War Thunder – Challenger 1

In the forthcoming War Thunder 1.77 update tankers can finally take control of one of the most potent fighting vehicles of the 20th century: the Challenger 1.

Introduced into service in 1983, the British Challenger 1 was one of the most advanced and well-protected tanks fielded by western armies during the second half of the 20th century. Although its service life was short and few were produced, for a time the Challenger 1 formed the backbone of western tank regiments alongside the legendary American M1 Abrams and the German Leopard 2.

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 The Challenger 1 was withdrawn from active service by 2001 and later replaced by the Challenger 2.

In War Thunder, the Challenger 1 will become the new top-ranking MBT available at rank VI of the British ground forces tree. With its Chobham composite armour the Challenger 1 is one of the most well-protected MBTs at War Thunder’s highest ranks. It will be a tougher nut to crack than its predecessor, the Chieftain Mk. 10.

Engaging a well-positioned Challenger 1 from the front is a deadly mistake—and guaranteed to put you on the wrong end of its 120mm rifled L11 cannon. In addition, the Challenger 1 has better mobility and handling than the Chieftain, with speeds up to 35 mph (56 km/h) (courtesy of its 1,200 horsepower engine) and a smoother ride thanks to its improved suspension.

With its improvements to firepower, protection and mobility, the Challenger 1 is bound to become a fan-favourite and one of the deadliest machines in the ground battles of War Thunder. It will blast its way into War Thunder in the 1.77 update.

Until then, happy hunting commanders!


28 thoughts on “War Thunder – Challenger 1

  1. If this is this patch’s UK equivalent to german Leo 2K, that would be weird…

    I mean this thing entered service in ’83 while the Leo 2K is an early ’70s material…
    and at the same time, the production model Leopard 2 entered service in ’79

    so either this is weird mismatch, or we’re also getting a production model Leo 2 in addition to the 2K later this patch


    1. Remember that it’s the Leo 2K with the classic 120mm L44 smoothbore, whereas the Chally 1 will still be using the 122mm L11

      Granted the later have more modern APDSFS than the Chieftain, but it’ll still be the same gun with the same limitations of having a rifled gun firing fin stabilized shells.

      I think it’ll be an interesting duality between the Chally’s staying power and the Leo 2K’s hard hitting gun.


  2. Time for more Gaijin armor guesstimations were mechanics will all somehow coincidentally work out in favor of Russian tanks.

    Looking at you wrong APDSslope multiplier, but 17 different APDSFS models, the best being used for Russian tanks obviously.
    Looking at you 50’s Obus G with too little penetration and the same post penetration effects as an early 40’s HEAT round.
    Looking at you magical Russian armor plates that “accidentally” turn out to be forgotten from most blueprints, or accidentally have their armor value double or triple the effective armor until a massive datamine effort reveals it.
    Looking at you uber nerfed HESH rounds
    Looking at you ridiculous ingame economy where Russian tanks are dirt cheap to run, whereas a single German or Allied tank will make you lose money in a single spawn.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m chagrined by the fact that all popular tank games are now pretty much developed by russian/pro-russian developers with their uber chauvinism.. seriously why can’t they drop their national bias in their games…

      I mean look at rainbow six siege, french devs, yet they don’t favor french operators

      and granted american series like CoD always have american protags, but when it comes to weapons balancing, they don’t favor american weapons over any other countries’


      1. I’m chagrined by the fact that so many people try to justify their personal bias/prejudice against different nationalities (fueled by 50 years of propaganda on both sides) by baselessly accusing people of wanting to fulfill some sort of patriotic wet dream by artificially increasing the stats of virtual combat vehicles…

        Not to mention that the “evidence” in favour of such a bias is completely nonexistent if you look at it objectively. Unfortunately many people have a confirmation bias when they look at these things…


        1. That awkward moment your argument is undermined by a decree by said nation you’re defending implemented, giving media creators the ability to request government grants for creating content portraying Russia in a positive light.

          Yeah, that hasn’t magically not happened overnight.
          That’s still a reality that occurred a few years ago. A far cry from the 50 years of propaganda you’re blaming.

          Liked by 1 person

                1. Yea I get it, I mean for the same reason, CoD and the likes of it will have american protags because they cater primarily to american audience, but when it comes to multiplayer, they’re not biased towards american weapons…


  3. WG need to find a UK release with Chieftain and light tanks soon for WoT pc… Every other game already have the successors on top of everything else


    1. its because wargaming hates the British, you wont see anything for another 4 years. they give you super conqueror with new TD, this is all you get for your British desires.


    1. This thing is a completely different beast to a Chieftain. While you could argue a Chieftain can work in WoT, The Challenger has around 1000mm RHA equivalent of frontal protection, nothing in the game could even scratch it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dude the Challenger 1 entered service in 1983, it’s going to be the most recent tank to enter service in the game. As for the level of protection, it’s supposedly comparable to an M1. I think we can expect the Abrams to be also featured in 1.77.

        My guess for some of the tanks in 1.77 are: Leopard 2(either production or AV), one of the XM1s, M1, STC and AMX-32, as of now a T-64BV has been supposedly leaked, and it’s not far off to expect the T-72U.


        1. I understand its the most recent tank in WT, but that doesnt mean its not going to be worse than it should be. (No that wouldnt be a problem, but for a game declaring itself a simulation thats no option…)
          And tanks like the T72 dont have the overall protection levels of the chally, sure their turrets are very good, but in terms of hull armour the chally has them beat. And even the M1 doesnt stack up to it,


      1. The overall armor effectiveness and general composition is well know to everyone.They are characteristics that are well advertised. What’s classified is the materials used.

        For example,everybody knows that it has 700mm of protection against HEAT or 1000mm against KEP (just random numbers to illustrate a point) but they don’t know the exact type of material used to achieve this and therefore the thickness or weight.

        If you know these basic things and the exact dimensions of the vehicle, both inside and out, you can do the math and get a good estimation of the thickness and sloping.

        Then of course is the “balance” factor. In the end that’s the most important thing and it doesn’t matter if you make the armor accurate or not, it has to be “balanced”.
        In the case of WT, it means that it has to be worse than the Soviet equivalent and similar to American and European standards.


  4. Came to say that it looks better in AW. Just kidding, but AW fanboys sure think so.

    In all seriousness now….who the fuck cares. When they’ll fix the balance and gameplay (or at least return it to where it was before BR was introduced), no amount of eyecandy….no amount of awesome vehicles…nothing will make me go back.

    Same applies for WoT. I dont give a fuck about this “WoT 1.0” bullshit, the gameplay still sucks.


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