Until the introduction of the Abrams M1 and the Challenger 1 in 1980 and 1983 respectively, the number one tank of the Cold War period was the Chieftain FV4201, a 56-ton British main battle tank that had entered service in 1966. Superior by far to the M-60 Patton, both in armor and gun power, it was the best ground weapon the NATO depended on to face a communist attack on the West. The Chieftain was the only tank that had a chance to defeat and destroy the Soviet T-64 and T-72 tanks. Equipped with a laser rangefinder, a fire control system, which used a digital ballistic computer, and infrared search light, it was not only technologically superior to the Russian tanks, but its turret was also better protected than its Soviet counter parts, with thicker frontal armor and a lower profile.
Chieftain tank in action (video)