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About The CVR(T) Scorpion
The Alvis Scorpion was developed to meet a British Army requirement for the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) or CVR(T). In 1967, Alvis was awarded the contract to produce 30 CVR(T) prototypes.
After extensive hot and cold weather trials in Norway, Australia, Abu Dhabi and Canada, the Scorpion was accepted by the British Army in May 1970, with a contract for 275, which later rose to 313 vehicles. The first production vehicles were completed in 1972 and the first British regiment to be equipped with the Scorpion was the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry in 1973.
Alvis built more than 3,000 Scorpion vehicles for the British Army, Royal Air Force Regiment and the export market. All of the CVR(T) vehicles were to be air-portable; and two Scorpions could be carried in a C130 Hercules. Another requirement of the CVR(T) project was the low ground pressure – similar to that of a soldier on foot – this would serve it well in the boggy conditions of the Falklands War.
The original engine was the Jaguar J60 4.2-litre petrol engine, which was replaced by a Cummins or Perkins diesel engine. The maximum speed was about 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) and it could accelerate from nought to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) in 16 seconds.
The FV101 was a very light armoured vehicle, weighing in at a mere 8 tonnes. This meant some compromises had to be made on protection. The vehicle had 12.7 mm of aluminium armour all around, giving it protection against small low-velocity shrapnel and standard ball rifle rounds from cartridges such as 7.62×39mm, 5.56×45mm, and 7.62×51mm.
The vehicle was fitted with a nuclear, biological, chemical protection system, image intensification sights for gunner and driver and a floatation screen. A commode was located under the commander’s seat, an internal water tank and a boiling vessel for cooking and heating water were also provided.
The Scorpion 90 or Scorpion 2 was a version armed with the long-barrelled Cockerill Mk3 M-A1 90mm gun designed for the export market.