour type:

  • Composite armour (hull UFP, turret front and sides)
  • Rolled homogeneous armour (hull)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (gun "mantlet")
  • Aluminium (side skirts)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 38-50* mm (60-81°) Front glacis
70 mm (30°) Lower glacis
20 mm (0-3°), 25 mm (74°) Top
34 + 19 mm Bottom
20 mm (29°) Top
25 mm (30°)
20 mm
8 mm Engine grille
Turret 50* mm (51-54°)
60 mm (55-56°), 200 mm Gun mantlet
25* + 4 mm (1°) Front
45 + 4 mm Rear
44 + 4 mm (43-48°)
20 mm (85°) Turret underside
38 mm Front
20 mm Rear
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 60 mm 60 mm
Composite armour* Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull Front glacis:
~220 mm @ 60° against Kinetic
~600 mm @ 60° against Chemical
Turret Turret front:
~500 mm @ 60° against Kinetic
~600 mm @ 60° against Chemical
25 mm sections:
~ 140 mm @ 0° against Kinetic
~ 300 mm @ 0° against Chemical


  • Suspension wheels, torsion bars, and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • Turret ring is 60 mm thick.
  • 20-25 mm RHA plates surround the fuel tanks on the hull sides.
  • Hull composite armour configuration is 50 mm RHA + 200 mm NERA elements + 80 mm RHA.
  • Front turret compsoite armour configuration is 50 mm RHA + 600 mm NERA elements + 110 mm RHA.
  • Turret side compsoite armour configuration is 25 mm RHA + 300 mm NERA elements + 80 mm RHA.


The Challenger's speed sets it apart from the previous Chieftain tanks, as it is capable of reaching 56 km/h on roads and 46 km/h off-road. Reverse speed is also a noticeable improvement from the Chieftain line. Despite this, the 62 ton mass of this vehicle makes it the slowest of its high-rank contemporaries (e.g. Abrams, Leopard, and Type 90).

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
62.0 N/A 62 (AB)
56 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 1,860 ____
Realistic/Simulator 1,061 1,200
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 30.00 __.__
Realistic/Simulator 17.11 19.35


Main armament

Main article: L11A5 (120 mm)

The Challenger bears the 120 mm L11A5, an updated but essentially identical version of the gun found on the Chieftains. It has access to the same rounds as the Chieftain Mk 10, with the notable addition of the L23A1 APFSDS ammunition. L23A1 penetrates angled armour much more efficiently than its predecessor L23, making it especially useful for dealing with Russian late T-series hulls.

120 mm L11A5
Capacity Vertical
52 -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.
8.70 _.__ _.__ _.__
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Shot L23 APFSDS 410 408 405 400 390 380
Shell L31A7 HESH 152 152 152 152 152 152
Shot L23A1 APFSDS 396 394 387 376 367 357
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 L23 APFSDS 1,535 3.89 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 76° 77° 78°
Shell L31A7 HESH 670 17.1 0.4 0.1 5,250 +0° 73° 77° 80°
Shot L23A1 APFSDS 1,535 3.89 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
Ammo racks
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
52 XX (X+)  (+)  (+)  (+)  (+)  (+) no

Machine guns

7.62 mm L37A2
Commander's cupola mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
2,300 (100) 650 -10°/+50° ±120°
7.62 mm L8A1
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
2,300 (200) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

New drivers of the Challenger 1 will appreciate a similar play style to the earlier Chieftain tanks, particularly the Chieftain Mk 10. Most of the armour's weakpoints could be minimized by assuming a hull-down position on the incline of a hill, and using the Challenger's excellent -10° of gun depression to keep the gun on target. This will increase the angle of the turret and thus increase the effective thickness of the back-plate on the turret.

When encountering common enemies:

  • T-64B: L23A1 APFSDS can theoretically penetrate the UFP, but it is difficult. The drivers port weakspot is the recommended target from the front. If not possible, aim for the breech/cannon barrel to eliminate the threat of return fire
  • T-64A (1971): APFSDS will go right through the front of this tank, but the Challenger can still be penetrated by the top APFSDS (3BM12) in the weak spot on the turret's leading edge.
  • Leopard 2K: Probably the most dangerous opponent, as its APFSDS can go right through the upper front plate and parts of the turret. Shoot anywhere but the front of the turret, unless trying to take out the Leo's cannon barrel.
  • Leopard A1A1: Its APFSDS poses a risk to the weakspot on the turret, but only if it gets the first shot off. Shoot anywhere.


The FPE module should be a priority, since the fuel tanks are located all around the hull above the tracks, meaning that the tank will be set on fire often. This comes with added protection, however, as the fuel tanks will frequently absorb most shrapnel - protecting the crew and ammunition from the occasional side-shot - giving the player ample time to return fire and eliminate the threat.

Pros and cons


  • Good composite armour for both kinetic and chemical protection for both hull and turret
  • Very accurate main gun with good gun stabilizers and decent stock APDS shell
  • Very good mobility for it weight and size
  • Good APFSDS shells
  • Good forward and reverse speed


  • Large target
  • Driver's optics weakspot on the upper frontal plate
  • No composite armour on lower glacis plate and rear of the turret
  • Average rate of fire
  • HESH shell largely useless
  • Very thin armour protection
  • Ammunition takes a lot of space (easy to hit)


In 1977, the Iranian government ordered an improved version of the Chieftain tank, which was arguably the best main battle tank (MBT) in service at its time. The Chieftain offered unparalleled protection and firepower; however, its mobility was lackluster and something its successor needed to improve upon. In response, the engineers at the MVEE created the Chieftain Mk.5(P), from which three additional prototypes were created. It was one of these prototypes that would become the basis for the Challenger 1. Unfortunately, after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the fall of the Shah, Iran canceled its order for an improved Chieftain. In addition, a parallel British tank project (the MBT90) was also abandoned, and the British Army quickly became a new potential customer for a new MBT.

The Challenger's design was based on the cancelled project called "Shir-2”" planned for export to Iran, and retained its deadly 120mm gun and superb armour. The Challenger was also equipped with Chobham armour, a composite armour made from multiple layers of different materials. The additional materials gave the Challenger its distinctive, heavily-sloped armour on the front of the turret and upper glacis. The Challenger’s mobility and off-road capabilities were significantly improved with the installation of a new 1,200 horsepower Rolls-Royce engine and hydropneumatic suspension. The Challenger 1 entered production and service in 1983. Production ended in 1990, having yielded a total of about 420 vehicles. It served primarily with British forces during the Gulf War. It was also used in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the mid 1990s, and Jordan still operates a number of Challenger 1 tanks to this day. The Challenger 1 was withdrawn from active service by 2001 and later replaced by the Challenger 2.

- From Devblog


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as 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