A user has posted a classified document online relating to the Challenger 2 in order to improve the accuracy of the design of the tank in combat game ‘War Thunder’.

A gamer identifying as Challenger 2 commander has posted a classified document online in order to improve the accuracy of the design of the tank in the game ‘War Thunder’.

War Thunder is a vehicular combat multiplayer video game developed and published by Gaijin Entertainment. Despite the fact that Gaijin Entertainment lists itself as a Cyprus-based studio, it was originally founded in Moscow, Russia, where it still has offices today.

It also has branches in Germany, Hungary, and Latvia, you can read more on the studio here.

 

So, what happened?

A user identifying as a Challenger 2 commander posted specific excerpts from a Challenger 2 AESP (Army Equipment Support Publication, sort of like a user manual) to show game developers that they “didn’t model it correctly”.

The user identifies as a make in Tidworth with a history of “Tanks & AFV’s, CR2 Tank Commander, AFV Instr, D&M Instr, Gunnery Instr, Former ATDU”. It should be noted that Tidworth is home to the Royal Tank Regiment who operate Challenger 2 tanks.

Anyway, it is understood that the excerpts from the document had their ‘UK RESTRICTED’ label crossed out and a stamp of ‘UNCLASSIFIED’ added, as well as having various parts fully blanked. One forum user remarked that “the cover for instance had basically everything except CHALLENGER 2 blacked out”.

The forum user posted the following alongside the now removed AESP in an effort to have an issue with the in-game design of the vehicle rectified.

“Linking those screenshots with the following edited image from the AESP’s which is meant to show the relationship of the various components. The image isn’t exactly to scale as its only meant to show the position of components relative to each other but it works for the point I’m trying to make here. The trunnion’s sit centrally of the rotor. The trunnions support the rotor in the turret structure and the GCE sub components as previously stated are all mounted to the rotor.”

Gaijin refused to deal with the apparently still classified documents. Saying through through their community manager:

“Before any discussion, handling or bug reports are even made, proof of this documents declassification will be required as well as where it was sourced form. If it is declassified, it should be available to the public. Last time such a document was shared that was claimed to be “unclassified” it was in fact still classified and was confirmed that it should never have been shared. We make it very clear that we will not handle any source material unless it is publically available and fully declassified with the rights to prove that.”

Additionally, a forum moderator posted:

“We have written confirmation from MoD that this document remains classified. By continuing to disseminate it you are in violation of the Official Secrets Act as stated by the warning on the cover of the document, an offence which can carry up to a 14 year prison sentence if prosecuted. Of this you are already aware, as a service person you have signed a declaration that you understand the act and what actions it compels you to take. Every time you post this you place us (International representatives of Gaijin), especially any UK citizens, in hot water as the warning so helpfully states that unauthorised retention of a protected document is an offence.”

It’s not yet clear what happened – was the clearance faked or was it given by the wrong people? We’ll update htis article when we know more.

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Goldilocks
Goldilocks
18 days ago

Sadly, we have 227 atm – soon to have just 148. Oh dear

Johan
Johan
16 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

will have 148 CH3/ Rest will be placed in deep storage, But have to question how a CH3 would defend the UK. In modern war we are not stopping a Russian invasion into Germany.

as they just built a highway alongside the new Russia to Germany pipeline would an other Anti Tank system be better suited.

George Parker
George Parker
6 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Granted the days of massed Soviet tank armies invading Europe are over. However, there are bigger threats to our global national interests than the old Cold War Russian Bear. The CCP occupying mainland China are building a huge military force to threaten their neighbours and our close allies. Should the need arise to do our bit in a coalition, to rid the world of the CCP by force. We would need to deploy every last MBT and somehow rapidly acquire many more. With that in mind, I’d like to see British tank designers and a revived industry, cooperate with India… Read more »

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
16 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

I see the Polish have just ordered 250 M1A3s?
They obviously have a more pressing need then ourselves but there planning offers an interesting contrast.

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
16 days ago
Reply to  Bluemoonday

Their planning I should say

George Parker
George Parker
6 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Don’t worry. To officially have an army, a country needs more than 100,000 serving soldiers. We currently do not have an army so why bother with tanks?

farouk
farouk
18 days ago

What a dick

Andy P
Andy P
18 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Yeah…. While RESTRICTED is ‘just’ classified, you need to take a look at yourself if you’re sending in an operators manual to a computer game company to try and get them to change stuff. Time to step away from your laptop.

