The British Saber armored reconnaissance vehicle is a highly respected member of the tracked combat reconnaissance vehicle family, also known as CVR(T). Its mission is to deliver excellence at a cost-effective price. To achieve this, the UK has armed the Saber with a 30mm Laden cannon, inspired by the well-known FV107 Scimitar armored reconnaissance vehicle.
What makes the Saber unique is its combination of components, using the chassis of the FV101 “Scorpion” combat reconnaissance vehicle and the turret of the FV721 “Fox” armored reconnaissance vehicle.
A Lower Profile for Enhanced Stability
One notable feature of the Saber is its turret side profile, which is slightly lower than that of the FV107 Scimitar. This design alteration was made with a specific purpose in mind: to address the stability concerns associated with the FV107.
The Saber was officially deployed into service in 1995, and its primary objective is to maneuver on the battlefield swiftly, detect enemy positions, and relay critical information via radio communications.
The British Saber armored reconnaissance vehicle has faced challenges during its journey. During initial combat exercises, deficiencies were identified, particularly in terms of defensive capabilities. As a result, the vehicle’s smoke grenade launcher underwent a redesign. It now uses the No. 80 smoke grenade, which is equipped with a fuze and fired using electric shock-propelled No. F103 Mk. 2/3 propellant.
Furthermore, the standard 7.62mm FN MAG general machine gun has been replaced by the more efficient L94A1 7.62mm chain machine gun. The L94A1 features a side feed chute, which enables faster reloading compared to other belt-fed machine guns. Another important component is the L21 “Laden” machine gun, which uses three magazines to feed ammunition. The vehicle has a total of 33 magazines.
Power and Performance
The Saber car initially used a Jaguar J60 4.2-liter inline 6-cylinder gasoline engine and a cross-drive 7-speed gearbox. However, in the late 1990s, some cars received an upgrade with a 190-horsepower Cummins BTA 5.9-liter diesel engine and a David Brown TN15 gearbox, which improved their overall performance.
The Saber’s suspension system is of the torsion bar type, equipped with five pairs of road wheels on each side. The drive sprocket is located at the front, while the idler wheel is located at the rear. It’s worth noting that an earlier “assembled” version of the vehicle was not successful, leading to its retirement from the British Army in 2004.
Let’s take a quick look at the key specifications of the British Saber armored reconnaissance vehicle:
- Weight: 8.1 tons
- Length: 4.8 meters
- Width: 2.2 meters
- Height: 2.2 meters
- Crew: 3 people
- 30mm L21 “Laden” machine gun with 33 3-round magazines
- L94A1 7.62mm chain machine gun
- Early version: Jaguar J60 4.2-liter inline 6-cylinder gasoline engine
- Later version: Cummins BTA 5.9-liter diesel engine with an output of 190 horsepower
- Type: Torsion bar
- 80 km/h
In conclusion, the British Saber armored reconnaissance vehicle symbolizes innovation and adaptability in the world of military vehicles. Its distinct blend of components, relentless pursuit of improvement, and impressive specifications continue to serve as a vital asset for the British Army. This vehicle embodies the spirit of modern warfare, where agility, firepower, and precision are paramount on the battlefield.