During the Gulf War, 221 Challenger tanks were sent to Saudi Arabia. The Challenger was originally created for the Shah of Iran.
Launch of the Challenger-1
However, in 1979 at the dawn of the Iranian Revolution, it was canceled. Instead, the British decided to use the tank itself. That birthed the most effective tank in history.
The Challengers were used to remove Iraq from Kuwait in Operation Granby. The 1st Armoured Division was able to outflank the Iraquis while simultaneously guarding the invasion force.
The British were up against the Iraqi Soviet T-72 tanks. Their handle their concern by updating the Challenger to do better while in the desert.
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Storm began on Feb. 24, 1991 with ground troops moving toward Kuwait. The British 1st Armoured Division was rolling next to the troops.
In two days, the Challengers were able to take out around 300 tanks. It turned out that their concerns over the T-72s were unfounded and the Iraqi Republican Guard had already been pulled from the area.
The British tank was far superior. It had reactive armor with depleted uranium shells. They were able to knock out all of the opposing forces. The British had one more element going for them. The Iraqis had no idea they were going to be using the Challenger-1s and had never seen one before.
So the Iraqi commanders did not know what it was capable of. Another handy feature was the Challengers advanced global positioning system plus thermal observation and a Gunnery System.
Amazing Kill Shot
With these capabilities, the tank could see at night, and pretty much all low visibility situations. The Challenger had one outstanding feat.
One Challenger, callsign 11B, took a shot at a Iraqi main battle tank from over 5,100 meters away, around three miles, dealing a final blow. The Challenger fired an armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot round.
With that amazing shot, they solidified their spot as the tank with the longest kill in history. The actual distance has been reported a couple of different lengths.
One tanker said it was only 4,700 meters, but at that range it’s still the longest tank-on-tank kill. Equally as impressive, not a single Challenger 1 was taken out by the Iraqi Army.