Nate M
Nate M
18 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

I my self play war thunder Great game. But russian bias!! Hopefully the leaked secrets will mean the nerfed british tech tree will get huge upgrade! However, this is a bad thing.

Last edited 18 days ago by Nate M
Alfie
Alfie
18 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

the problem is tho is that gaijin will have to be careful as if they add any of those things from the manual it could get them in serious trouble

Nate M
Nate M
17 days ago
Reply to  Alfie

i know. its just that the challenger 2 hasn’t been given the justice it deserves. Weakest armour in the game, slowest tank, not that much fire power, but decent optics. i just want it to get what it deserves.

dan
dan
18 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

He should worry more about his job and less about his hobby.

Fi77on
Fi77on
18 days ago
Reply to  dan

I’ll just leave this here –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbUmPQm0Ww8

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

Usually a good idea not to post something you’re given in work unless you can find it on OS in your own time….

Rob N
Rob N
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes agreed. This individual is obviously a security risk and has already given information to a possible future adversary. If they find hip he should de dismissed and charged under the OSA.

Jonathan
Jonathan
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes thats a very good rule to follow. If your posting something that’s not open source your probably risking your job if your lucky.

Ian
Ian
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

In terms of covering your own **** at least. But MOD has a habit of continuing to assert that a document is classified even when it has been leaked and thoroughly disseminated to the world. At that point the only people having to jump through hoops to access it are the people who have an official need to use it, because they’ll get told off if they just pull it off the web.

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  Ian

That’s just so very yes minister. In the nhs we have a more practical test, if it’s in the public domain we can use it In public facing papers. The only time we don’t is if it’s has personal identifiable information, as we don’t ever disseminate that on purpose. To be honest the nhs is so fragmented ( it’s not one organisation) that the only way you can find most information is from open sources ( as a commissioner I don’t have a right to see the data from the hospitals and practise I commission, I have to look for… Read more »

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
18 days ago

As others have said, the future plan for British tanks is so small, it hardly matters. I’m more concerned about the British Government not funding defence properly. Thats the biggest security risk. The scary thing is, our fellow citizens elected these clowns.

Rob N
Rob N
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

To be fare the Government have increased defence spending recently and we are the second biggest spender in NATO. I would like to see more spent on defence but at least we have reversed the direction of cut cut cut. Not everything can be funded and the future battlefield may be very different from now and what kit is required is likely to change. At one time a line of Dreadnaughts was the thing… in the future it might be AI controlled stealth drones. The traditional tank as we know it today may not be as much of a player… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Drones and tanks have different roles. The drone cannot replace the tank. Tanks are not obsolete or all the tank-owning nations would be scrapping them now. Tanks have actually been used frequently on deployed (kinetic) operations; air superiority fighters and warships have not.

Rob N
Rob N
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Drones are developing fast and it is not known what roles they could have. There are already unmanned combat vehicles. T14 has an unmanned turret. It is only a short step to autonomous navigation and driving. AI driven target identification and tracking are already hear. So in not so long into the future we will have unmanned tanks. Why should they look like traditional tanks… in other words land tank drones will come. Challenger 3 is a transition into the future… a stop gap to a new ‘tank” whatever that will be…

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

How many T14s have the Russians built?

Dave12
Dave12
17 days ago

100 I heard no more if that as it was announced due to lack of funds.

Last edited 17 days ago by Dave12
farouk
farouk
17 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

I feel the T14 is simply this century’s version of the IS Heavy tanks and as such is far to expensive for the Russians to replace its T72/80/90 fleet. on a 1 to 1 basis. Kind of explains why the Russians have taken to upgrade their tank holdings, the T72 to the T72 B3M

VDayRehearsal-7April2021-24-X3.jpg
farouk
farouk
17 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The T80 to the T80BVM

VDayRehearsal-7April2021-25-X3.jpg
farouk
farouk
17 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The T90 to the T90M:

VDayRehearsal-7April2021-26-X3.jpg
farouk
farouk
17 days ago
Reply to  farouk

and there is a duty rumour that Moscow is looking at replacing all the turrets on the T72/80/90s with the Burlak Turret which I believe was the one designed for the Black Eagle prototype
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a36006796/russia-secret-main-battle-tank/

farouk
farouk
17 days ago
Reply to  farouk

My bad, just noticed I posted the wrong picture of the T72 B3M

VDayRehearsal-7April2021-22-X3.jpg
Dave12
Dave12
16 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Yep spot on.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dave12
Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

It’s only recently increased after years of reductions? The level compared to other NATO members is important, but how much of that goes to Trident?

