FV107 Scimitar

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FV107 Scimitar
FV107 Scimitar IFV.jpg
Type Reconnaissance vehicle
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
Wars Falklands War, Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq War, Afghanistan
Production history
Manufacturer Alvis
Specifications
Weight 7.8 tonnes
Length 4.9 m
Width 2.2 m
Height 2.1 m
Crew 3

Armour aluminium armour
Main
armament
30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon
sabot, HE, and armor-piercing special effects (APSE) rounds
Secondary
armament
Coaxial 7.62 mm L37A1 MG
Engine Cummins BTA 5.9 diesel
190 hp (142 kW)
Suspension Torsion bar
Operational
range
450 km
Speed 50 mph (80.5 km/h)

FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) used by the British Army, manufactured by Alvis in Coventry. It is very similar to the FV101 Scorpion but mounts a high velocity 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon instead of a 76 mm gun. It was issued to Royal Armoured Corps, Armoured Regiments in the Reconnaissance role. Each Regiment had a Close Reconnaissance Squadron of 5 Troops of 8 FV107 Scimitar.

Development[edit]

The FV107 Scimitar is one of the CVR(T) series of vehicles and entered service in 1971.

Initially the engine was the Jaguar J60 4.2-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine, the same as used by several Jaguar cars. This has now been replaced by a Cummins BTA 5.9 diesel engine in British Army Scimitars, under the CVR(T) Life Extension Program (LEP).

The Scimitar lifespan has once again (as of middle 2009) been extended to accommodate the shift in timeframe with the FRES (Future Rapid Effect System) program which would have seen new armoured vehicles introduced to replace the ageing CVR(T) range of vehicles. With new modifications, air filtration units and gearbox upgrades (late 2009) as well as hull alterations (late 2009) and the creation of a CVR(T) Spartan & CVR(T) Scimitar hybrid[1] the CVR(T) range (early 2010) is expected to continue well beyond 2017.[citation needed]

Additional specifications[edit]

  • Ground clearance: 0.35 m
  • Main armament: 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon. (Fires at up to 90 rounds per minute)
  • Ammunition types:
  • Additional defence: 2 × 4-barrel smoke launchers.
  • Ammunition stores:
    • 30 mm – 165 rounds
    • 7.62 mm – 2,000 rounds
    • As with all UK Armoured vehicles, Scimitar is equipped with a forced air system, so the crew can lock down in a CBRN environment. For this reason, the vehicle is equipped with a boiling vessel BV, to cook and make hot drinks.[2]

Operators[edit]

Scimitar in desert camouflage (apart from the large Union Jack flag)

The Scimitar is used by the five formation reconnaissance regiments of the British Army. Each regiment has three squadrons each of 12 Scimitars, The Household Cavalry Regiment has an extra squadron to support 16 Air Assault Brigade. It is also used by some support groups within infantry battalions like the Irish Guards Recce Platoon.[citation needed]

After the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, some regiments are seeing their Challenger 2 tanks replaced with CVR(T) Scimitars.[4]

  • Belgium Belgium – 141 units,[5] withdrawn from active service in 2005.[6]

Combat use[edit]

Two troops from B Squadron, Blues and Royals served in the Falklands War. The CVR(T) were the only armoured vehicles used in action by the British Army during the conflict.[7] At least one Scimitar was seriously damaged by an Argentinian landmine, but the crew were unscathed, and the vehicle was salvaged by a Chinook HC.1 helicopter[8] and soon brought back into service by the attached REME section.

In the First Gulf War 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers, with attached reinforcements, fought as a regiment during this war and was equipped with Scimitar. A troop of Scimitars engaged and knocked out Iraqi T-62s, penetrating their frontal armour with sabot rounds. One Scimitar was engaged and hit by an Iraqi T-55 and the penetrating round passed through the thin aluminium armour without injuring the crew.

Scimitars of C Squadron Queen's Dragoon Guards were used in the Battle of Al Faw in the opening days of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Plans for an amphibious landing of Scimitars were abandoned due to extensive mining of the beaches and instead they crossed into Iraq by land.

In Afghanistan on Operation Herrick, Scimitars were deployed either in standard Troop organisations or as part of Jackal composite troops, in which role they provided additional firepower to complement the Jackal's high mobility.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

  • CVR(T) (combat vehicle reconnaissance – tracked) family of vehicles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Up-armoured vehicles begin Afghanistan operations". 
  2. ^ "Doug's 'HEAVY METAL' GALLERY". 
  3. ^ "UK Defence: British Army estimated operational armoured vehicle fleet". european-defence.co.uk. January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-09. [dead link]
  4. ^ http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/20130703-A2020_Update.pdf the two regiments "reduced" from Armoured Regiments to Armoured Cavalry are The Royal Dragoon Guards and the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards
  5. ^ Ondrejka, Jan; Stojar, Richard (8.3.2004). "Belgian armed forces: trends in development" (PDF). Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 2008-01-09.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "La Défense au rapport". page 55 (in French). Belgian Ministry of Defence. January 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  7. ^ Foss & Sarson, p. 21
  8. ^ Andrew Jones, "British Armor in the Falklands", ARMOR, March 1983 pp. 26–27

Further reading[edit]