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Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicle

The FV721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled) (CVR(W)) was a 4 × 4 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 The Fox was introduced into service in May 1973 and withdrawn from 1993–94.

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)

Contents

DescriptionEdit

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 three-round magazines; 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 two 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 outflank heavier armoured divisions. This also potentially enabled the Fox to act as a scout and a vehicle that can engage similar light vehicles. The all-welded aluminium armour hull and turret protected against medium gun fire and artillery splinters but not from heavy (.50 calibre) machine gun fire. The driver sat at the front and had an integral periscope/hatch cover that lifted and opened to the right. The centre mounted turret held the commander-loader on the left and gunner on the right. They each had a rear-opening hatch cover.[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, two of which can be parachute dropped.[1]

VariantsEdit

 
FV722 Vixen prototype at Bovington Tank Museum
  • FV722 Vixen - Un-turreted version, was planned and tested 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 Northern Ireland 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, 136 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 the headroom for the commander and gunner. They were assigned to the 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.

OperatorsEdit

 
Map of Fox operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operatorsEdit

Former operatorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Jane's Armour and Artillery 1993–1994, Jane's Information Group, ISBN 0-7106-1074-2
  • Taschenbuch der Panzer Edition 7 (1990), Bernard & Graefe Verlag, ISBN 3-7637-5871-2
  • Terry Gander, The Modern British Army (1988), Patrick Stephens Limited, ISBN 0-85059-919-9
  • Terry Gander, Britain's Modern Army (1995), Patrick Stephens Limited, ISBN 1-85260-428-X

External linksEdit