FV4030/4 Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

Challenger 1
 Challenger 1
Alternative DesignationsChallenger, Al Hussein (Jordanian Army)
Country of OriginUK
RoleMain battle tank
Date Of Introduction1983
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Combat Weight68 tons (62 mt)
Ground Pressure13.79 psi (0.97 kg/cm²)
Length, Overall 37.93 ft (11.56 m)
Length, Hull 27.3 ft (8.33 m)
Width, Overall 11.48 (3.5 m)
Height, Overall 9.68 ft (2.95 m)
Height, Turret Top 8.2 ft (2.5 m)
Ground Clearance19.7 in (500 mm)
 Challenger 1
EnginePerkins Condor CV12 1,200 hp (895 kw) 12-cylinder diesel
Range280 miles (450 km)
Fuel Capacity475 gal (1,797 l)
Road Speed35 mph (56 km/h)
Cross Country Speed?
Swim SpeedN/A
Fording Depth3.5 ft (1.07 m)
Side Slope40%
Trench Crossing9.2 ft (2.8 m)
Vertical Wall Climb3 ft (0.9 m)
 Challenger 1
ArmorChobham, steel
Applique ArmorTrack skirts. Additional armor available.
Explosive Reactive ArmorN/A
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemYes
Smoke EquipmentFive smoke grenade launchers on each side of turret
Challenger 1
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
120mm rifled gun Turret; manual loading 64.
APDS-T, APFSDS-T, DS-T, HESH, HESH practice, smoke, WP
7.62mm machine gun Coaxial to main gun 4,000
7.62mm machine gun Turret cupola
 Challenger 1
Fire Control SystemImproved Fire Control System (IFCS)
Main Gun Stabilization
Infrared SearchlightN/A


The Challenger is essentially a modified Shir 2, which was built for Iran. It is fitted with Chobham laminated armor, a 1200 hp diesel engine, automatic transmission, and improved fire control system (IFCS).

The Challenger's layout is similar to that of the Chieftain. The driver's compartment is at the front, the turret and fighting compartment in the center, and the engine and transmission at the rear. The driver has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and swings forward horizontally for driving with his head out. He can also exit through the fighting compartment. Behind the driver's hatch is one wide-angle periscope. The commander sits on the right of the turret, behind and above the gunner. The loader is to the left.

The commander's cupola either has a day sight or an image intensification swap sight. The cupola has nine periscopes for all-around viewing. A Thermal Imaging Surveillance and Gun Sighting Sight (also TOGS, for Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight) is located in an armored box on the right of the turret, and can separately serve the commander and gunner. The loader has a periscope swivel-mounted on the roof forward of a two-piece hatch that opens front and rear.

No longer in service with the British Army. Currently in service with Jordan.

Challenger 1

Recognition features:


Challenger Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CR ARRV)
These vehicles have a hydraulic winch, independent auxiliary winch, and hydraulically-operated crane to lift a complete Challenger powerpack. A multi-purpose blade in the front can be used as an earth anchor, dozer blade, or crane stabilizer.
Marksman Anti-Aircraft Turret
A twin 35mm anti-aircraft turret has been mounted on a Challenger and successfully tested.
Khalid Main Battle Tank
The Khalid is essentially the Shir 1 with minor modifications and is based on a late production Chieftain with major changes in the fire control system and the powerpack.

Jordan ordered 274 Khalid main battle tanks from the United Kingdom for delivery beginning in 1981. Production is complete, and they are in service with the Jordanian Army.

The Khalid and the Challenger have almost identical powerpacks. The fire control system of the Khalid is the Computer Sighting System which is similar to the Chieftain IFCS. The Khalid also has a laser tank sight. The commander's cupola has a combined day/passive night sight plus projector reticle image unit. The commander has 24-hour day/night vision and firing capability.

The Khalid is somewhat of a cross between similar turret characteristics of the Chieftain, and the heavy hull of the Challenger. Additional stowage boxes may be mounted on the right side of the track guard. Main features are:
  • Fully tracked.
  • Six road wheels.
  • Armored skirting covering upper track.
  • Flat, low-silhouetted hull with large, oval turrent longitudinally centered over fourth road wheel.
  • Large main gun with thermal sleeves and muzzle reference system.

Combat Weight: 64 tons (58 mt)
Dimensions (LxWxH): 27.5 x 11.5 x 9.9 ft (8.39 x 3.518 x 3.012 m)

Challenger Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

NATO photo
Exercise Reforger Spearpoint
Germany, 01-SEP-1984
NATO photo
1024x525, 71K, JPEG