Chally penetrated by RPG-29

#1
Report by Daily Telegraph Defense Correspondent Sean Rayment: "MOD Kept Failure of Best Tank Quiet" Sunday Telegraph 13 May 2007

One of the British Army's Challenger 2 tanks was pierced by an Iraqi insurgent missile more than eight months earlier than the Government has previously admitted.

The Ministry of Defence had claimed that an attack last month that breached a tank's armour was the first of its kind in four years of war in Iraq. But another Challenger 2 was pierced by a powerful rocket-propelled grenade in August last year during an attack that blew off part of a soldier's foot and injured several others.

The injured soldier's family has accused the Government of a cover-up and demanded to know why soldiers manning Challenger 2 tanks had not been warned of the failings with the tank's armour.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said he would challenge the government on why the Ministry of Defence (MOD) had apparently misled the public over the timing of the first incident in which the hugely robust defences of the Challenger had been breached.

He said: "Obviously, no armour is indestructible and there is no doubt that the insurgents have increasingly sophisticated technology but it is important in maintaining public confidence that the MOD and the Government tell the truth to the -British public."

The Challenger 2 is reputed to be one of the most sophisticated tanks in the world and those used in Iraq by the British Army are built with Dorchester armour, the composition of which is top secret. The tank is also fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA) at its front that should deflect any weapon fired at its hull.

The MOD has finally confirmed that the tank's armour was breached last August and has said that an investigation was conducted to discover why the ERA appears to have failed. However, the department refused to comment on its findings, citing security reasons.

In the August attack, which occurred during an operation to arrest a leading insurgent in the town of al-Amarah, in southern Iraq, the Challenger was damaged when a Russian-made rocket-propelled grenade, known as an RPG-29, defeated the ERA and penetrated the driver's cabin.

The RPG-29 is a much more powerful weapon than the common type regularly used by insurgents to attack British troops. It is specifically designed to penetrate tank armour, although this is the first occasion on which it has managed to damage a Challenger.

During the attack Trooper ", a 20-year-old serving with the Queen's Royal Hussars, lost half of his left foot; two other crew members were injured.

The unit's commander described the moment the tank was hit by the missile in a letter he wrote to the wounded soldier in March. The officer wrote: "I recall seeing it (the RPG-29 being fired) and thinking, 'Oh Christ, that's bad.'

"As it slammed into the hull, I was picked up by the shock wave of the blast and thrown against the back wall of the turret. The explosion singed my eyebrows and burnt my face slightly. The tank was full of acrid smoke and fumes. I became aware of you screaming, 'I'm hit, I'm hit. My foot's off.'

"Daz (another crew member) and I looked at each other in slight disbelief - after all, what could possibly breach a CR2's (Challenger's) armour?"

Tpr " mother Kay, 49, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, said her son had been told that the Challenger was the best in the world and essentially impenetrable to any weapons the insurgents possessed.

She said: "" often told me he felt totally safe because he was in the best tank in the world. But we now know that is not the case. The Government has covered it up.

"If I was the mother of the poor soldier who lost his legs last month I would be horrified to think that an earlier attack like this had happened before but none of the soldiers were told about it."

His brother Luke said that Tpr " had been "abandoned" by the Army following his injury. He said: "Sean has been forgotten about. He hasn't received his Iraq medal. He's been told he is going to be medically discharged because of his injury but no one has told him when and what sort of pension he might get. It's a disgrace."

A spokesman for the MOD said: "We have never claimed that the Challenger 2 is impenetrable. There is no question of a cover-up. Any suggestion that this was the first successful attack against a Challenger 2 tank was given in good faith based on the information available at the time.

"We would like to reassure the family that lessons were learnt from the incident last August and measures were taken to enhance the protection of our personnel."

On April 6, a Challenger was damaged by a roadside bomb in Basra. In that attack a soldier lost both his legs. Details of the incident were not made public until April 23, when

the MOD claimed: "This was the first successful attack on a Challenger 2. It's the first bomb to have damaged it."
 
