Warrior tracked armoured vehicle

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FV 510 Warrior
FV510 Warrior Infantry Section Vehicle
TypeInfantry fighting vehicle
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1987–present
Production history
DesignerGKN Sankey / GKN Defence
ManufacturerGKN Sankey/BAE Systems
No. built1,043 (total) (as of 1995)[1]
Mass25.4 tonnes (25.0 long tons; 28.0 short tons)
Length6.3 m (20 ft 8 in)
Width3.03 m (9 ft 11 in)
Height2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)
Crew3 (commander, gunner, driver) + 7 troops or full section 10 troops

ArmourAluminium and appliqué
30 mm L21A1 RARDEN cannon
coaxial 7.62 mm L94A1 chain gun
7.62 mm machine gun
EnginePerkins V-8 Condor Diesel
550 hp (410 kW)
Power/weight22 hp/t
SuspensionTorsion bar with hydraulic damper
410 miles (660 km)
Maximum speed 46 mph (75 km/h) on road, 31 mph (50 km/h) off road[2]

The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace FV430 series armoured vehicles. The Warrior started life as the MCV-80, "Mechanised Combat Vehicle for the 1980s". One of the requirements of the new vehicle was a top speed able to keep up with the projected new MBT, the MBT-80 – later cancelled and replaced by what became the Challenger 1 – which the FV432 armoured personnel carrier could not. The project was begun in 1972; GKN Defence won the production contract in 1984 and the Warrior was accepted for service with the British Army in November 1984. Production commenced in January 1986 at Telford, with the first vehicles completed in December that year. GKN Defence was purchased by BAE Systems, via Alvis plc.

The first production vehicle was handed over to the British Army in May 1987 to 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and from 1988 to 1990 four more armoured infantry battalions in the British Army of the Rhine were converted to the new vehicle.[3] A total of 789 FV510 and variants were manufactured for the British Army and 254 of a modified version (Desert Warrior) were produced for the Kuwaiti Army.


The Warrior incorporates several design features in keeping with the UK's battlefield experience. In particular, there are no firing ports in the hull, in line with British thinking that the role of the armoured personnel carrier/infantry fighting vehicle (APC/IFV) is to carry troops under protection to the objective and then give firepower support when they have disembarked. The absence of firing ports also allows appliqué armour to be fitted to the sides of the vehicle, which is invariably applied to Warriors on operations. The cage armour used at one stage was replaced in 2007 by "Wrap Two" appliqué armour.[4][unreliable source?] The basic armour provides all-around protection against small arms ball ammunition.[citation needed]

FV510 Warrior in desert camouflage, with appliqué armour and the infantry section's personal kit and other equipment outside.

The crew of a Warrior comprises the driver, seated in the front hull and the gunner and commander in the turret. The embarked infantry section can number up to seven soldiers, who are seated facing each other in the rear hull compartment. Passenger access is through an electric ram powered door at the rear of the hull, rather than a drop-down ramp as in the US M113 APC and M2 Bradley IFV. Warrior Section Vehicles are able to carry seven fully equipped soldiers together with supplies and weapons, including a number of anti-tank weapons, for a 48-hour battlefield day in nuclear/biological/chemical conditions.

A Warrior on Salisbury Plain during Exercise Lion Strike

The Warrior is driven by a Perkins-Rolls-Royce V8 Condor engine through a four-speed automatic gearbox. It is capable of a road speed of 46 miles per hour (74 km/h). The Warrior has the speed and performance to keep up with a Challenger 2 main battle tank over the most difficult terrain.

The vehicle is fitted with a two-man GKN Sankey turret, armed with a non-stabilized L21A1 30 mm RARDEN cannon capable of destroying some APCs at a maximum range of 1,500 m (1,600 yd), and an L94A1 EX-34 7.62 mm Hughes Helicopters coaxial chain gun. It is fitted with two clusters of four defensive grenade launchers (usually used with Visual and Infrared Screening Smoke – VIRSS).

All Warrior Infantry Section Vehicles are now equipped with Bowman radios, which replaced the earlier Clansman radios, for enhanced communications, command and control. When first introduced, the vehicles were fitted with passive image intensifier night vision sights. These have since been replaced with Thales Optronics Battle Group Thermal Imaging (BGTI) sights to upgrade night fighting capabilities, with 8× magnification.[2] As of 2007, 350 vehicles were fitted with BGTI.

