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FV101 Scorpion
Alvis Scorpion Light Tank.jpg
Scorpion Reconnaisance Vehicle
Type Reconnaissance vehicle
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1973-

(Retired in 1994 by the UK)

Used by Users
Wars Falklands war
Gulf war
Production history
Manufacturer Alvis Vehicles Ltd, Telford, England
Variants Scorpion 90
Specifications
Weight 17,800 lb (8.074 tonnes)
Length 5.288 m (17 ft 4.2 in)[1]
Width 2.134 m (7 ft 0 in)[1]
Height 2.102 m (6 ft 10.8 in)[1]
Crew 3 [1]

Armour 12.7 mm welded aluminium
Primary
armament
ROF 76mm L23A1 gun
90 mm in Scorpion 90[1]
Secondary
armament
Coaxial 7.62 mm L43A1 machine gun [1]
Engine Cummins BTA 5.9 litre (diesel)[1]
190 hp (140 kW)
Power/weight 22.92 hp/tonne[1]
Transmission David Brown TN15 [1]
Suspension Torsion-bar
Operational
range
756 km (470 mi)[1]
Speed 72.5 km/h (45.0 mph)[1]

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.[2] More than 3,000 were produced and used as an reconnaissance vehicle or a light tank.

History[edit | edit source]

The Alvis Scorpion was originally developed to meet a British Army requirement for the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) or CVR(T). In 1967 Alvis were awarded the contract to produce 30 CVR(T) prototypes. Vehicles P1–P17 being the Scorpion prototypes were delivered on time and within the budget.[3] After extensive hot and cold weather trials in Norway, Australia, Abu Dhabi and Canada, the Scorpion was accepted by the British Army in May 1970, with a contract for 275 which later rose to 313 vehicles.[4] The first production vehicles were completed in 1972 and the first British regiment to be equipped with the Scorpion were the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry in 1973.[4][5] In November 1981, the RAF Regiment Royal Air Force took delivery of its first of 184 Scorpions and other variants of CVR(T).[6]

The Scorpion/Scimitar in the US Army field recognition manual.

Alvis built more than 3,000 Scorpion vehicles for the British Army and Royal Air Force and the export market.

All the CVR(T) vehicles were to be air-portable and two Scorpions could be carried in a C130 Hercules. Another requirement of the CVR(T) project was the low ground pressure - similar to that of a soldier on foot - and this would serve it well in the Falklands War

Armament[edit | edit source]

The Scorpion was armed with a low velocity 76 mm main armament gun, which could fire high-explosive, HESH, smoke and canister rounds. Stowage was provided for 40 or 42 rounds. A 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun (3,000 rounds carried) and two multi-barrelled smoke grenade dischargers were also fitted each side of the turret.[1] Main armament elevation is 35 degrees and depression of 10 degrees with a full 360 degree traverse.[7]

Engine[edit | edit source]

The original engine was the Jaguar J60 4.2 litre petrol engine,[8] which was replaced by a Cummins or Perkins diesel engine.[1] The maximum speed was about 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) and it could accelerate from nought to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) in 16 seconds. The maximum speed on water (with the flotation screen deployed) was 3.6 miles per hour (5.8 km/h).[9]

Other systems[edit | edit source]

The vehicle was fitted with a nuclear, biological, chemical protection system, image intensification sights for gunner and driver and a floatation screen.[1] A commode was located under the commander's seat, an internal water tank and a boiling vessel for cooking and heating water were also provided.[10]

Scorpion 90[edit | edit source]

Scorpion 90 or Scorpion 2 was version armed with the long-barrelled Cockerill Mk3 M-A1 90mm gun designed for the export market.[11]

Service history[edit | edit source]

The Scorpion was used by the armed forces of; Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Chile, Honduras, Iran, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand,[12] Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo and the United Arab Emirates.[1] While Canada never operated the Scorpion, a number of Scorpion turrets were used with AVGP hulls to create the Cougar.

The Scorpion was deployed on mainland Britain as part of security measures against expected terrorist action at Heathrow Airport in 1974.

Combat use[edit | edit source]

small armoured vehicle alone in the desert. The flag of the United Kingdom can just be seen on the rear

Scorpion advancing across the desert during the first Gulf War.

Two troops from B Squadron, Blues and Royals served in the Falkland war. They were the only armoured vehicle used in action by the British Army during the conflict.[13] Scorpions also served in the Gulf war. The 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards a reconnaissance regiment had 32 and the close reconnaissance troops of the armoured regiments each had eight.[14]

Foreign users[edit | edit source]

Some small armies such as the Botswana Defence Force and the Irish Army, and notably the larger Philippine Army, continue to use the Scorpion, in some cases up-armed with the 90mm Cockerill.

Sabre[edit | edit source]

The Scorpion has been withdrawn from British Army service and the refurbished hulls have been mated with surplus turrets from the FV 721 Fox CVR(W) wheeled reconnaissance vehicle to form a composite vehicle, to create the Sabre reconnaissance vehicle.[15]

Salamander[edit | edit source]

A small number of converted Scorpions are in use at British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada as part of OPFOR. With the main armament barrel replaced with a dummy they represent 125mm gun armed T-80-type vehicles.

Users[edit | edit source]

Scorpion tank and its Scimitar/Sabre/Scorpion-90 variants operators. Current operators are in bright red, former operators are in dark red.

  •  Belgium
  •  Bolivia
  •  Botswana
  •  Brunei
  •  Chile
  •  Honduras
  •  Indonesia
  •  Iran
  •  Ireland
  •  Jordan
  •  Malaysia
  •  New Zealand
  •  Nigeria
  •  Oman
  •  Philippines
  •  Spain
  •  Thailand
  •  Tanzania
  •  Togo
  •  United Kingdom
  •  Venezuela [1]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 "Scorpion". Jane's Information Group. http://www.janes.com/defence/land_forces/supplement/lav/lav_scorpion.shtml. Retrieved 2009-January-11. 
  2. "July 4, 2006" House of Commons col. 912W–913W http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060704/text/60704w0003.htm#06070447001554 
  3. Foss & Sarson, p.9
  4. 4.0 4.1 Foss & Sarson, p.10
  5. Foss & Sarson, p.4
  6. Foss & Sarson, p.20
  7. Foss & Sarson, p.14
  8. Christopher Chant A compendium of armaments and military hardware
  9. Foss & Sarson, p.12
  10. Foss & Sarson, p.11
  11. Foss & Sarson, p.37
  12. [1]
  13. Foss & Sarson, p.21
  14. Foss & Sarson, pp.41&ndash44
  15. Foss & Sarson, p.34
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Spartan and Other CVR(T) Vehicles". MOD. http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/fighting-vehicles/1482.aspx. Retrieved 2010-January-14. 
  17. "Scimitar Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle". MOD. http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/fighting-vehicles/1481.aspx. Retrieved 2010-January-14. 
  18. "Starstreak High Velocity Missile Vehicles". MOD. http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/artillery-air-defence/1509.aspx. Retrieved 2010-January-14. 
  19. "Shielder Anti-Tank System". MOD. http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/engineering/1493.aspx. Retrieved 2010-January-14. 
  20. "Background – Armoured Vehicle, General Purpose – Cougar DFSV". Canadian American Strategic Review. 2009-09. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.casr.ca%2Fbg-army-armour-avgp-cougar.htm&date=2009-10-03. 

References[edit | edit source]

  • Foss, Christopher F; Sarson, Peter (1995). Scorpion Reconnaissance Vehicle 1972-94. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1855323907. 


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