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Ignoring the Challenger?
Some info on the Challenger II MBT:
Not a bad tank at all. I think Forecast International places it as
Number 4 in the world (behind the Leopard 2A6, M1A2, and Japanese Type
As neither the Leopard nor any Japanese tank is likely to be involved in a real conflict for the forseeable
future, I guess that makes the Challenger II second only to the Abrams for all practical purposes.
I disagree completely. Germany could have fielded the Leopard II in
OIF if the German Government had chosen to join the conflict instead
of bickering with the US/UK.
The Leopard II has the greatest chance of future combat because it is
Europe's premiere MBT and sooner or later the Heer will deploy them in
conflict just as German soldiers are deployed in the Balkans and
Afghanistan now. It's just a matter of time...
The Japanese, however, still need to transition from a self-defence
force to regular armed forces. That does not, however, have anything
to do with the lethality, mobility, or survivability of their Type 90
design (which is essentially a Leopard II to Japanese standards- added
auto-loader, Japanese electronics, hydro-pneumatic suspension).
If you want to argue combat records then the Merkava tank would be
right up there with the M1 and Challenger MBTs. In fact, the Merkava
saw action long before the other two- in Lebanon, 1982.
The Merkava has always been looked down upon by the US because it is
more suited to Israeli needs in the region. But since that region is
now where US and UK forces are facing conflict the question is- who is
better at street fighting? In the street the long gun advantage of the
M1 and Challenger are made nil. Thats why the Merkava carries an
internal mortar and armed troops, acting as an IFV. With the Merkava
Mk.3Baz and Mk.4 the Israelis easily rival the best in their region.
I concede that the Leopard II would also lose its advantage in this
type of fighting seeing how its powerful L55 gun and new ammo is
designed for long-range kills on an open battlefield.
But please dont use Iraq as an example of Mideast street fighting. The
M1s in Baghdad were mainly fired upon on the highway leading into the
city. This is nothing like real street fighting in Lebanon, Gaza and
the West Bank. The Merkavas today must navigate in very narrow streets
that are mined, with Palestinians on the roofs with RPGs. Unlike the
Iraqis, the Palestinians are quite willing to fight and die... for
going on 36 months now. We've been in Iraq as an occupation/liberation
force for barely 2 months!
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|Challenger forum||Dico Reyers||Home Built||0||December 30th 03 07:48 PM|