The FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) used by the British Army. It was 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 originally had a close reconnaissance squadron of five troops, each containing eight FV107 Scimitars.
Scimitar performing a firepower demonstration on Salisbury Plain
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Wars||Falklands War, Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq War, Afghanistan|
|Manufacturer||Alvis / BAE Systems Land & Armaments|
|30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon|
sabot, HE, and armor-piercing special effects (APSE) rounds
|Coaxial 7.62 mm L37A1 MG|
|Engine||Cummins BTA 5.9 diesel|
190 hp (142 kW)
|Speed||50 mph (80.5 km/h)|
The FV107 Scimitar is one of the CVR(T) series of vehicles. It 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 This has now been replaced by a Cummins BTA 5.9 diesel engine in British Army Scimitars, under the CVR(T) Life Extension Program (LEP).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 mid 2009) been extended to accommodate the shift in timeframe of the 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 the CVR(T) range (early 2010) is expected to continue well beyond 2017.
Scimitar Mk IIEdit
Following a risk mitigation programme, in December 2010 a contract was awarded for the development, testing and management of an upgraded Scimitar. This was undertaken by the Vehicles Military & Technical Services team, BAE Systems Telford, which co-ordinated the build of 50 vehicles at the nearby DSG (Defence Support Group), Donnington, to be completed in early 2012. The Scimitar Mark 2 combat vehicle is one of five enhanced CVR(T) types.
The Scimitar Mk II was:
- Rehulled to give better mine-blast protection for troops
- Improved armour fitted to enhance resistance to blasts and ballistic threats
- Provide mine-protected (suspended and piston-mounted) seating in every crew position
- Improve available space and improve crew conditions
- Mitigate repairs while reducing maintenance and life-cycle costs, and extend in-service life.
The resulting vehicles have since been re-engined with a Cummins BTA 5.9 litre diesel engine and David Brown TN15E+ automatic gearbox. In addition to providing power for an air conditioning system, the new more fuel-efficient engine extends the vehicle's operational range, while the re-designed internal layout allows better-protected fuel tanks to be repositioned for reduced vulnerability to blast and ballistic threats.
The new engine and transmission package promised straightforward servicing and support for the Mk II during its in-service life, refurbished dampers simultaneously improving crew comfort - and hence reducing fatigue - while extending the life of vehicle components and maintaining the tactical mobility of the original vehicle despite an increase to an operation weight of c12,000 kg.
BAE Systems have proposed improved road wheels, new conventional metal tracks with guaranteed mileage (which could reduce the vehicle's running costs) and continuous 'rubber' band tracks, which significantly decrease both vibration and noise, allowing crew to operate more effectively and for longer, even in the harshest environments, while reducing the vehicle's acoustic signature.
- 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:
The Scimitar is used by the five formation reconnaissance regiments of the British Army. Four of the regiments are organised with three squadrons, each of 12 Scimitars; the fifth (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.
- Latvia -123 units
Two troops from B Squadron, Blues and Royals served in the Falklands War. One troop was equipped with four Scorpions, the other with four Scimitars. These CVR(T)s were the only armoured vehicles used in action by the British Army during the conflict. 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 and soon brought back into service by the attached REME section. Scorpion and Scimitar also provide air defence support with machine guns and 30 mm guns; on 23 May 1982, a Scimitar claimed a 30 mm hit on a Skyhawk at 1,000 m.
First Gulf War, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards , 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 were used in the Battle of Al Faw in the opening days of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Plans for an amphibious landing by Scimitars were abandoned due to extensive mining of the beaches; instead, they crossed into Iraq by land.
In Afghanistan, during 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.
- CVR(T) (combat vehicle reconnaissance – tracked) family of vehicles.
- "Up-armoured vehicles begin Afghanistan operations".
- Foss, Christopher (2015). "On the mend: British Army looks to refreshed AFVs" (PDF). Jane's International Defence Review.
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- http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/20130703-A2020_Update.pdf[permanent dead link] the two regiments "reduced" from armoured regiments to armoured cavalry are the Royal Dragoon Guards and the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards
- Ondrejka, Jan; Stojar, Richard (8.3.2004). "Belgian armed forces: trends in development" (PDF). Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-09. Check date values in:
- "La Défense au rapport". page 55 (in French). Belgian Ministry of Defence. January 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
- Foss & Sarson, p. 21
- Andrew Jones, "British Armor in the Falklands", ARMOR, March 1983 pp. 26–27
- War Machines, Limited publishing, Italian version De Agostini, 1983, p.235