A modified version of the Alliance Chieftain, the Alliance Challenger has been envisaged as a frontline combat vessel. With a generous complement of hardpoints, the Challenger can more than hold its own in a fight, and although it weighs more than its sister ship, it has retained the Chieftain's characteristic agility. It also has stronger armour than the Chieftain, allowing it to soak up a significant amount of punishment.
— In-Game Description
The Alliance Challenger is a ship manufactured by Lakon Spaceways for the Alliance. Like the Alliance Crusader, it is a variant of the Alliance Chieftain, and was designed in response to the encroaching Thargoid threat. Capitalizing on the Chieftain's strengths, the Challenger boasts enhanced specifications in the form of additional weapon hardpoints and more durable armour without making significant alterations to manoeuvrability.
For owners of the Alliance Chieftain looking for a similar ship with added firepower and durability, the Alliance Challenger delivers. The Challenger trades one Class 3 hardpoint for two additional Class 2 hardpoints, increasing its overall damage output in combat. It also retains the same manoeuvrability of the Chieftain, letting it keep its hardpoints on target and dodge fire. Its true power comes from its increased shield and armour health, which when combined with its mobility lets the Challenger become a very tricky ship to take down. Its extra Class 6 internal compartment lets it bring along a much larger Shield Cell Bank, which significantly boosts the power of its defences. This does come at a minor cost to speed, but once A-rated, the difference between challenger and Chieftain is around 15m/s, which will be even smaller with engineering. Base manoeuvrability is identical, though pitch and yaw speeds are slightly lower. The Challenger is more than capable of taking down any other medium ship, and even large ships like Anaconda are easy to defeat its high mobility and damage output. These traits also make it a strong choice for hunting Thargoid ships.
The Challenger has an increased cargo capacity of 154t over the Chieftain's 122t. This makes the Challenger an adequate trader and Pirate as it is only outdone by the Federal Gunship, Krait MkII, Krait Phantom and Python for medium ship cargo capacity. It can also make a very good miner, as it has enough hardpoints for all Mining tools and decent cargo space. Its high hull strength and military compartments means it can easily defend itself without its shield as well.
The only real downside to the ship, other than the higher cost compared to the Chieftain, is its jump range, which is just under 24 LYs before engineering. As the Challenger is best suited for hull tanking, its jump range will only drop lower when outfitting it with armor, which can make traveling to relatively distant battle sites somewhat of a slog.
The Challenger's hardpoints are arranged almost identically to the Chieftain, albeit it exchanges the top-most Class 3 hardpoint for two Class 2 hardpoints that are located directly behind the forward landing gear. Utility slots are well-distributed and have minimal obstructions, with two on top roughly in the middle of the craft, and two on the underside slightly further back. Like the Chieftain, the Challenger has a second seat for Multicrew.
Although the Challenger's upgrades come with a higher purchase price than the Chieftain, it is still substantially cheaper than a number of other medium vessels, such as the Federal Gunship, Krait MkII, Python, and Fer-de-Lance, while still being able to take on each of those ships in a firefight.
The Alliance Challenger is most commonly available in Alliance systems. Despite its name and affiliation, it requires no rank or reputation with the Alliance to purchase.
|Shinrarta Dezhra||Jameson Memorial||Always available||10% discount|
|Brestla||i Sola Prospect||Always available||20% surcharge|
|Alioth||Golden Gate||Always available|
|LTT 4772||Shelley Terminal||Sept. 25, 2018||Not Available|
|10 Canum Venaticorum||Alvares Bastion||Jun. 28, 2018|
|Zaonce||Ridley Scott Station||Jun. 28, 2018|
|G 122-60||Watts Enterprise||Jun. 29, 2018|
|Furuhjelm III-674||Tshang City||Jun. 29, 2018|
|LHS 2771||Sarafanov Vision||Oct. 16, 2018|
|LHS 3356||Pytheas Orbital||August 08, 2018|
|Kaushpoos||Neville Horizons||August 24, 2018|
- Main article: Outfitting
All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Alliance Challenger.
|Category||Default System||Default Rating||Default Class||Max Class|
|Medium Hardpoint||Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Reactor Bay||Power Plant||E||6||6|
|Frame Shift Drive Housing||Frame Shift Drive||E||5||5|
|Environment Control||Life Support||E||5||5|
|Power Coupling||Power Distributor||E||6||6|
|Fuel Store||Fuel Tank [x16]||C||4||4|
|Internal Compartments||Cargo Rack [x32]||E||5||6|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Planetary Approach Suite (H)||I||1||1|
- (L) = Loaned Module
- [x#] = Capacity
- (H) = Requires Elite Dangerous: Horizons, reserved solely for Planetary Approach Suite
- (M) = Military Compartment reserved for Hull Reinforcement Package, Module Reinforcement Package, or Shield Cell Bank
- The Alliance Challenger was released with the Chapter Two (3.1) update of Elite Dangerous: Beyond on June 28, 2018.
- The Challenger is the third ship to be manufactured by Lakon Spaceways for the Alliance, after the Alliance Chieftain and Type-10 Defender.
- Like the Alliance Chieftain, the Challenger is named after a British tank, specifically the FV4030 Challenger.
- The design of the Challenger seems to be based off an Attack Helicopter; with a notably similar cockpit and weapon locations to various models (below the nose, and two symmetrically placed on the underside).
- An early model of the Alliance Chieftain is virtually identical to the design of the Challenger.