Combat history[edit]

The protection against small arms, missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank mines was shown during the UN operations in Bosnia. Two Warriors were destroyed during the First Gulf War, with nine soldiers killed, in a friendly fire incident when hit by AGM-65 Maverick missiles launched in error by two American Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft.[5]

As of 17 November 2008, 22 soldiers had been killed while travelling in Warrior IFVs in Afghanistan or Iraq.[6] On 7 March 2012, six British soldiers were killed in an explosion that hit a Warrior IFV in Helmand.[7]


  • FV512 Mechanised Combat Repair Vehicle
    FV510 Infantry Section Vehicle. This is the principal version operated by the British Army, as described above. 489 were produced (including 105 as platforms for the mobility of anti-tank guided weapon teams, originally equipped with MILAN and later with Javelin missiles).[8]
  • FV511 Infantry Command Vehicle. 84 of these were produced.
  • FV512 Mechanised Combat Repair Vehicle. Operated by REME detachments in Armoured Infantry battalions. It is equipped with a 6.5-tonne crane plus power tools and is able to tow a trailer carrying two Warrior power packs or one Challenger power pack. 105 of these were produced.
  • FV513 Mechanised Recovery Vehicle (Repair). Also operated by REME detachments in Armoured Infantry battalions. It is equipped with a 20-tonne winch and 6.5-tonne crane plus power tools and (like the FV512) is able to tow a trailer carrying two Warrior power packs or one Challenger power pack. 39 of these were produced.
  • FV514 Mechanised Artillery Observation Vehicle. This is operated by the Royal Artillery as an Artillery Observation Post Vehicle (OPV) and is fitted with mast-mounted Man-packable Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (MSTAR) and Position and Azimuth Determining System (PADS), with image intensifying and infra-red equipment. The only armament is the 7.62 mm machine gun, as the 30 mm RARDEN cannon is replaced by a dummy weapon. This allows space for the targeting and surveillance equipment while still keeping largely the same outward appearance of a standard Warrior in order to avoid becoming a priority target. 52 of these were produced.
  • FV515 Battery Command Vehicle. This is operated by the Royal Artillery. 19 of these were produced.
  • Desert Warrior. This was an export version adapted for operations in hostile desert conditions. It was fitted with the Delco turret as used on the LAV-25 wheeled IFV, mounting a stabilised 25 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun with coaxial 7.62 mm chain gun and two Hughes TOW ATGM launchers (one mounted on each side). In 1993, Kuwait purchased 254 Desert Warrior vehicles.
  • Warrior 2000. This was a new version developed for the Swiss Army. It did not enter production. It featured an all-welded aluminium hull, increased armour, digital fire control system and more powerful engine. It was fitted with the Delco turret, or a Land Systems Hagglunds E30 turret with Alliant Techsystems 30 mm Bushmaster II Mk 44 cannon.
  • Armoured Ambulance. Six Warriors, with armaments removed, were converted to armoured ambulances for use in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick.[9]
  • VERDI-2 (Vehicle Electronics Research Defence Initiative) was a technology demonstrator built on the hull of an FV510 in 1993. It utilized the 40mm CTAI cannon[citation needed], in addition to eight Starstreak missiles in two quad launchers, as well as the ADAD system later seen on the Stormer HVM. It did not enter production.[10]
  • Optionally-Crewed Warrior. In late 2018, an optionally-crewed variant of the vehicle was demonstrated as part of the British Army's Army Warfighting Experiment 2018 'Autonomous Warrior'. This was delivered by British Engineering firm Digital Concepts Engineering.[11][12] The system was capable of remote operation over distance using a wireless mesh network over radio. Funding to explore the concept further was announced by Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson in March 2019[13] but appears to have been de-prioritised since.[14]

Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme[edit]

FV513 Mechanised Recovery Vehicle (Repair) in a live-fire training exercise, 6 January 1991.

Upgrades already fitted to Warriors in British Army service included the Bowman Communications System and Thales Battle Group Thermal Imaging (BGTI) night sights. However the British Army determined that a bigger upgrade programme was required to extend its service life to 2040.

The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) was to involve upgrading 380 Warriors with the Warrior Modular Protection System (WMPS) and Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture (WEEA). Within that group, 245 vehicles would have been fitted with a new turret and weapon system under the Warrior Fightability Lethality Improvement Programme (WFLIP). The remainder, which would have been designated as Armoured Battlefield Support Vehicles (ABSV), would have lacked turrets and carry out field repair and recovery roles using a winch and crane attachments.[15] The ABSV was however, removed in Annual Budget Cycle 16 as a cost saving.[16] In an oral evidence on 20 October 2020, with the Deputy Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Christopher Tickell stating it would be in service by 2030, aiming to replace the FV430 Bulldog.[17]

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin competed for the WCSP contracts. Lockheed Martin's WFLIP upgrade was based on the existing Warrior turret. BAE Systems designed a new turret.[18] In March 2011, it was announced that Lockheed Martin had effectively won the competition to develop both the WFLIP and the FRES turrets. Severe budgetary pressures made it uncertain whether these defence projects were to be delayed or curtailed, but it was announced in October 2011 that the Warrior upgrades would proceed at a cost of £1bn, extending the service life of the Warrior to 2040 and beyond.[19][20] The scheduled in-service date for upgraded Warriors was 2018.

