The word scimitar was used to describe a curved edged sword, which was used several hundred years ago for its fast attack, speed and low damage. The British Army’s FV107 Reconnaissance Tank has the same attributes and is also called the Scimitar.
The British Scimitar CVR(T) Description
Built by the British firm Alvis in the early 70’s, the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) AKA CVR(T), was a program for a group of light, air-portable tracked vehicles to replace the Saladin and Ferret armoured cars. Whilst there were a number of variants of the CVR(T), such as APC & ATM launcher, the main focus was on the Reconnaissance tank. Two were chosen and entered production, the Scorpion and the Scimitar, which entered service with the British Army in 1973.
Both vehicles were pretty much identical, both were equipped with the petrol Jaguar J60 6-cylinder engine, which was replaced under the Life Extension Program (AKA LEP) with the current Cummins BTA 5.9 diesel engine, providing a top road speed of 80Km/h.
But the main differing characteristic from the Scorpion is the Scimitars main weapon, the deadly 30mm Rarden auto cannon. Apart from carrying out the role of reconnaissance, the Scimitar was primarily designed to take on hostile light armour, such as APC’s. For this, the Rarden fires Armour Piercing Secondary Effect (APSE), High Explosive Incendiary (HEI), Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) with an effective range of 1000m with an effective fire rate of up to 90 rounds per minute. The vehicle can store 165 rounds.
It also carries the standard coaxial 7.62mm MG (2000 rounds can be carried) and two sets of four smoke grenade dischargers. The Scimitar wasn’t as widely exported as the Scorpion, but it did serve with the Belgium Army until it was eventually retired from service in 2005.
It saw action with the British Armies Blue & Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) in the 1982 Falklands War, the Gulf War, on UN peace keeping duties in Bosnia and Kosovo. It is still in active service with the British Army. It fought in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and can now be found fighting in Afghanistan, in the War on Terror, equipped with BAR armour.