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FV 721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Wheeled CVR(W)

The development of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked CVR(T) Scorpion, also led to a successor to the Ferret series, namely the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Wheeled CVR(W) Fox. The Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) of the British Ministry of Defense has made extensive use of test bed vehicles to explore new concepts. It has used them with positive results, they formed the first step in the development of new vehicles which were ultimately fielded. They have had negative results when they proved originally promising concepts were not worth developing beyond a certain point, and saved possible misapplication of effort and money.

The TV 1000 was an early test bed built by MVEE, designed in 1956-57 to explore the concept of a wheeled tank. It was a large vehicle of 120 metric tons with six large tires. For the first time a wheeled armored vehicle maneuvered with skid steering. Work on TV 1000 was terminated in 1964, when the British Army decided to use tracks even for its light reconnaissance vehicles. However, TV 1000 demonstrated the advantages as well as the disadvantages of wheeled armored vehicles with skid steering. Given different policies on the part of the British Army, it might have served as the basis of a novel combat vehicle design. As it happens, it was left to the French Army to developand field the first wheeled armored vehicle with skid steering, the AMX 10RC.

The origins of the CVR(T) and CVR(W) date to 1960, when the British Army began to consider options for a Saladin successor. The Armoured Vehicle, Reconnaissance [AVR] was conceived as a highly sophisticated vehicle, capable of performing multiple roles. It was to weigh around 13 tonnes, and be armed with guided missiles, as well as a medium velocity 76 or 105mm gun. The original AVR design put forward by the Fighting Vehicle Research & Development Establishment [FVRDE] envisaged a tracked vehicle.

However in 1963, FVRDE proposed an alternative, six wheeled AVR, weighing 13.6 tonnes, and armed with Swingfire missiles and a 76mm gun. The design took two forms, turreted, and turretless, the latter being attractive for a reconnaissance vehicle, as it resulted in a reduced silhouette. In both cases, however, the wheeled AVR was to be skid steered, like a tracked vehicle. The use of skid steering in the AVR followed the construction of the TV 1000, a 20 tonne test vehicle, designed in 1956-57 as a possible basis for a wheeled tank, the thinking being that the hull could be wider in relation to it's overall width, because no space was needed for the turning of it's wheels. However, the TV 1000 suffered from the same turning problems as exhibited by tracked vehicles, and inaddition, suffered from rapid tyre wear, and poor stability when running fast on roads.

The AVR proposals were rejected in 1963, when it was decide that they were too heavy, especially for air-portability, still considered important by planners. Therefore, in 1964, two new proposals were put forward by FVRDE. One was for a family of light tracked vehicles, which became the CVR(T), the other being for a series of light, 6 to 8 tonnes, six wheeled vehicles with skid steering. This latter proposal was rejected, in part as a result of trials conducted in 1964, which demonstrated the fundamental weakness of the skid steering of the TV 1000 on soft ground.

Alternative Designations FV721
Date of Introduction 1973
Proliferation At least 3 countries
Crew 3
Troop Capacity 0
Combat Weight (mt) 6.12
Chassis Length Overall (m) 4.17
Height Overall (m) 2.20
Width Overall (m) 2.13
Ground Pressure (kg/cm2) INA
Drive Formula 4 x 4
Automotive Performance
Engine Type 190-hp Gasoline
Cruising Range (km) 434
Speed (km/h)
Max Road 104
Max Off-Road INA
Average Cross-Country INA
Max Swim 5.23
Fording Depth (m) 1.0 Unprepared
Radio INA
Armor, Turret Front (mm) Resistant to heavy MG (NFI)
Applique Armor (mm) N/A
Explosive Reactive Armor (mm) N/A
Active Protective System N/A
Mineclearing Equipment N/A
Self-Entrenching Blade N/A
NBC Protection System N/A
Smoke Equipment 2 x 4-barrel smoke grenade launchers
Main Armament
Caliber, Type, Name 30-mm auto-cannon, Rarden L21
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 80-90 cyclic (1-6 round bursts)
Loader Type Feed tray, manual clip-fed (3-round clips)
Ready/Stowed Rounds INA
Elevation () -14/+40
Fire on Move INA
Auxiliary Weapon
Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm machinegun L7A2
Mount Type Coax
Maximum Aimed Range (m) INA
Max Effective Range (m) INA
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) INA
ATGM Launcher N/A
Firing Ports None
Main Gun Stabilization N/A
Rangefinder N/A
Infrared Searchlight N/A
Sights w/Magnification
Day SPAV L2A1, 5.8/1.6 x
Field of View () 8/28
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Night L2A1, II sight
Field of View () INA
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Commander Fire Main Gun No
VARIANTSNone of the variants have been fielded.
Caliber, Type, Name30-mm APDS-T, L14A2
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 1,500
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 1,000
Night INA
Tactical AA Range INA
Armor Penetration (mm) 40 (RHA, 45) at 1,500 meters
Caliber, Type, Name 30-mm HE-T, L13A1
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 2,000
Max Effective Range (m) INA
Tactical AA Range INA
Armor Penetration (mm) N/A
Other Ammunition Types APSE-T (AP Secondary Effects-T L5A2). The gun can fire the KCB (Oerlikon) family of munitions.

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Page last modified: 02-10-2012 19:01:57 ZULU