Tank vs. Land Rover


Not sure what all the ground rules were. A biggie, of course, is the fact that near-hits by HE rounds would likely perforate the vehicle, shred the tires, and/or kill the driver. Also, the machine guns seem to be off limits. And, if the tank could catch the vehicle in some of that broken terrain, it could just, well, squash it.

Still, fairly interesting for a commercial television show for public consumption.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comments MO’s vast readership feels like adding.

Also, I don’t think I knew that the Challenger 2 stuck with the rifled gun.


  1. As a fan of Top Gear, I take this as a purely British idea of fun. The equivalent of an SNL skit, but with motor vehicles. They had another one where they used various weapons to “skeet” shoot cars being driven over a cliff, up to a 50cal MG and an an anititank rocket. Just for fun. You gotta love those guys!

  2. Um…Challenger gun is rifled to use HESH rounds. British have always had a rifled gun. It’s been a part of every tank requirement since Centurion. They love that HESH round. I’ve also read in various places that it gives them 250-500 Meters better range than a smoothbore does, including the gun from Abrams and Leopard.

  3. I believe the longest recorded tank tank kill was a Challenger 2 using a HESH round, only possible with a rifled cannon. It is likely that ultimately it will be fitted with a smoothbore as the Uk is the only NATO country to do so

  4. IIRC, a Challenger firing HESH still holds the long-range record for a tank-on-tank kill, at roughly 5000m (with a 3-round BOT).

    But I wouldn’t trade the M256 for it … the ammo available for the smoothbore is far, far better than the UK’s rifled ammo.

  5. I knew that the Challenger 1 had the rifled gun, but for some reason I thought that the Challenger 2 had the same smoothbore as the M1 and Leo 2. Obviously I was quite wrong.

  6. So, like instead of smacking down Murdoc for being a dumb civie, what do you guys think of the video? Fair contest? Dumb crap for a show?

  7. Interesting-

    Did you notice the infra-red laser looking thingy the loader waved his hand in front of near the end? Some sort of safety device?

  8. I love that show. The contest is fairly silly, as you pointed out there are an awful lot of restrictions and there are plenty of times they could have shot him if there were no restrictions. Still, it’s fun to watch.

    Clarkson makes the occasional snide remark about Americans (he calls you “Septics”, it’s a rhyming slang thing, Septic Tanks.. Yanks). I have no idea whether he’s really like that or he’s just trying to be “entertaining”. He bought a Ford GT and has been to the US a number of times so I have a hard time believing that he really thinks that way.

    Have you seen the Lotus Exige vs. Apache Helicopter bit?

    I think there are some other similar ones too.

  9. The primary limitation on how far the M1 can hit targets is the sights…basically, if they can see it, they can hit it, at least for tank-sized targets. In DS, they were killing targets they could see, but couldn’t visually ID (but knew were hostile due to location.)

    The sighting systems on the M1A2 are much better.

  10. Booooo!

    By the time got around to watching it (on a connection with decent bandwidth), the BBC had it yanked (no pun intended) due to copyright issues.

  11. I watch that show every tuesday night at 7:00, I saw that a good while a go, plus they’re car enthusiasts, thay dont actually know that the ordanance for the M1 is self proppelled, not needing any rifling in the gun

  12. Ah, the oh so famous challenge. Top Gear is a good show, fun, allows idiots who know nothing of cars to watch this and feel like they know an ounce. Besides, the best episode was still the Killing a Toyota. Murdoc, watch it. It’ll make you wish you had one XD.

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