Challenger 3 TD

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Rank 6 USA
F-5C Pack
Challenger 3 TD
uk_challenger_2_lep.png
GarageImage Challenger 3 TD.jpg
Challenger 3 TD
AB RB SB
11.7 11.7 11.7
Class:
Research:410 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 100 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Challenger 3 Technology Demonstrator is a rank VIII British medium tank with a battle rating of 11.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Air Superiority".

The Challenger 3 (TD) is the capstone of the British ground tech tree, and a fitting end to the mighty Challenger line. It is the Rheinmetall entry to the Challenger 2 upgrade program, in the same way the Black Night is BAE's entry to the same. In short, the Challenger 3 (TD) brings NATO standardized ammunition, better ammunition storage, a proper commander's gunsight, and a few other toys to the end of the Challenger line. If you've got this far in the tree, you will be rewarded handsomely with this mighty tool, a combination of the best of British and German engineering.

General info

Survivability and armour

Composite armour
Balanced protection against all types of ammunition
Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
ESS
Creation of a smoke screen in the direction of movement of the vehicle
LWS
Notifies about the vehicle's exposure to laser emissions
Armourfront / side / back
Hull130 / 38 / 50
Turret270 / 90 / 58
Crew4 people
Visibility88 %

The armour protection on the Challenger 3 (TD) is much the same as the preceding Challenger 2E, and the Challenger "Black Night". You have your standard composite blocks in the turret cheeks, front of the hull, and then minimal armour covering the rest of the tank. If you are familiar with the previous tanks (which you should be, having got to the end of the British Challenger tank line) then you will know the layout of the Challenger 3 (TD). The standard Challenger 2 weak points apply - the driver's viewport, the gun mantlet and breech, and lower front plate are all very susceptible to being one-shot straight through by the rounds you'll commonly face at this battle rating.

However, the upgrades the Challenger 3 (TD) gets over the preceding Challenger 2E and Black Night are much more subtle. You still retain the spall liner the preceding Challenger 2s get, though not in the turret, only the hull. The major increase to survivability in this tank comes in its new ammunition layout - no longer are shells strewn throughout the hull, you get a dedicated ready rack and blowout panels at the rear of the turret. If you are carrying 16 shells (15 in the rack, and 1 in the breech), you won't have any shells throughout the hull at all! Combined with the new spall liner, this means the Challenger 3 (TD) can soak up fire much more reliably than one would reasonably expect from the Challenger tanks.

Furthermore, the Challenger 3 (TD) gets two more toys to play with in the form of a Laser Warning System (LWS), and a commander's gunsight mounted on a tower above the hull. The commander's sight (and the gunner sight) both get generation 3 thermal sights, making target acquisition and fire control a painless experience. These tools allow you to know when you've been targeted by laser rangefinding, or laser-guided munitions, and comfortably hide 95% of your tank behind hills or terrain, while firing back with pinpoint accuracy. The survivability bonus imparted by these tools is not to be underestimated.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull ___ mm ___ mm Top
___ mm Bottom
___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Turret ___ - ___ mm Turret front
___ mm Gun mantlet
___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Cupola ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm

Notes:

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB66 / 42 km/h
RB and SB60 / 38 km/h
Number of gears8 forward
4 back
Weight62.5 t
Engine power
AB2 290 hp
RB and SB1 200 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB36.6 hp/t
RB and SB19.2 hp/t

The Challenger 3 (TD) uses a similar engine to the Challenger 2E, the Perkins CV12-6A. This engine pumps out 1,500 HP of power on a chassis slightly heavier than the 2E, accounting for the new 120 mm gun. This is the same as the Euro Power Pack in the Challenger 2E, which also has 1,500 HP. Mobility is much the same as the 2E, you may notice a slight decrease in acceleration and top speed, but ultimately the difference is trivial.

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 66 42 62.5 2,325 2,290 37.2 36.64
Realistic 60 38 1,327 1,200 21.23 19.2

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB4 446 → 7 020 Sl icon.png
RB4 309 → 6 803 Sl icon.png
SB5 453 → 8 610 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications291 300 Rp icon.png
480 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost3 200 Ge icon.png
Crew training310 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 100 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 300 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 350 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
160 / 200 / 210 % Sl icon.png
256 / 256 / 256 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
3 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement uk.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
ESS
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods counterMeasures.png
LWS/LR
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
120mm_DM_HE_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
120mm_DM_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
31 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Main armament

120 mm Rh120 L/55 A1 cannon
Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition37 rounds
First-order15 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
7.8 → 6.0 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 20°

Challenger users will be pleased to know the Challenger 3 (TD) has a new trick up its sleeve in comparison to the previous Challenger line - the Rh120mm L/55 A1 gun. This is a Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore cannon, the same as found on the Leopard 2A7V. This allows the Challenger 3 (TD) to use NATO standard ammunition, and more pointedly, DM53 ammunition once unlocked. DM53 is a dramatic improvement over the previous L27A1, and you will notice a stark difference in your ability to punch through even the heaviest armour effectively. The gun is an upgrade in virtually all areas - velocity, penetration power on both flat and angled surfaces, the amount of spalling generated, accuracy, etc.

