Design work on the Chieftain began in 1956 and the first tanks entered production in May 1963.

The designers attempted to combine the armoured protection and firepower of the Conqueror with the mobility of the Centurion.

The chieftain was the mainstay of Britain’s armoured forces from the late 1960s (when it replaced the Centurion) to the early 1990s.

During its service, it received many modifications including laser range finders to replace the ranging gun, thermal image sights and additional armour in the Stillbrew variant.

The Leyland L60 engine continued to be fitted throughout the vehicle’s service, though dogged by reliability problems.

Technical Specifications

Armament:1 x 120mm
2 x 7.62mm Machine-guns
Engine:Leyland L60 developing 760 bhp
Max Speed:32mph
Year into service:1967

Armoured Fighting Vehicles Index

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