Armor: Old Gold Returns To Combat


September 21, 2011: New versions of the British CVR(T) tracked vehicles have entered service in Afghanistan. The new vehicles have improved protection, against mines, roadside bombs and RPGs. This was part of a program in which Britain revived production of its CVR(T) tracked vehicle chassis. From 1970 through the 1990s, some 3,000 of these 8 ton vehicle chassis were produced. This basic light armored vehicle chassis was used in many variants (FV101 Scorpion, FV102 Striker, FV103 Spartan, FV104 Samaritan, FV105 Sultan, FV106 Samson, FV107 Scimitar, Sabre, Alvis Stormer). These vehicles carried from three to seven personnel and a wide variety of weapons.

Britain is developing a new generation of light armored vehicles, but progress has been slow. As many existing CVR(T) vehicles are wearing out (and many have already been retired), new ones need to be built to keep the troops equipped. While the CVR(T) is often criticized for being too light (in armor, weapons, and internal space), many users prefer it for its light weight, maneuverability and speed. Thus the latest series of improvements concentrated on protection, without sacrificing much maneuverability or speed. Previous improvements had concentrated on interior items (electric power available, engine and transmission, air-conditioning, communications, filters and night-vision). Most of these upgrades made the vehicles last longer (and with less maintenance) in the harsh conditions of Afghanistan.

The CVR(T) vehicles were originally built for reconnaissance, but are now used mainly as armed escorts or as part of strike forces organized for raids.




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