Iranian Chieftains

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Paul Reed, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Was watching a piece on our local news about a retired BBC reporter who was in Iran during the revolution 30 years ago. It showed quite a few shots of Chieftains. I had forgotten they were sold to Iran, and did a quick net search and found a fascinating thread on Military View the complete thread here:

    Iran-Iraq War 1980-88 (Pictures, Sites, Memorials) - Military Photos

    This was one of the photos. It is reputedly a shot of captured Iranian armour in Iraqi hands. There is no source for this photo, but the quality says US rather than Iraqi, and possibly just post-Gulf2?

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Nice Pic Paul.

    In pre deployment briefings I was told the Iraqi's had Cheiftans but all I saw was mainly T-55's and BMP's.

    The quality of the picture suggests American/British probably from a helicopter. The fact they all look like they have had their engines raped suggests dumped due to a lack of spares.


    ps the last photo on the link has a Sherman in it :)
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I remember watching that series on a Yank Carrier, and the pilots looking at target identification stuff with Chieftains in there, captured in Iran/Iraq and now deployed against their former allies.

    There's an excellent book on the Chieftain by Ken Griffin - most of the below figures culled from there:
    In 1971 the Shah of Iran ordered 707 vehicles, 187 extra vehicles were also shipped in over the course of that contract.
    They also ordered 1,350 of the next generation 'Shir' tanks (Half challenger, half chieftain really), though as this contract fell through in the revolution the 'Shir' became 'Khalid' in the course of an eventual order from Jordan, these later variants/evolutions and their peculiarly politicised birth were eventually to provide the core design basis for Challenger 1.
    The Shah's fall was Chieftain's first real engagement - (though many of the vehicles there were surrendered completely intact by sympathetic commanders). When the conflict with Iraq broke out they went to war with nearly 900 Chieftains, and finished with c.300 - Many lost inact to the Iraqis.

    Speculation time! - about 30 of these lost vehicles (the bulk of which fell to a lack of maintenance or spares) ended up intact in a Baghdad vehicle dump - I suppose these might be the vehicles above, though they perhaps look to be of a later period. Which raises the question of 50 others that were given to Jordan, who seem to have been rather embarrassed by the gift and allowed them to decay while cannibalising the engines for other uses. Wonder if these could be the vehicles in the picture? They look freshly painted and unused, pristine even, and most have been robbed for Engines by the look of it. As I said though, pure speculation.
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Yes, aside from the engines they look in remarkably good condition for 'abandoned' vehicles.

    The Sherman is interesting, isn't it? One poster on that forum suggests it is the 105mm version. What do you reckon, Adam?
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    This one?


    Hard to say from that resolution, definitely not an M4a1 as suggested, but could as likely be a 105 or a 75, as a 76 with no muzzle brake.
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    But but but, those are M-60s, with a 48 or 2 in the mix. Are those ex-Iran as well?
  7. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Fantastic photos Paul! Za, according to Wiki, the Iranian Army had both M-48's and M-60's in its arsenal. Afaik, the Iraqi army was equipped mainly by the Soviet Union, France and United Kingdom so they would not have had US MBT's in its equipment, other than captured Iranian material I would imagine.

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