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|Type||Armoured personnel carrier|
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
Formerly by Alvis plc
|Length||5.17 m (17 ft 0 in)|
|Width||2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)|
|Height||2.63 m (8 ft 8 in)|
|7.62 mm MG|
|Engine||Bedford 500 6-cyl diesel
164 hp (122 kW)
|Payload capacity||10 passengers|
|510 km (320 mi)|
|Speed||96 km/h (60 mph)|
The Saxon is an armoured personnel carrier used by the British Army and supplied in small numbers to various overseas organisations. It was developed by GKN Sankey from earlier projects, AT 100 IS and AT104, and is due to be replaced by the Future Rapid Effect System. It was first produced by Alvis plc.
The Saxon was intended to act as a cheap but efficient "battle-taxi" for units that would have to make long journeys from the UK to reinforce the British Army of the Rhine. It was made as a relatively low cost armoured personnel carrier based on a revised Bedford M series 4x4 truck chassis and other commercially available components. As a lightly armoured wheeled vehicle it is much faster - especially on roads - and easier to maintain than a tracked vehicle. Indeed, it shares many parts with commercial trucks, reducing the operating cost. It is armoured against small-arms fire and shell splinters, but is not intended to stand up to any anti-vehicle weaponry. The vehicle has a single machine gun for local air defence, and can carry up to ten men.
The Saxon's hull is welded steel with a V-shaped under-chassis plate to deflect mine detonations. Seating is provided in the rear for up to ten troops, although eight is a more comfortable load if all their equipment is included. There is an equipment stowage area on the hull roof.
Some Saxon IS, or Saxon Patrol, vehicles were acquired for service in Northern Ireland, serving both as troop carriers and used in riots with extendible wings to be used as protective shields as well as being used as ambulances. These have various minor modifications compared to the normal version, such as searchlights and wire cutters, intended for internal security operations.
The first operational Saxons were deployed in Germany in 1983, to equip mechanised infantry battalions. The Saxon has now been withdrawn from service in HM Armed Forces, but 147 are kept in storage. The Saxon has been deployed to places such as Bahrain, Brunei, Bosnia, Malaysia, Oman, Iraq and Afghanistan.
20-75 Saxons were sold to Ukraine reportedly under a contract made in 2013, i.e. predating the start of the War in Donbass. The Ukraine military announced the deal on 5 December 2014. The former chief commander of British land-forces, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said that supplying the vehicles to Ukraine was "immoral" as they were "useless".
The Saxon can be fitted out as:
- AT105A - Ambulance
- AT105E - Turret armed with one or two machine guns
- AT105MR - 81 mm mortar
- AT105C - Command vehicle
- ARV - Recovery vehicle
- Iraq: Iraqi Armed Forces (now mostly used by police)
- Mozambique (25 delivered in 2013)
- Somalia (50 donated second hand by Djibouti April 2013)
- Ukraine (Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has purchased 75 vehicles)
- Hong Kong - Hong Kong Police Force Police Tactical Unit. All retired in 2009 and replaced by Unimog U5000s.
- UK - British Army. All taken out from service.
- "Saxon". Military Today. Archived from the original on 2013-01-13.
- "Ukraine receives British troop carriers". the guardian. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Міноборони закупило 75 бронемашин Saxon". UNIAN (December 5, 2014).
- "New Armoured Personnel Carrier on the way". Hong Kong Police Force. Archived from the original on 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, Charles Heyman. Leo Cooper, 2003.