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

We spend significant sums on defence. More than most. Are we geting value for money?

David Steeper
David Steeper
17 days ago

Trevor that is a hell of a good question. I think 12 mths ago the answer would have been no. I think with recent announcements we can be more positive about RN hopeful about RAF and the Army ! well this isn’t the sort of site for the kind of language that comes to mind.

Johan
Johan
16 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Every Government has done the same, And the options at the last Election were let’s say poor.

But until a party gets a better grip, Labour is still too busy constantly hurling stones at itself.

and the Libs abandoned their own policies,

cannot fight a war if we are all dead from a virus.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
18 days ago

Unfortunately War Thunder is developed by a Russian company. So this could have serious implications.

colin
colin
18 days ago

Doesn’t really matter we have only 148 Challenger in the UK . Poland has secured 250 x Abrams M1A2 SEPV3

Jack
Jack
18 days ago
Reply to  colin

$6 Billion USD for 250 tanks ? That seems steep to me. The UK are spending $1.1 Billion USD for 148 Challenger 3s. I wish we would upgrade more, even if we put the additional tanks in storage.

Sharpie
Sharpie
18 days ago
Reply to  Jack

@Jack you’ll probably find that the Poland deal includes a lot of other things that you need to operate a new tank, like spare parts, ammunition, crew training, maintenance tooling, etc

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Sharpie

So? It’s still 6 billion for 250 tanks
A tank needs all the other stuff.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
18 days ago
Reply to  colin

We have to accept that Britain’s role in any war and especially in Europe won’t be at the head of mass tank battles. Other specialities are far more important for us and we can and should only expect a minor tank contribution as much as 300 or 400 would be ideal if we had the budget for it I agree. Fact is Poland, Central European powers and Germany and then France are by far those with highest priorities there. We would be better working on and offering state of the art fast moving and deployable anti tank weapons for the… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Spyinthesky
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

You suggest that tanks of European armies would only see action in eastern Europe, and that for some reason that precludes use of British tanks – I don’t get that.
Britain has deployed tanks on deployments outside eastern Europe since WW2 in Korea, Suez, Kosovo, Bosnia, the Gulf, Iraq and Estonia.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

So? Are we going to send tanks again into Iraq? Are we going to war with Syria or Iran?
Everything was simpler and cheaper back in the Korean War.

Mike Emmett
Mike Emmett
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Far time somebody in the military spoke out about our pathetic inventory of armoured forces. We can no longer field an armoured division and the vehicles we currently have are all past their sell by dates!

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Contract, and stealth aircraft to control the airspace above us and our allies.

Rob N
Rob N
17 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Since we are part of NATO it has always been expected that the US would lead. In just about all our modern conflicts we have worked with others. This is nothing new. I think the last time we when into a conflict on our own was the Falklands and no MBTs were used.

i think our role these days is more tactical using our CH3s and well trained crews to go were it counts.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  colin

We have only 6 destroyers – still wouldn’t want their secrets leaked.

Jonathan
Jonathan
18 days ago

I have to say that’s a pretty robust response from the site moderators. Actually checking back with the MOD. So full points to them.

Tony
Tony
18 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They were just checking it was good intel before they passed it on to the Russian government!

Rob
Rob
18 days ago

What a plank. Hope he gets a knock on the door from the fuzz. See the thing is the real world isn’t a computer game and this idiot may well have caused ‘real world’ casualties.

dan
dan
18 days ago

So many people nowadays have zero common sense. Ugh

Arty
Arty
18 days ago

Fxcking legend he was fed up with the challenger and went fxck it this needs to be fixed

Hi Ga
Hi Ga
18 days ago

Absolute mad lad.

Karl
Karl
18 days ago

Welcome to global Britain, a laugh everyday.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Whats this got to do with global britain.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
18 days ago

Think before you click.

I read through everything I post to ensure its already open source or is no longer classified.

ian
ian
18 days ago

lmfao, i can make a meme outta this

Dave12
Dave12
18 days ago

Any one plays the pc game series combat missions? It’s a pretty good strat game, yes I nerd this.

