Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Owners' Workshop Manual: 1998 to present - An insight into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the ... Tank of the 21st century (Haynes Manuals) By


Challenger 2 (CR2) is the British Armys main battle tank. CR2 is based on the Challenger 1 tank, which served with distinction on operations in the Gulf War and the Balkans.Although a logical development of Challenger 1, CR2 is greatly superior. It is protected by second generation Chobham Armour and features a new digital fire control system that includes a panoramic commanders sight, a laser range finder and a new version of the Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight (TOGS II). The turret mounts the high pressure L30 120mm gun that fires conventional APDS FS, HESH, smoke and depleted uranium projectiles with great accuracy. Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Owners' Workshop Manual: 1998 to present - An insight into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the ... Tank of the 21st century (Haynes Manuals)

Volumes in medium format, richly illustrated, deal with the topic in a monothematic way. In about 200 pages they offer enthusiasts an excellent overview on the subject, even if some volumes, in relation to the subject, are in depth than others. Especially if you buy them on offer at less than half the cover price (about £ 20) they are a bargain 978-1785211904 In 2017, Haynes published a workshop manual for the M1 Abrams. Like many of their books on modern military vehicles, it was fairly well done but somewhat lacking in hard details. Although it still isn't quite as detailed as Haynes' WWII tank manuals, this follow up on Britain's most powerful modern MBT is a substantial and well rounded work. Lt Col Dick Taylor served in the Royal Armoured Corps and has written three other tank manuals for Haynes, and demonstrates an impressive understanding of the subject.

Although it follows the standard Haynes format, this book is definitely a bit wordier than the average workshop manual. While there's still plenty of excellent diagrams and photographs, a substantial chunk of the text is devoted to the development of British MBTs in the second half of the Cold War, the introduction of the tank into service, and first hand accounts from crewmembers who fought in the Iraq War. For once this doesn't feel like potted history; the level of detail in the historical sections is fairly substantial and added to my overall understanding of the tank's design. The technical sections are also fairly well done, with quite a few how it works bits (how to start the engine, how to engage an enemy tank, etc.), a photographic walkthrough of a tank's interior, and descriptions of each CR2 variant.

As the Challenger 2 is still in active service, the amount of technical detail is limited in certain places. Some elements, such as the ammunition and powerpack, are described in a fair amount of detail. Other areas, such as the armor and fire control systemno so much. Although there are numerous photos and diagrams of the turret interior, the driver's station only gets a single small unlabeled diagram. Thankfully there's very little in the way of jingoism present, and Mr. Taylor explains in even handed terms why Britain chose to design and build their own tank, rather than go with a foreign design such as the M1 or Leopard 2. He also avoids the trap of directly comparing it with other modern tanks on a one on one basis, and mentions some of the many problems encountered in the first years of service.

Although it lacks the brutal honesty of the author's Chieftain and Challenger 1 manuals, I think modern armor buffs should enjoy this book. It's a fairly substantial reference which manages to avoid reading like a Royal Army recruiting pamphlet. 978-1785211904 Great book, 978-1785211904 Having read over 50 Haynes books, this one falls into the category of those that miss the point by being too operationally biased, with not enough technical detail.

Here is a flavour of some of the engineering details which are not explained:

How do the brakes operate?
What are the major parts off the transmission and how do they work?
How does the steering work and what is the process for altering the track speeds to do so?
How does the suspension work?
How does the track tensioners work?
What's the track changing procedure?
How does the gun and turret move the text tells us they are electrically driven, but that's it?
How is the turret attached and sealed to the hull?
How is the main gun supported in the hull?
How is the main gun made?

However, we do get great detail on who operated what and when. A lot of names are dropped in, which are off little interest in a technical book. There is detail on the development of the tank, with a good insight into the problems in doing so. I liked the frankness of the shortcomings of previous and competitor tanks.