120 mm Rh120 L/55 A1 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 37 -10°/+20° ±180° Two-plane 29.5 40.8 49.6 54.9 58.4 7.80 6.90 6.36 6.00
Realistic 18.4 21.7 26.4 29.2 31.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
DM12A1 HEATFS 480 480 480 480 480 480
DM33 APFSDS 496 494 486 476 466 456
DM11 HE-TF 37 37 37 37 37 37
DM53 APFSDS 652 650 640 628 616 604
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DM12A1 HEATFS 1,190 13.5 0.05 0.1 2.15 65° 72° 77°
DM33 APFSDS 1,690 4.3 - - - 78° 80° 81°
DM11 HE-TF 1,015 19 0.3 0.1 3.93 79° 80° 81°
DM53 APFSDS 1,750 5 - - - 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
37 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

The other, more hidden benefit, of the Challenger 3 (TD) as mentioned above is the ready rack. Gone are the much-maligned 4 shell racks of the previous Challengers, this one has a ready rack of 15 shells! Not only that, they are positioned neatly at the back of the turret, with blowout panels behind. Taking 16 shells will mean none whatsoever in the hull, and the ones in the turret will be much more survivable to kill-shots compared to any previous Challenger model.

Machine guns

Ammunition4 000 rounds
Belt capacity2 000 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Main article: L94A1 (7.62 mm)

The Challenger 3 TD only comes with a single 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun operated by the gunner/commander.

7.62 mm L94A1
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 4,000 (2,000) 600 - -

Usage in battles

Use of the Challenger 3 TD is effectively the same as all preceding Challengers with it still lacking in mobility and armour, though finally having access to the DM53 round which will allow it to more effectively pick off targets at range. The addition of a LWR also allows you to more effectively engage in long-distance duels across map. The armour configuration, slow turret traverse and below average reload rate discourages close-range brawls.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Gains German gun seen on Leopard 2A7V with corresponding ammunition (significantly better than default ammunition of challenger 2)
  • Retains some features from Black Night - the LWS and commander thermal scope
  • Retains most pros of the base challenger 2, except for the inert ammo rack and spall liners on the turret roof
    • Slightly better acceleration than the base challenger 2, but same speed
  • No random ammo racks everywhere in the hull, major ammo racks are placed behind the toughest plates in the entire tank (at least, when attacked from the front)

Cons:

  • Vast majority of HE can obliterate it by hitting the constructs below commander optics which isn't too difficult to hit. In fact, the turret roof can be overpressured even by the weakest HEAT ATGM due to the lack of HE protection
  • No longer immune to overpenetrating turret ammo rack shot, as ammunition is no longer inert, either destroying it instantly or burning all of its ready ammo rack
    • The reload after emptying ready rack is 31 seconds (assuming the loader is still alive) and the ready rack will not start filling up until the gun reload is completed (effectively putting the tank out of order for a minute), unless assisted by a capture point
  • Retains some of the weaknesses of the base challenger 2:
    • Same unreliable mantlet armour
    • Majority of top tanks can penetrate it from high ground
    • Pretty bad mobility
    • Hull will not sustain direct hits well as usual and has no special armour for glancing hits like competition
  • Ballistic markings on the British sight do not fit into the scope when fully zoomed (x10 mode) with APFSDS selected, commander has to dezoom a bit every time to see the ranges properly or just give up and spam laser rangefinder (subsequently spooking enemies with LWS)
  • When firing while fully zoomed, the gunner scope furiously shakes, which can be very tilting (although it doesn't really move the scope), while the commander scope doesn't shake (basically, an opposite situation with the other Challenger 2)

History

The Challenger 3 TD was first announced in 2020 as a project which the British army had commissioned from Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land. The model in-game is one of the first prototypes to receive media coverage during press events between 2020-23, though it has yet to be confirmed as the definite design for mass production scheduled to begin 2027. It is one of a few concepts submitted to British army procurement for testing and consideration, affectionately named 'Megatron' by the media. The main design differences between the Challenger 2 and 3 are the move to the standard 120mm Rh120 L/55 A1 smoothbore main gun as well as a new power pack for the chassis to solve the Challenger 2's chronic mobility issues. The new gun would also mean leaving not only the long-standing use of HESH shells behind but also 2-part ammunition as Rha120 L/55 A1s can only accept NATO standard single-canister shells. These are far from the only proposed changes however, as with the USA and Germany now beginning to develop the next generation of MBTs with 130mm main guns, it is possible that the Challenger 3 may be further modified in line with these advancements in firepower.

Media

Skins
Videos

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

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Britain medium tanks
Valentine  Valentine I · Valentine IX · Valentine XI
Cromwell  Cromwell I · Cromwell V · Cromwell V (RP-3)
Cromwell derivatives  Challenger · Avenger · Comet I · Comet I "Iron Duke IV" · Charioteer Mk VII
Centurion  Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk.2 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · Centurion Action X · FV4202
Vickers MBT  Vickers Mk.1 · Vickers Mk.3 · Vickers Mk.7
Chieftain  Chieftain Mk 3 · Chieftain Mk 5 · Chieftain Mk 10
Challenger 1  Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger DS
Challenger 2  Challenger 2 · Challenger 2 (2F) · Challenger 2 TES · Challenger 2 OES · Challenger 2E · Challenger 2 Black Night
Challenger 3  Challenger 3 TD
Australia  A.C.I · A.C.IV · Centurion Mk.5/1
South Africa  Olifant Mk.1A · Olifant Mk.2 · TTD
India  Vijayanta · Bhishma TWMP
Israel  ▄Sho't Kal Dalet
Jordan  Khalid
Sweden  ▄Strv 81 (RB 52)
USA  Grant I · Sherman II · Sherman Firefly · Sherman IC "Trzyniec"