#2
Old news from media scum who havent a clue :evil:
 
#4
spank_the_monkey_to_death said:
So it's not entirely accurate then? Typical media!
There are threads already open on this topic which go into some detail that there is a NEED TO KNOW basis.
 
#5
The_IRON said:
spank_the_monkey_to_death said:
So it's not entirely accurate then? Typical media!
There are threads already open on this topic which go into some detail that there is a NEED TO KNOW basis.
I agree. I was one of the ones who didn't believe it but I agree with you that speculation could risk other lives. We don't know who is reading this.

I'll say one thing though - Trooper * will not have been forgotten by the army. He's from my regiment and one call to HHQ would ensure he was well looked after. If we're man enough to organise the largest (by far) deputation to the 150th anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade and raise funds for a damaged memorial in Dublin from 91 years ago, I can assure you we're more than capable of looking after one of our own today - when he needs us.
 
#6
If you care to nip over to Tanknet there are links to photos of the RPG29. It's immense.
 
#7
Why don't the media just print a list of possible weak points in British armour, preferably in Arabic, so thaqt the insurgents are properly briefed on how to attack them. Anyone who thinks that any tank is 100% proof against attack is living in afools paradise. CR2 is a good tank, better than most but obviously it has weaknesses . It is unfortunately not being used in the role that it was designed for.
 
#8
craftsmanx said:
Why don't the media just print a list of possible weak points in British armour, preferably in Arabic, so thaqt the insurgents are properly briefed on how to attack them. Anyone who thinks that any tank is 100% proof against attack is living in afools paradise. CR2 is a good tank, better than most but obviously it has weaknesses . It is unfortunately not being used in the role that it was designed for.
There are websites/chatrooms in the US where such things were being openly discussed.

There was a discussion on how to improve characterisitcs to "overcome facetted armour".

It was easy to discern from the syntax and sentence construction that english wasn't their first language and yet this colonial cuz was helping them with equations and theories. Real neighbourly!
 
#9
Well,

Let's not do it here.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
spank_the_monkey_to_death said:
The Challenger 2 is reputed to be one of the most sophisticated tanks in the world and those used in Iraq by the British Army are built with Dorchester armour, the composition of which is top secret. The tank is also fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA) at its front that should deflect any weapon fired at its hull.

The MOD has finally confirmed that the tank's armour was breached last August and has said that an investigation was conducted to discover why the ERA appears to have failed. However, the department refused to comment on its findings, citing security reasons.

During the attack Trooper ", a 20-year-old serving with the Queen's Royal Hussars, lost half of his left foot; two other crew members were injured.

His brother Luke said that Tpr " had been "abandoned" by the Army following his injury. He said: "Sean has been forgotten about. He hasn't received his Iraq medal. He's been told he is going to be medically discharged because of his injury but no one has told him when and what sort of pension he might get. It's a disgrace."

"We would like to reassure the family that lessons were learnt from the incident last August and measures were taken to enhance the protection of our personnel."
Narrowed down on the salient points.
 
#16
Photos of RPG-29s found in Lebanon by the Israelis in the recent tiff have just shown up. It's huge, it's about as large a recoilless rifle as you could possibly carry before going to a tripod mount.



NTM
 
#18
Is there no way that the MOD can put a stop to that sort of thing? The Government must be able to close things like that down as it is a danger to national security?
 
#19
SandExporter said:
in_the_cheapseats said:
Well,

Let's not do it here.
No intention of doing so.

But I am amazed that uncle sam isn't trying to stop those sort of things!

Esp as it affects him directly too!
What's the weather like on your planet?
 
#20
PE4rocks said:
What's the weather like on your planet?
A tad niave maybe, but it does miff me off when all on here abide by opsec and yet others in the world are quite happy to help the bad guys - albeit indirectly.

I'm going before I get on my box about pay now that I've heard what some footballers might be getting!
 

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