Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicle

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This article is about the post-war British vehicle. For the World War II Canadian vehicle, see Fox Armoured Car. For the German/American NBC reconnaissance vehicle see M93 Fox
FV721 Fox
FV721 Fox armoured fighting vehicle (2008-08-09).jpg
FV721 Fox in Ursel, Belgium
Type Armoured car
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Specifications
Weight 6.75 tonnes (7.44 short tons; 6.64 long tons)
Length 5.08 m (16 ft 8 in)
Width 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)
Height 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
Crew 3

Armor Aluminium
Main
armament
30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon
Secondary
armament
Co-axial 7.62 mm L37A2 machine gun
Engine Jaguar J.60 No 1 Mk 100B Petrol
190 hp (142 kW)
Power/weight 28.1 hp/tonne
Suspension Wheel
Operational
range
434 km (269.675 mi)
Speed 104 km/h (64.6 mph)

The FV721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled) (CVR(W)) was a 4x4 armoured car manufactured by Alvis, deployed by the British Army as a replacement for the Ferret scout car and the Saladin Armoured Car. The Fox was introduced into service in May 1973 and withdrawn in 1993/4.

Description[edit]

It had a crew of three and had a low profile rotating turret armed with a 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon which was manually fed with 3 round clips; 99 rounds were carried. A coaxial L37A2 7.62 mm machine gun was mounted with 2,600 rounds. The weapons were not stabilised. This turret was also equipped with a set of 2 4-barrelled smoke dischargers. The vehicle had a combat weight of 6.75 tonnes and was designed to be air-portable.[1] The Fox had aluminium armour and was fitted with a flotation screen. It lacked protection against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Powered by a Jaguar 4.2-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine, the Fox was one of the fastest vehicles of its type.

The Fox was typically attached to armoured and mechanized infantry battalions. The use of high mobility light vehicles such as the Fox would provide the ability to out flank heavier armoured divisions. This also potentially enabled the Fox to act as a scout and a vehicle that can engage similar light vehicles. The Fox's all-welded aluminum armour hull and turret protected against medium gun fire and artillery splinters, but did not protect the Fox from heavy (50.calbre) machine gun fire. The driver viewed through an integral periscope/hatch cover that lifted open while the centred turret held the commander/loader on the left and gunner on the right.[1]

Without preparation, the Fox can ford one metre of water and a flotation screen can be erected in two minutes.

Air portable, three Foxes can be carried by one C-130 Hercules aircraft,[1] two of which can be parachute dropped.

Variants[edit]

FV722 Vixen prototype at Bovington Tank Museum
  • FV722 Vixen - Un-turreted version, was planned and trialled but never entered production. An example of the Vixen is held at the Bovington museum. Hull #2 after spending about two decades mounted on a plinth as a gate guard at the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment, Chertsey was recovered, exported and restored to mechanically operational condition in Australia.
  • Polecat - There was at least one trial version of a Fox chassis mounting the standard UK GPMG one-man turret (as used on the FV432 APC) and possibly one with a larger one man turret mounting an M2 .5in heavy MG. Both types were proposed for use in Ulster during the 1980s as patrol vehicles.
  • Panga - Export version for Malaysia, fitted with Helio FVT-800 machine gun turret. Prototype only.
  • Fox-Scout - Escort version with 7.62 mm machine gun (MAG or Chain gun) and 4,500 rounds. Prototype only.
  • Fox 25 - Fitted with a 25 mm Chain Gun in a Sharpshooter turret. Crew: 2. Prototype only.
  • Fox MILAN - Tankhunter version with MILAN Compact Turret. Prototype only.
  • Sabre - The turret of the Fox was remounted on the chassis of an FV101 Scorpion hull to create a new tracked reconnaissance vehicle, the Sabre. Cheaper to produce than the similar FV107 Scimitar, one Hundred and Thirty Six Sabres were created. Modifications included; redesigning the smoke grenade dischargers, replacing the standard machine gun with a L94A1 chain gun and domed hatches to improve headroom for the commander and gunner. They were assigned to reconnaissance platoons of armoured and mechanised infantry battalions before being withdrawn from service in 2004.[2]
  • FV432/30 - A small number of Fox turrets were added to modified FV 432s in the mid-1970s for the Berlin Brigade, but this project was abandoned after 13 were converted.

Operators[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]