CVR(T) Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked
Alvis produced a substantial part of the British Army's tank fleet and has maintained high export levels. Its family of combat vehicles includes the Scorpion, Spartan, Sultan, Samson and Scimitar tanks and also the Saracen armoured personnel carrier and the Saladin armored vehicle. The ageing Scorpion and Scimitar vehicles did not stand out as efficient machines in the Gulf and Bosnian conflicts.
In the early 1960s, the British defence industry needed a fast and light armored vehicle that could be used for reconnaissance and infantry support purposes. The goal was, among other things, to replace the aging vehicles such as the Saladin. Whether the new vehicle should be a wheeled, or a tracked vehicle was initially unclear, and so there emerged at that time two families, since both variants had both advantages and disadvantages. One was the CVR(T) Scorpion family tracked vehicles, and the other was the CVR(W) Fox family with a wheel chassis. After extensive test with different prototypes of such vehicles, the production of two thousand tracked of the the ALVIS "Scorpion" FV 101 began in the spring of 1970. On the basis of the Scorpion, different vehicle models for different tasks were begun.
The Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) fleet was subject to many improvements, a number of which are ongoing, including a major programme to convert the vehicles from petrol to diesel. This will reduce whole life costs. Additionally, studies are in place to assess the viability of introducing Battle Group Thermal Imagers and the BOWMAN communications system to the vehicle.
|Type||Quantity||1994 Planned changes|
|CVR (Wheeled) Fox||356||It is planned that all vehicles will be taken out of service by early 1995|
|CVR(T) Scorpion||262||104 will be converted to CVR(T) Sabre using turrets from Fox vehicles. A further 31 will remain in service at the British Army Training Unit, Suffield (BATUS) in Canada. It is planned that the remainder will be taken out of service by the end of 1994|
|CVR(T) Sabre||2||Total will be 106 after conversion of 104 Fox and 104 Scorpion|
|CVR(T) Samson||90||Due to reduce to approximately 55|
|CVR(T) Striker||89||Due to reduce to approximately 58|
|CVR(T) Sultan||283||Due to reduce to approximately 141|
|CVR(T) Spartan||658||Due to reduce to approximately 627|
|CVR(T) Samaritan||50||No changes planned|
|CVR(T) Scimitar||314||No changes planned|
By 2004 the average age of the British Army fleet for the FV430, CVR(T) and Saxon Light Armoured Vehicles was:
|Vehicle||Average age (years)|
At that time an endorsed in-service date for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES), and the numbers and types of vehicles to be procured as part of the FRES programme, would not be determined until the assessment phase of the programme has been completed.
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