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Wednesday, 31 December 2008 19:35

The Challenger Tank (A.30)

The Challenger Cruiser Tank (A.30)

The Challenger was the first British tank to mount the 17 pounder gun and was essentially a modified Cromwell with a larger turret. Due to the large turret size the vehicle was very top heavy but it retained most of the Cromwells high speed and agility. Only around 200 of the vehicles were ordered with 197 being completed by the time war ended in Europe. Additional 25mm armour plates were welded to the front of the vehicle to provide extra protection.

Name Challenger
Type Cruiser
Production Date  March 1944
Crew 5
(In turret) 3
Length 23'-6”
Width 9'-6.5”
Height 9'-1.25”
Weight 32.5
Ground pressure 13.25
Ground clearance 1'-4”
Track type Webbed & Spudded
No per track 127
Weight of one Track  
Track width 15.5”
Engine Meteor
B.H.P/Ton 18.4
Max road speed 31.8
Average road speed  
Cross Country Speed  
Gear box type Z5 Constant Mesh
Gears 5 Forward 1 Reverse
Fuel consumption (road) – MPG  
Fuel consumption (cross country)  
Auxiliary capacity  
Radius of action (road) 120
Radius of action (cross country)  
Trench Crossing 8'-6”
Vertical obstacle 3'
Fording height 4'-6”
Gradient 30
Main Armament 17 Pounder
Ammunition 48
Secondary Armament Browning .300
Ammunition 3750
Transverse type Electric
Max elevation 20
Max depression 10
Turret Ring Size 66.75”
Optics No. 43 x3
Lower Hull Nose 57(I.T.90)
Upper Hull Nose 30(I.T.80)
Hull Front 64(I.T.80)
Hull Sides Upper 51(I.T.80)
Hull Sides Lower 14(I.T.100)+14(I.T.120)
Hull Rear Lower 38(I.T.80)
Hull Rear Upper 38(I.T.80)
Hull Roof (Front) 20(I.T.80)
Engine Deck 14(I.T.100)
Hull Floor Front 10(I.T.120)

Turret Mantlet 102(I.T.90)
Turret Front 63(I.T.80)
Turret Roof 20(I.T.80)
Turret Sides 40(I.T.80)
Turret Rear 40(I.T.80)
Turret Floor 22(I.T.120)
Appliqué Armour 25(I.T.80)
  Turret Front
  Turret Box
  Hull Front
  Hull Nose

Production of Challenger Tanks  by year (UK Only)

  1944 1945(End of May)
Challenger 145 52

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 August 2012 13:37
Comments (1)
Challenger TD stats
1 Saturday, 13 February 2010 22:40
Mike Reese
Thickness of armor is given as 22(I.T.80). I assume 22 is the thickness in mm. What does the I.T. number represent? Angle or armor hardness, etc.?

By the way. The crew layout in the article is wrong. The 5-man crew had 1 man in the hull, the driver, and 4 men in the turret. It had two loaders. Like the Firefly the hull LMG position was removed to provide added ammunition storage. It also had a lengthened Cromwell chassis with one extra road wheel. If I am reading the numbers right your listing shows about 90mm (89mm) with the combined basic and applique armor to the front hull and 55mm for the Hull upper nose (did the Applique apply to the lower Hull nose too?). Turret Front was 102mm Mantlet and 88mm Turret Front, 40mm turret side and rear. Hope I have that right. I am looking at the FOW Challenger armor figures and trying to determine if they are correct. I thought they weren't but it looks like they are due to the applique.

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