Warrior CSP

Under the WFLI programme, the existing turret including the unstabilised Rarden gun, would be replaced by a turret mounting a stabilised 40 mm weapon developed by the Anglo-French firm CTA International and firing Cased telescoped ammunition.[20][21] This weapon would also equip the Ajax armoured vehicle.

By March 2020 Warrior CSP was in the "demonstration phase", demonstrating capability for a range of military missions set by the MoD. A total of £430m had been spent so far. No in-service date had been set, but the demonstration phase was due to finish in 2021.[22] In June 2020 the House of Commons Defence Select Committee described the project as running over three years late and £227 million over budget.[23]

In March 2021 the MoD announced that the CSP had been cancelled and that all of the British Army's Warrior vehicles would be replaced by the middle of the decade with Boxer armoured fighting vehicles.[24] In April 2021 Lockheed Martin announced that as a result up to 158 jobs would be lost at Ampthill.[25] It had previously been reported in October 2020 that the UK may procure Boxer vehicles that are fitted with the 40mm CTA International CT40 cannon.[26][27]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Warrior tracked armoured vehicle".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "British Army Vehicles and Equipment" (PDF). Defence Public Relations (Army). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  3. ^ Foss, Christopher F. (1994). Warrior mechanised combat vehicle, 1987-1994. London: Osprey. p. 18. ISBN 1855323796.
  4. ^ "Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicles". Army Technology. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Friendly Fire Incidents". House of Commons debates. UK Parliament. 24 July 1991. cc704-7W. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  6. ^ Alastair Jamieson (16 November 2008). "New safety fears over Army vehicles after soldier killed". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Six UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan explosion". BBC. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  8. ^ "MCV-80 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle". Military-today.com. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Armoured Ambulances". Think Defence. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  10. ^ "The Nineties". Think Defence. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Autonomous Warrior: Meet The Driverless Military Vehicles". Forces.net. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  12. ^ "First showing of a remote operated UK Warrior". Jane's via youtube.com. 3 December 2018. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Army robotics receive £66-million boost". GOV.UK. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Unmanned ground vehicles: Digital Concepts Engineering". Global Defence Technology. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  15. ^ "DVD 2016: Warrior CSP to begin trials next year | IHS Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Transparency data: MOD Government Major Project Portfolio data, September 2016 (CSV)". gov.uk. UK MOD. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2020. The headline budgeted WLC figure has reduced as a result of the decision to remove the Armoured Battlefield Support Vehicle (ABSV) project as a directed cost-saving in ABC16.
  17. ^ "Defence Committee Oral evidence: Progress in delivering the British Army's armoured vehicle capability, HC 659". committees.parliament.uk. UK House of Commons Defence Committee. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020. There is a programme called the Armoured Support Vehicle that will replace Bulldog. That will come online at the back end of this decade
  18. ^ "WCSP: Mid-Life Upgrade for Britain's Warrior IFVs". Defense Industry Daily. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  19. ^ "£1bn upgrade for British army's Warrior vehicles". BBC News. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  20. ^ a b Williams, Anthony G. "Light AFV guns and the WCSP and FRES Scout projects". quarryhs.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  21. ^ Testing the Warrior IFV with the new Turret, Armed with the CT40 Cannon. YouTube. 15 December 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Warrior CSP update". Army Technology. 12 March 2020.
  23. ^ Sheridan, Danielle (26 June 2020). "Royal Navy's £3bn aircraft carriers will end up 'for display purposes only', MPs warn". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  24. ^ Albert, L (23 March 2021). "Warrior Capability Sustainment Program Axed in Favor of Boxer". OVD. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  25. ^ "Lockheed Martin: Jobs to go at Ampthill armoured vehicles business". BBC News. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  26. ^ Lye, Harry (1 October 2020). "Industry blames CT40 Cannon for armoured vehicle delays". Armytechnology.com. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  27. ^ Alan Tovey (21 March 2021). "Thousands of jobs in doubt as Army pensions off the Warrior". The Telegraph. London.
  28. ^ "Transfers of major weapons: Deals with deliveries or orders made for 1950 to 2020". SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. Retrieved 20 December 2021.


  • Foss, Christopher (1994), Warrior Mechanised Combat Vehicle 1987–1994, New Vanguard No. 10, illustrated by Peter Sarson, London: Osprey UK, ISBN 9781855323797.

External links[edit]