Scorpion

Overview

Scorpion

In the late 1950s the British Army issued a requirement for an Armoured Reconnaissance vehicle. This role was eventually spilt into two and the resulting vehicles were the Fox armoured car and the Scorpion CVR(T) range of vehicles. (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance, Tracked).

The engine used in the Scorpion was the Jaguar XK petrol engine and the 76mm gun is a lighter version of the L5 used in the Saladin armoured car. Incidentally the Saladin series had been developed by Alvis as was this, its replacement. The vehicle was unusual for the time for a light tank, in being made of all-welded aluminium armour. The 76mm gun means it is powerfully armed for a reconnaissance vehicle and the all tracked design and high power/weight ratio give excellent speed and mobility. The downside is that the vehicle resembles a tank and there are always those tempted to use it as such.

Scorpion was the flagship of the range which included Scimitar (turreted 30mm Rarden cannon), Spartan (APC), Sultan (command vehicle) and Samson (recovery). Scorpion itself went out of service in 1994 due at least partially to asbestos! However, turrets from Fox armoured cars, which had not been as successful, were mated with redundant Scorpion hulls to produce Sabre which has the same armament and is very similar to Scimitar.

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