U.S. Abrams v. British Challenger II

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, May 14, 2008.

  1. Which is the better tank, the US Abrams M1A2 or the British Challenger II? Both are top-of-the-line Main Battle Tanks, there's not question of that, and are both are similarly armed and armored. The US tank uses a gas turbine, while the British chose to go with a more conventional Diesel engine. In a contest of arms, which of the two would be most likely to prevail?
  2. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    The M1A2 is obsolete.

    The current U.S. MBT that has been being fielded since 2004 starting with 1st Cav Div is the M1A2 SEP.

    It's fully digital and integrated into Force XXI via tactical internet. Just like the M2A3 and every other vehicle converted for Force XXI.

    That means if a M1A2 SEP platoon sees, say an enemy T-80, or a Challenger II for that matter in your scenario......the entire Brigade Combat Team, Division, and Corps asset can see it..... including every AH-64, MLRS battery, F-15, M109 battery, A-10, Spectre, F-18....even the closest aircraft carrier off the coast or B1's flying over from back in Kansas...have visibility of the enemy.

    A Challenger II that meets a M1A2 SEP today would be under the fire of everything in theatre supporting the Brigade Combat Team that American tank belongs too.

    If you come head to head with a U.S. Army Force XXI fuel truck running logpack, a medical company setting up a CSH, even a supply convoy of LMTV's carrying mail and chow on a modern high intensity battlefield.......you're not gonna be dealing with them.....it's the B-52's above on the same tactical internet servers sitting on station for CAS and the F-15's and A-10's filling the gaps you better worry about.

    The tactical internet system, FBCB2, is so fast that if you engage a HMMWV equiped with it, in less time than the gunner on top will expend his first box, all the information needed to counter attack will be in front of the battle captains at every TOC, the closest FCC, the Air Force liasons, the AWACS sentry above, and maybe even the FCC of a nearby Navy warship.
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    It would probably be a push.

    The Abrams has it in speed however, and PROBABLY in ability to get in a hit while using that speed, because the Brits (as do the Israelis) still believe to hit a gnat at 2 miles you have to be STOPPED, so practice most of their firning while stopped, but the Abrams has demonstrated repeatedly hitting a tank at half that range while moving fast is pretty doable, at least for the Abrams...and stopped it will shoot as well as the Challenger.

    Plus the Abrams can travel so much farther faster than the Challenger, it would have the advantage not only tactically but in strategic planning. The Turbine of the Abrams gulps fuel, that's true, but then it can operate on virtually anything from Jet fuel to #2 fuel oil, and I believe even gasoline with little adjustments needed. And since no other country can afford the logistics capability we have, the fuel consumption has not yet been a "problem" in stopping operations, but it could someday....

    But all the current tanks, the Abrams, the LeClerc, the Challenger, the Merkava, the Leopard II...are all on paper at least, pretty much equals.

    But both have guns that could knock out the other, no matter what the armor, so it would be the first one to get in the hit, and it has to be harder to hit a moving target than a stationary one.

    It would all come down to who saw who first, like it pretty much always has been.

    It's a good thing that the only economies that can AFFORD to build and MAINTAIN modern top shelf tanks at $5 to $8 mil a pop are the democracies, and thankfully, democracies historically do not fight each other.....
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  4. Interesting, Delta. What you're saying then, if I understand you correctly, is that the US military has completely embraced the concept of "combined arms" in the way it fights its battles. Tank battles of the type fought in the past--even as late as 73 Easting in the First Gulf War--are pretty much a thing of the past, right?
  5. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    In early WW2 American tank companies only had 1 radio per 12 or 14 tanks.

    It's about time, don't ya think that we actually are true combined arms?

    I don't know when the projected date is for the entire force to be up but it's getting there 1 division and 1 wing at a time.

    Yes it is becoming a thing of the past quick. In our lifetime we will see the first Gulf War look like a WW1 campaign.
  6. Yes, with modern electronic communication capabilities it does seem about time. An MLRS, mobile artillery TOT, or helicopter Hellfire missile attack on one's lagered tanks could ruin one's whole day! Nothing left but scrap metal. :D;)
  7. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Pretty much.

    Sorry to brag but I'm proud of the changes I've seen during my service, as in our capabilities and just plain doing things that make more sense.

    I don't think you're average American really grasps just how well protected they are from foreign aggression...aggression I mean in the sense of Nazi divisions sweeping Europe, or on the scale of Warsaw Pact divisions doing the same, like as in getting invaded by your worst nightmare. As in seeing enemy warplanes over their hometown coming from Iceland an Mexico.

    In the last decade we've put together a combined force in a way that for the first time, on a modern battlefield, a large enemy element can be literally pounded on all four sides at once by 4 of our 5 military branches....and so quickly that the element would be combat ineffective before whoever they belong to even knows what happened.

    It is a good feeling as a Soldier to go on the roof of the building you are occupying, and ask the 2 Marine lance corporals assigned to you what UAV coverage do we have on our front line trace and be told, "Air Force or Army, which do you want?" When I got hurt in Iraq, it was Navy medical that fixed me first.

