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Chieftain Mk.4 Tracks?
CowboyfromHell
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Posted: Friday, July 17, 2020 - 11:53 PM UTC
Found this image on Google with caption stating that It's Chieftain Mk.4 during the IDF testing.

First time I saw this I noticed right away that the tracks are not the conventional Chieftain's but something else. It's not the Centurion's or Conqueror's either. It looks to me very similar to the original Chieftain tracks without rubber pads.

Anyone have any info on those peculiar tracks?


jon_a_its
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 02:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Anyone have any info on those peculiar tracks?



Looks like Centurion tracks




RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 02:36 AM UTC




The positions of the holes for the drive sprocket teeth don't match between Centurion and Chieftain.
Centurion has narrower sprocket wheel and the Chieftain has the tooth pockets outside of the rubber pads.
Compare with the Centurion Hush Puppy track
http://fighting-vehicles.com/centurion-tank/centurion-tank-hush-puppy-tracks/
Johnnych01
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 05:04 AM UTC
From the SP part of the registration I would say it was either an old gun tank being used as a test bed for various systems or a built tank specific for testing use only.
I remember from times down in Bovington and also on SPTA we would occasionally see SP reg vehicles the ATDU based out of Bovi were testing.
The tracks could (and I think are) also be just normal chieftain tracks minus the pads and being evaluated for some reason.
A side note that although (on chieftain for sure) Chieftains had the rubber pads on the track, in a real time war deployment we were to remove every 3rd rubber pad for more traction. The tracks could also be put on the wrong way round for the same effect so they had more bite.
RLlockie
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 06:03 AM UTC
It looks a lot more like the FV4030/2 to me. Due to be sold to Iran (hence testing in a desert) but following the revolution, the order was cancelled and Jordan ended up buying them instead, as Khalid. Chieftain front end, CV12 engine so back end is like (but not identical to) the Challenger 1.

Having looked at it again, Iím less convinced that itís a 4030/2. The rear deck has a Centurion-like depression stop rail and there is no sign of the sloping side of the engine deck. The spacing of the roadwheels (4030/2 had longer arms so the wheels on each bogie truck were further apart and the longer hull meant that the bogie trucks were spaced differently) also looks more Chieftain to me.

The MRS is absent because the gun is an L11, not an L11A3 which had the forged upstand for it and the slimmer fume extractor.

The tracks donít look much like I recall Chieftain tracks with pads removed to be, as they have no recess for the pad. They might be a one-off skeleton type based on Cent but redesigned to fit the Chieftain sprocket.

Robinís post suggests that it is indeed one of the Israeli trials wagons anyway.
Johnnych01
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 06:16 AM UTC
Damn, after a proper and longer look (damn these old eyes lol) I would agree with Robert, it looks like test bed for the Shir 1 then Khalid. Well spotted Robert. It must in the early stages as there's no MRS fitted.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 07:12 AM UTC
"The Mk4 Chieftain, only two ever made and they were built as a result of the requirements of the IDF; politics got in the way and the sale never happened. As far as is known one vehicle was scrapped and this one, 02 SP 97, was fitted with the crane. It was used at Kirk to move heavy lumps around etc. As I said this one was the only surviving Mk4 Chieftain;"

"Chieftain Mk.4 project was halted at the behest of the British Government due to the perceived adverse effect the sale of Chieftain to Israel was likely to have on the balance of power within the region. Of the two Mk.4 vehicles built, one was scrapped, the other "02 SP 27" was fitted with an NCK Rapier crane and used at Kirkcudbright Training Area"

Worth reading, the translation is so-so but the content is interesting:
https://www.military-quotes.com/forum/israeli-armor-magazin-chieftain-dirty-t443.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2623545.stm
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