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A Saxon Armoured Personnel vehicle from the Cheshire Regiment, British Army, 2003
|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)|
|Maximum 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 was 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.
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 as ambulances or troop carriers, which had extendible wings that could be used as protective shields during a riot. Compared to the standard model, these have various minor modifications intended for internal security operations, such as searchlights and wire cutters.
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 The Saxon has now been withdrawn from service in HM Armed Forces, but 147 are kept in storage.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.
Seven Saxons were ordered by the Royal Hong Kong Police from GKN Sankey in 1987 and delivered in 1988 where they replaced 15 Saracens. They were assigned to the Police Tactical Unit and remained there until withdrawn in 2009.
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" in the type of high intensity warfare they were being deployed in.
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
- Congo : 28 delivered in 2015
- Côte d'Ivoire : 4 second-hand vehicles delivered in 2016 for use with MINUSMA
- Iraq: Iraqi Armed Forces now mostly used by police.
- Jordan: 12 second-hand vehicles delivered to Jordanian Army, modernized by KADDB to change steering wheel position from right to left with newer engines and gearbox with a working model shown in SOFEX 2010.
- Malaysia(Active in Royal Malaysian Police)
- Mauritania: 4 second-hand vehicles delivered in 2016 via France for United Nations operation in the Central African Republic.
- Mozambique: 25 delivered in 2013
- Somalia: 50 donated second hand by Djibouti April 2013.
- Ukraine: Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has purchased 75 second-hand vehicles, which have been delivered in two shipments.
- Serbia: 1 Saxon seized from UN peacekeepers in the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ,still in service.
- Hong Kong: Hong Kong Police Force Police Tactical Unit. All retired in 2009 and replaced by Unimog U5000s.
- United Kingdom: British Army. All taken out from service.
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- "Міноборони закупило 75 бронемашин Saxon".
- Dassanayake, Dion (25 March 2015). "VIDEO: Embarrassing moment tank sent to Ukraine by UK struggles to climb TINY hill".
- "Trade Registers". Armstrade.sipri.org. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
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- Marcin Gawęda. ""Useless" Saxon Vehicles Surprisingly Useful In Ukraine. Kiev Benefits From The "Cost-Effect" Ratio". Defence 24. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
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- Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, Charles Heyman. Leo Cooper, 2003.