    Anyway...the Challenger is a good tank. I believe that because the Brit crewmembers love it...especially the old schools who converted. You only got to talk to a few and you'll here it in their language....they like it like a fat kid likes cake....and that counts for more than just specs.
  8. You know, Delta, there may well be another very positive aspect to the increasing conventional capabilities of our military. It seems to me that, given those capabilities, the need to use mass weapons (I'm talking nukes here) has become far less imperative. As you well know, for many decades the planning of our tactical response to a Soviet attack in Europe focused on the use of theater nuclear weapons to whack the tanks and massed infantry formations coming through the Fulda Gap, or anywhere else for that matter. The ancillary damage to civilian populations and infrastructure would have been enormous. There really is no such thing as a "small" nuke. Even one in the low kiloton range would have left a horrible imprint for years to come. The use of such weapons would seem to be far less necessary now with our increased ability to target and destroy, specifically and effectively, any enemy's actual combat power. Just my thoughts.
  9. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have no idea which is better, but I am sure five of our tanks would gladly take on ten of yours to find out.
  10. It wouldn't be a problem, Tranter. Our guys would simply wait until 4:00 when the British tanks stop for tea and crumpets. :D;):p
  11. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Damn you, our achilles heal. Its 1939 all over again.
  12. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    I believe I could halt the advance of a British armored advance with a strategically placed Pub beside an affordable brothel, Sir!:D:D:D:p:p:p
  13. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.

    Yeah I think better conventional capability makes the use of nuclear force less necessary....but that very fact is a double edged sword....because a dedicated foe may just cross the nuclear line that much quicker if he has the conviction.

    That sucks because even a small nuke that pops in Asia, within a month the ashes would be falling on crops in Kansas.

    Four things....

    1.The Cold War never ended....it's just frozen until a thaw.

    2. The only nuclear deterrent is an assured nuclear response. Assured mutual destruction is a universal promise.

    3. The fastest way to get two big nukes dropped is to fire one small 1!

    4. Anyone who thinks the U.S. strategic defense doesn't have multiple options on the table for a redundant mass strike, locked 'n cocked 24/7 ready to escalate, is in extreme denial. We can and will burn a continent faster than you can get treated in an ER if somebody gets froggy.
  14. Yup, Guinness on tap has been known to stop the Brits dead in their "tracks," if you'll pardon the pun. :D;):p
  15. I can't disagree with your reasoning, Delta. Perhaps the most common war game problem played out during the "bad old days" was the issue of "limited" nuclear war. In my humble opinion, that entire phrase is an oxymoron. As you suggest, if someone pops a nuke, even a kiloton-range nuke, the other side would almost certainly escalate with a bigger one. In very short order, I think, we would see megaton-range weapons going off over counter-value targets--cities in other words.

    As crazy as the MAD doctrine seems to any rational person, it is difficult to argue with its effectiveness. No one has popped a nuke since 1945, and the reason for that, I would submit, is because there could be no escaping a return strike. What scares the hell out of me today though--much more than during the era of American/Soviet confrontation--is, as you implied, a two-bit power like Iran or North Korea with nuclear capability. The Soviets pretty well knew they couldn't "win" a nuclear war, any more than we could. I have little doubt a hustler like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would push the button if he felt his power slipping away.
  16. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    In answer to some of the above,

    Apart from a Pub, affordable brothel or tea time, nothing would stop a British armoured advance. Unless it was a roundabout of a particularly cunning and complex layout. Such as they have in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
  17. Like I said, a road network that resembles the aftermath of a bomb explosion in a kite string factory. :D;):p
  18. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.

    A B-52 strike will reroute any armored advance straight to Hell, if not atleast to rest forever at Fiddler's Green:D

    Halfway down the trail to hell
    In a shady meadow green,
    Are the souls of all dead troopers camped
    Near a good old-time canteen
    And this eternal resting place
    Is known as Fiddler’s Green.
    Marching past, straight through to hell,
    The infantry are seen,
    Accompanied by the Engineers,
    Artillery and Marine,
    For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
    Dismount at Fiddlers' Green.
    Though some go curving down the trail
    To seek a warmer scene,
    No trooper ever gets to Hell
    Ere he's emptied his canteen,
    And so rides back to drink again
    With friends at Fiddlers' Green.
    And so when man and horse go down
    Beneath a saber keen,
    Or in a roaring charge or fierce melee
    You stop a bullet clean,
    And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
    Just empty your canteen,
    And put your pistol to your head
    And go to Fiddlers' Green.
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  19. Rudyard Kipling (my favorite poet of all time) said it quite well too, Delta:

    The Young British Soldier

    When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
    'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
    An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
    Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
    Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
    Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
    Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
    So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

    Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
    You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
    An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
    A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
    Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

    First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
    For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
    Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
    An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
    Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

    When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
    Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
    For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
    An' it crumples the young British soldier.
    Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

    But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
    You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
    If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
    An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
    Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

    If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
    Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
    Be handy and civil, and then you will find
    That it's beer for the young British soldier.
    Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

    Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
    A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
    For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
    Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
    'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

    If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
    To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
    Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
    An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
    Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

    When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
    Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
    Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
    And march to your front like a soldier.
    Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

    When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
    Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
    She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich,
    An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
    Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

    When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
    The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
    Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
    For noise never startles the soldier.
    Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

    If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
    Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
    So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
    And wait for supports like a soldier.
    Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!
  20. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Kipling understood, and later understood even better.

    In WW1 his only son wanted to join the British Army but was refused because of poor eyesight.
    Kipling pulled strings, political and military and got him in as an officer.
    I think it was within two days of arriving on the western front, in an attack he went missing, presumed killed. His body, like many then was never found.
    Needless to say Kipling was some what changed after that.
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