The British Chieftain Tank FV4201 was the first and most powerful Main Battle Tank in NATO during the former Cold War. First deliveries to the British Army were completed in 1966 and was finally withdrawn from service in 1995 as its replacement the Challenger 2 entered service. A number of Combat Engineer Vehicles were built on the hull.
The Chieftain was modified and exported to several Middle-East countries were it remains in service and has seen active combat.
The Chieftain Tank continued to be upgraded in protection and mobility throughout the 1980’s and 90’s but these later models failed to attract any orders as newer Main Battle Tanks entered the export market.
Chieftain Tank Mark 10:
Re-designation of the Mark 9 once fitted with Stillbrew appliqué armor. Stillbrew was a non-reactive armor made up of rubber pads cross layered. When struck by HEAT ammunition they distort the path of the copper jet. It was moulded and applied across the front of the turret and around the drivers station.
Whilst Stillbrew was manufactured by Royal Ordnance Leeds, it was installed by the REME (Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers) from 1986 onwards.
Chieftain Tank Specifications
Weight 55 long tons (62 short tons; 56 t)
Length 35 ft 4 in (10.77 m) – gun forward
7.5 m (24 ft 7 in) – hull
Width 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
Height 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Armour Glacis: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Hull sides: 38 mm (1.5 in)
Turret: 195 mm (7.7 in)
Main armament L11A5 120 mm rifled gun
Secondary armament 2 × L7 Machine Gun
Engine Leyland L60 (multifuel 2-stroke opposed-piston compression-ignition) 750 hp (560 kW) 6 Cyl, 19 litres.
Power/weight 11.1 hp (8.3 kW)/ton
Transmission TN 12
Suspension Horstmann: Horizontal Coil Spring Suspension Bogies
Ground clearance 1 ft 10 in (0.56 m)
Fuel capacity 195 imp gal (890 l)
Operational range 500 km (310 miles) on roads
Speed Road: 48 km/h (30 mph) Off road: 30 km/h (19 mph)
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