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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHIR 2 & CHALLENGER 1 MBT

Light Blue Job

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Hi All,
I’ve trawled the internet but can’t find cast iron differences between the Shir 2 and the Challenger 1. One website elluded to the fact that the Shir 2 had equivalent of 325mm armour and Challenger 1 had more, around 500mm. Seeing as the dates of introduction were very close, would this be correct? Or is the Challenger 1 just a complete Shir 2 brought up to British Army standard vice Iranian standard and the inclusion of TOGS? All comments appreciated.
 

Kadija_Man

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Didn't the Shir and the Challenger have different engines/gear boxes? I also believe their FCS were different.
 

Light Blue Job

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The Shir 2 and Challenger had identical 1200hp CV12 engines both coupled to TN37 gear box. The Shir 2 Fire Control was the same Marconi IFCS introduced on the Chieftain and the Challenger. The sighting systems are different. The Challenger 1 had TOGS when eventually fitted. The Shir 2 had the Pilkington PE/Condor Day/Night Sight as fitted on the Shir 1/Khalid MBT. Other than the sight, I can’t find much different between the Shir 2 and Challenger 1. It seems strange then that the FV numbers were changed if there was not much change in the design. FV4030/3 vs FV4030/4. Did we fit a different Chobham armour to the Shir 2? Obviously theres not much info on the thickness of tank armour post Chieftain and books with info on the Shir programme are pretty none existant.
 

overscan

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The Shir-2 was intended to use advanced "Chobham" type armour - then codenamed "BURLINGTON" - as material at the National Archives shows. The version for Shir-2 was codenamed "PAGEANT" but it's clear from comments in the files this was really a ruse so the British could tell the American's that the Shir-2 didn't use "BURLINGTON" armour with a straight face.
 

Grey Havoc

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The Shir 2 had better NBC protection overall than the Challenger (the poster child for Treasury corner cutting one could argue). Another major difference is that the main gun of the Shir 2 was, if I'm not mistaken, intended to be the L11A7, complete with an Electro Slag Refined Barrel. The Challenger 1 had to make do with the L11A5, which caused more than a few problems.

EDIT: Technically speaking, the IFCS was developed (or, arguably, downgraded) into the Challenger's Computer Sighting System. It in turn was significantly different from the CSS developed for the Khalid, all due to yet more ill-advised 'efficiencies' by HM Treasury and the MOD.
 
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