Last edited 18 days ago by Dave12
dan
dan
18 days ago

Even if that stuff wasn’t “classified” his job is being a tanker in the British Army. Not trying to make a “game” more realistic. Jeez.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  dan

Dan, are you American? We say ‘tankie’ as a tanker is a fuel bowser.

Wolfe
Wolfe
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In the US you’ll only hear “Tankie” as a catch-all term that refers to Marxists, Stalin apologists and other varieties of communists and socialists. Though, it has it’s origins in the UK media as a pejorative for the pro-communist supporters who advocated use of tanks to crush the protestors in the 1956 Hungarian uprising and 1968 Prague Uprising.

Boris S.
Boris S.
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Huh. As neither a Brit or American, I always thought bowser was something you’d find in a Super Mario game.
(sorry for off-topic, but I never did consider what a tank crewman would actually be called)

Phil Tidy
Phil Tidy
18 days ago

“Bernard, who else gets Defence Secrets before Number 10?”

“Oh that’s easy Prime Minister, the Kremlin”.

SavethebritsWT
SavethebritsWT
18 days ago

Both Challenger 2E and Challenger 2F suck in this game, they have almost zero armour on their huge front lower plate, any kind of shell can easily penetrate them and set a fire in the engine or worse, in the ammo rack. Plus they’re too slow to catch up with the fast paced top tier combat, and their shells are just average as well.

Hunter
Hunter
18 days ago

The response from the Warthunder forum moderator is a load of bull. Forum mods in particular are known to be utterly incompetent and deceitful beyond all reason. The MoD would not respond to a question of “is this secret document real?” because that would be solidifying that it is supposed to be secret. The MoD has always ignored such questions. Gaijin is just plainly lying and this whole story is a nothingburger.

Brian
Brian
18 days ago

I wish someone at the MOD would leak the specs for the Hispano 20mm cannon cause they are totally fuked in WarThunder too!

Matthew Leser
Matthew Leser
18 days ago

How could you possibly think it’s a good idea to post classified material from your own fighting vehicle to a country that specifically designs fighting vehicles to kill your fighting vehicle? Sometimes the good idea fairy should just be completely ignored.

Bob
Bob
18 days ago

Anyway, it is understood that the excerpts from the document had their ‘UK RESTRICTED’ label crossed out and a stamp of ‘UNCLASSIFIED’ added”

Might have been a declassified document?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
18 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Hi Bob,

Even if they are declssified it still does not mean that they can be realised to the public. The need to know rule still applies. If the document is declassified and released to the puplic records office – then you can talk about the contents online. Of course, copyright might apply, not sure about that one. 🙂

Cheers CR

Bob
Bob
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR,

That is true. First step in recruiting a spy is to ask for unclassified documents.

Fi77on
Fi77on
18 days ago

typo in 6th to last word

john melling
john melling
17 days ago

Think I will stick to flying Spitfires in War Thunder 😉 

pw44
pw44
16 days ago

This is not the first time, it won’t be the last. the guy in question went by the user name Fear_Naught. They had similar problems with ‘Tank Nut Dave’ four years ago, who passed confidential information to another Russian company and got a quick visit from MI5, while one senior manager at the tank museum gave several files on the new Ajax tank to the Russians in 2019. Many of these Russian games employ ex-officers who will happily pass that information back to their own relative authorities.

River Rha
River Rha
16 days ago

It would seem that I Understood From My Now Deceased Mother who was In the Women’s Royal Naval Service “Voluntarily”, After Graduating from University of Glasgow Scotland during Wartime Conditions “and Undergraduate Students would seem to have been In A Reserved Occupation Category for Call-up Purposes For Armed Services” That, It would seem that the Population of the British Isles “Were Fully Aware of the Military Traditions and Military Activities of Training for the Purposes of Warfare taking place Throughout the British Isles, “Yet An Extremely Careful Communications System Operated By the Government of the Time Ensured that Seldom Was… Read more »

JHC
JHC
16 days ago

Reading this just as I have a lunch break from warthunder…

Johan
Johan
16 days ago

probably that old salty git who says the Army makes no sense.

Johan
Johan
16 days ago

Do you think this fella works @ the National Heath center and had acces to video equipment of Matty Allcocks office….