The FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) used by the British Army. It was manufactured byAlvis 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.
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 This has now been replaced by a Cummins BTA 5.9 diesel engine in British Army Scimitars, under the CVR(T) Life Extension Program (LEP).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 middle 2009) been extended to accommodate the shift in timeframe with the Future Rapid Effect Systemprogram 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 II
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 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 lifecycle 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 operational range of the vehicle, while the re-designed internal layour allow 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:
- 30 mm – 165 rounds
- 7.62 mm – 2,000 rounds
- As with all UK armoured vehicles, Scimitar is equipped with a forced air system, so the crew can lock down in a CBRN environment. For this reason, the vehicle is equipped with a boiling vessel (or "BV"), to cook and make hot drinks.
Map of FV107 operators in blue with former operators in red
FV107 Scimitar in desert camouflage
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.
After the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, some regiments are seeing their Challenger 2 tanks replaced with CVR(T) Scimitars.