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FV603 Saracen - Бронеавтомобиль (Великобритания)

FV603 Saracen

FV603 Saracen is a six-wheeled armoured personnel carrier built by Alvis and used by the British Army. It became a recognisable vehicle as a result of its part in the policing of Northern Ireland as well as for its role in the South African government's enforcement of apartheid. It is still in use in secondary roles in some countries.

FV603 Saracen
Type - Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin - United Kingdom
Service history
In service - 1952-present
Wars - Aden Emergency / Black September / Invasion of Kuwait / Lebanese Civil War / Malayan Emergency / Nigerian Civil War / South African Border War / Soweto Uprising / Sri Lankan Civil War / The Troubles / Yom Kippur War
Production history
Manufacturer - Alvis
Produced - 1952-1976
Mass - 11.0 t
Length - 4.8 m
Width - 2.54 m
Height - 2.46 m
Crew - 2 + up to 9 troops
Armour - 16 mm Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA)
Main armament - Browning M1919 machine gun or L37 GPMG
Secondary armament - Bren LMG, 6-12 smoke grenade launchers
Engine - Rolls-Royce B80 Mk 3A or Mk 6A, 8 cyl. Inlet over exhaust petrol / 160 hp
Power/weight - 14.5 hp/tonne
Suspension - 6x6 wheel, independent torsion bars
Operational range - 400 km
Maximum speed - 72 km/h (off-road 32 km/h)

The FV603 Saracen was the armoured personnel carrier of Alvis's FV600 series. Besides the driver and commander, a squad of eight soldiers plus a troop commander could be carried. Most models carried a small turret on the roof, carrying a Browning .30 machine gun. A .303 Bren gun could be mounted on an anti-aircraft ring-mount accessed through a roof hatch and there were ports on the sides through which troops could fire. Although removed from active service, it saw extensive use into the 1980s in Northern Ireland and was a familiar sight, nicknamed 'sixers', during "The Troubles". At times, they appeared on the streets of Hull, a less-hostile atmosphere for driver training in a city of similar appearance to Belfast, and only a few miles from the Army School of Mechanical Transport.
As a member of the FV600 series, it shared a similar chassis to the FV601 Saladin armoured car, the Salamander airfield crash truck and the Stalwart high mobility load carrier. The punt chassis, suspension and H-drive drivetrain remained similar, but the engine, transmission and braking systems varied significantly.
The Saracen was in turn used as an armoured personnel carrier, armoured command vehicle and ambulance. The FV603 model saw many variants in detail, including radio or command fitments and specialist equipment for artillery or signals use.
The Saracen series also includes:
FV604 armoured command vehicle (ACV): with extra radio equipment and distinctive "penthouse" roof extensions to support.
FV606 / FV611 armoured ambulance.
FV610 armoured command post Royal Artillery (ACP): no turret and higher roof to the armoured compartment allowed headroom for the battery command post officer and technical assistants of the Royal Artillery to sit at a fitted table and use their plotting instruments and ALS 21 in front of the command post officer. There were also fittings for a canvas penthouse to the rear and sides. A small generator was sometimes carried on a front wing.
Saracen was produced before Saladin because of the urgent need for a personnel carrier to serve in the Malayan Emergency, entering production in 1952.
The Saracen was produced both with and without turrets fitted. They are popular with collectors due to their prices being as low as $20,000 in Australia and $11,000 in the Czech Republic.

Military operator`S
Amal Movement: Inherited from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
Australia - Australian Army: 30 vehicles, registered consecutively as 115361 through 115390.
Biafra - Biafran Army: 1
Brunei - Royal Brunei Land Forces: 15
Indonesia - Indonesian Army: 55, some modernised by request in 1994. (retired)
Jordan - Royal Jordanian Army: 120, 60 operational.
Kenya - Kenyan Army: 15
Kuwait - Kuwaiti Army: 135
Lebanon - Lebanese Ground Forces: 100
Libya - Libyan Army: 15
Mauritania - Mauritanian Army: 5, ordered in 1990.
Nigeria - Nigerian Army: 20; 10 operational.
Qatar - Qatar Emiri Land Force: 30
South Africa - South African Army: 280, ordered between 1953 and 1956. All working Saracens refurbished in 1979 and some sold to local security contractors; at least one modified with a Comet tank turret for Rooikat trials. Retired from the South African Armoured Corps in 1991.
Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka Army: 67, all were removed out of service in the mid 1990s.
Sudan - Sudanese Army: 50
Thailand - Royal Thai Army: 20
United Arab Emirates - United Arab Emirates Army: 20
United Kingdom - British Army

Civil operator`S
British Hong Kong - Royal Hong Kong Police Force: Retired in 1988 when replaced by the Saxon with all working Saracens shipped back to England. Most were used by the PTU with the 1st Saracen on static display at PTU HQ.
South Africa - South African Police: 8
United Kingdom - Royal Ulster Constabulary
Space Hijackers - 2007-present - Mark 1 Saracen used for publicity stunts
United States
Tulsa Police Department, 1; Saracen hull re-mounted on a commercial truck chassis
Sierra Vista Police Department, 1; SWAT
San Francisco Police Department, 1; SWAT
Snohomish County Sheriff, 1; SWAT

Saracens were initially equipped with an L3A4 (0.30-inch Browning) machine gun in the turret, and a Bren light machine gun for the gun-ring at the rear of the vehicle. Later Marks carried the LMG, and L37 GPMG.
Mk 1: Early version with a small 3-door turret and turret weapon ports.
Mk 2: Modified Mark 1 with later two-door turret. The rear turret door folds down and can act as a seat for the commander.
Mk 3: Reverse-flow cooling for use in hot climates.
Mk 4: Prototype only.
Mk 5: Mark 1 or Mark 2 vehicles modified with extra armour specifically for use in Northern Ireland.
Mk 6: Mark 3 modified with extra armour as for the Mk 5 for use in Northern Ireland.
Concept 3 New Generation Armoured Car: Mk 3 suspension and drive train with chassis redesigned by the South African Defence Force to accept a 77 mm HV tank gun. Prototype only.

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