Telegraph MoD kept failure of best tank quiet By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph 12/05/2007 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. ...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." Full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/13/nmod13.xml Was it motivated by security needs or embarrassment?