There are plenty of good photos, and excellent schematics of the various controls. The pages detailing the high explosive and armour piercing shells were superb. However the text is spoiled by a lot of abbreviations or jargon which is not explained, and explained a few pages later. I had to do a fair bit of googling to keep up. There are some vignettes from other personal included, which helps break up the main text, and are for the most part informative.

From a technical point of view, the book is generally weak. For example, the Transmission and Steering section is two paragraphs. Tracks and Suspension is also two paragraphs. The engine is covered reasonably well. Being operationally weighted, there are good details on sighting and aiming, and the associated systems.

There is an explanation of loading the gun with supporting pictures, but these are taken from behind the gunner, so are not particularly clear. The text also talks about 3 part munitionsthe bag charge, projectile and ???. This is one procedure that would benefit from detail via a dedicated breakout section.

Looking at the structure of the book, Design and Development is 46 pages, Anatomy 47 pages (with a lot of operational detail), In Service is 20 pages, On Operations 24 pages, Versions and Variants runs to 15 pages. So as you can see, the engineering side of the book is less than a third (and I haven't mentioned the introductions, appendices and the Walk Around sections). This is my gripe.

However, I did enjoy the book I'd rate it a 3.5 out of 5 normally, but as a Haynes Workshop Manual, it doesn't hit the mark. 978-1785211904 So, following on from his excellent volumes on Challenger 1 and Chieftain, Dick Taylor applies the same level of quality writing to our latest, maybe last indigenous in service MBT. And you’d have to say he does it full justice.

The brief history of how we got here in MBT development is excellent, and makes up for a bit of a shortfall (in my view) in the earlier books. The development of the Challenger 2 concept and the competition it faced is well covered, along with some good if brief warts and all coverage of the competitors.

Sound economic and logistical reasoning for the retention of a rifled gun is given, along with the key technical value in retaining the very useful HESH secondary ammunition nature. Yes, there are limited armament details, and one image wrongly marked, I think, but unless you’re at post graduate level in ordnance, it shouldn’t be a bother. Even the Chain Gun’s problems get an airing.

One contributor mentions horizontally opposed pistons in Chieftain’s notorious L60 engine, but that unfortunate example of non reciprocated (pun intended) international co operation by the UK (multi fuel engines were a NATO demand everyone else ignored, leaving the engine the only argument against Chieftain’s being the world’s best MBT in its day) was vertically mounted, wasn’t it? I think there may be some dating issues in ordnance development, but nothing to detract from a very good read.

Development and service history are well covered, and particularly the reliability growth work to ensure that when CR2 reached service, it was fit for service, something neither the UK nor other countries have tended to do well in light of the political kudos of achieving Initial Operational Capability, which is all too frequently nothing of the kind. A bit history on why this was so important would be valuable, as opposed to the ill researched garbage we so often see on Defence Procurement, and Mr Taylor would be ideal to tell a extended story here.

As with the other volumes, there are frequent valuable anecdotal sections that bring the active soldier’s perspective and make it all a bit involved for us. The text is complemented by a superb collection of photographs, and only a nice three view is missing. The only way you could get everything everybody wants is in a much bigger and expensive volume. We also need to remember that this is an in service weapon system, so it’s not unreasonable that we can’t be told everything.

Decades of the “peace dividend” and budget slashing by both political sides in the UK mean that we probably lack the capacity and almost certainly the will to do this again, so read this excellent volume and rejoice at the fact that there was a time when we could produce an MBT and gun at least the equal of any other. Mention that there are non UK parts in it, and you’d have to look at all the non indigenous parts of others’.

A very good completion of the cycle of British MBT development by the redoubtable Mr Taylor, and an excellent read. 978-1785211904

characters Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Owners' Workshop Manual: 1998 to present - An insight into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the ... Tank of the 21st century (Haynes Manuals)

Gave this to my best mate. Hope I can prize it off him at some time in the future.
A lot of photos. Guess they had to wait for the upgrade before releasing some of them thought a few might still have been 'classified'. 978-1785211904 Excellent book, a few misleading lines re Vickers. I know a lot of the truth! This a history book, not a maintenance manual (thankfully)! 978-1785211904