Historical Skins: Challenger 2 TES “Honey Badger”


Today we’d like to tell you more about one of the main prizes of the Europe’s Edge Battle Path – a skin for the Challenger 2 ATDU Tier 10 MBT called Challenger 2 TES “Honey Badger”.


Challenger 2 TES "Megatron", Saab Barracuda trials, 2016

The story of this skin begins with a very special Challenger 2 (license plate DT 22 AA) known as “Megatron” because, aside from the name, it bears also a symbol belonging to a well-known franchise called Transformers. This individual tank is nothing short of a legend of the British tank forces and received its name because it, simply put, transforms – after its long service, it went to a unit called Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) stationed in Bovington. This unit is tasked with developing and testing new equipment for the Challenger 2 MBT.


Challenger 2 TES "Megatron", Saab Barracuda trials, 2016

The tank was assigned to ATDU likely in 2008-2009 but has only been shown to the public in 2013. It has gradually been improved ever since. The tested components included:

  • New hydraulic suspension
  • 1500hp MTU MT 883 engine
  • Several different armor packages (including an improved TES version)
  • New APFSDS and advanced HESH (PISH ammunition)

In 2016, the tank was used to test a camouflage kit called Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System (MCS) by Saab. This kit, available for multiple tanks, not only helps hiding the silhouette of the vehicle visually, but also reduces its thermal, radar and ultraviolet footprint – an important advantage to have on today’s battlefield.


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And this is what we have with this skin. But why change the name to Honey Badger?

Aside from the obvious (the name and symbol are copyrighted), we thought it would be neat to allude to the vehicle’s pre-ATDU history. You see, this particular Challenger 2 also participated in the battle of Basra in Iraq in 2003 (the battle would come infamous for the first Challenger 2 combat loss during a friendly fire incident).


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Several years later, in 2007, rumors started to circulate in Basra amongst the local populace that the British started releasing giant man-eating honey badgers into the area to terrorize the Iraqi citizens as well as planting serpent eggs in the Shatt al Arab river. The outrageous story forced the British military to officially denounce it:

We've been accused of releasing reptile eggs into the Shatt al Arab waterway and then releasing badgers. This flies in the face of what we're trying to do here which is to establish a secure environment.

  • Major Mike Shearer, British military spokesman

The spokesman then proceeded to explain how the word “badger” was a call-sign of one of the soldiers from 2 Royal Tank Regiment, a tradition since the 1930s.


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Long story short, we decided to name our own Challenger 2 skin “Honey Badger” in honor of the fictional ferocious, man-eating honey badgers out there, prowling the streets of Basra at night.

We hope you’ll enjoy the skin and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

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